Friday, June 12, 2015

Cheaper than marrying one...

The sun is finally shining on a regular basis in western Oklahoma. The winds over the past few days have been strong enough to do some hang gliding without any need for an elevated launch point. In short, it is an Oklahoma spring, almost summer.

This time of year also brings a host of auctions across the Oklahoma landscape. The Cordell Beacon, Penny News, and other publications in Elk City, Clinton, and surrounding towns are filled with auction notices. Auctions might just be the third most popular sport in the state, behind football, basketball, baseball, and math meets.

A few years ago, I was participating in this popular Saturday activity in the town of Sentinel, Oklahoma. I had scored several good buys already. On this particular day, the auctioneer presented a nearly new, brand name dishwasher. Despite his efforts, the bidding fell short of expectations. This was a very good unit and should have brought a decent price, but on this day it looked as if it would go for under forty dollars.

It was at that point that an old-timer standing in the back of the crowd shouted out, “It’s cheaper than marrying one.”

In some states, the man would have been suppressed with a barrage of outrage. In California, he probably would have been hauled into court on some sort of civil suit. In Sentinel, Oklahoma the bidding resumed as soon as the laughter died down.

The dishwasher sold at a much higher price.