Saturday, November 19, 2005

Do the Chinese have a word for it?

Jason wrote another guest entry... consider him the co-Cobosce (Co-Bosce?). Expect a slew of blogs as we wait for the ship to clear in Japan tomorrow morning...

The auction mentioned below raised over $25,000, btw.

There was a charity auction on the ship last night. The thing about charity auctions is that people get a little carried away. Because it's for charity, they bid on things they have no real interest in. Sometimes just to give money, sometimes in a misguided attempt to raise the bidding price. Rico and I were the main auctioneers (along with the very game and willing Dean John), and through the glare of spotlights I saw a few poleaxed looks on faces as people realized their bids were actually being accepted.

One of my work studies did it. He bid on a chair, because he thought the price would go higher. Weirder things had sold for more. But after his bid, the second for the item, the room fell silent, and suddenly he was the proud owner of a ten dollar chair, for which he had paid thirty dollars.

A member of my adopt-a-family made an accidentally successful bid, too. She was bidding for a ski weekend in Aspen, which is spitting distance from where she lives right now. And after she named the reasonably high but still underpriced sum of 325 dollars, there was just shifting in the seats, and Rico and me calling for more bids with diminishing enthusiasm, and suddenly she had a vacation to a place she goes to anyway.

And there was me. One of the items was, oddly enough, staff and faculty only. Except there were just about 8 total staff in the room, and I think there were no faculty most of the night. So I ended up bidding 200 dollars on a weekend in a condo on the west Florida coast. I have no interest in going there, but I wanted it to sell, and no one at all was going to bid. It turned out I was completely correct, no one else was going to bid, and now I have a trip to a place I don't want to go to.

There has to be a word for that, right? For bidding when you don't want something, or don't expect something? Maybe it's a French word, because they're subtle like that; or a German word, because they enjoy tangled situations like that; or a Russian word, because they understand awkward misery pretty well. And if there's not a word for it, there should be, because it would make this story much easier to tell.

1 comment:

Nicolle said...