Kids these days are a lot smarter than we were. Take show animals, for example. It didn’t take them long to figure out that raising show hogs was a lot easier, cheaper and more profitable for the hours invested than raising a show steer. And hogs don’t kick, lambs don’t hurt if they step on your toes and you don’t have to worry about a hog’s hair being mussed up. That’s why at our county fair you might have 800 hogs, 600 sheep and 40 show steers at the junior livestock auction.
The problem is there are simply too many animals to sell in one day so they run two rings, one entirely for swine and the other for the lambs and the steers. At our fair they run the two sales simultaneously and under the same roof so it can sound like two hogs fighting under a metal shed while it’s hailing outside. As a parent you really have to pay attention or you might think you heard your child’s hog sell for $12 per pound when actually that was for the grand champion steer in the other sale ring. I used to occasionally work ring at these sales and if it was hard for a professional ring man to keep everything straight you can imagine how hard it is for a buyer who only goes to one auction a year.
We had a similar problem at the video sales I used to announce. Once every summer we’d have our huge four day sale and take up the entire basement of one of the largest casinos in Reno. We needed every square inch of their meeting space to accommodate all our buyers and sellers. But in December when we went back for a one day sale at the same casino we only required a quarter of the space. So they chopped up their convention center into four rooms by moving the walls around. In one room there was a wild Christmas party for a medical group of doctors and nurses, there was a very somber confab of professors and academicians and in the room next door to us there was an end-of-the year awards program for a multi-level marketing group. Then there was us, a livestock video auction with several world champion livestock auctioneers. And they didn’t get that way by being soft-spoken!
One advantage to this arrangement was we were able to cut costs by NOT providing donuts and coffee for our guests as we funneled them all over in the direction of the doctors who accidentally provided donuts, coffee and tea for all four groups in the common lobby area.
You can imagine our horror when we first discovered that there was no cell phone service in the basement of the hotel and this was a BIG problem for the order buyers who made their living on the phone. Although the problem was fixed for all subsequent sales, for the one each group had to make make-do with announcements for various people to return calls.
I was taking a rare short break from my announcing duties and was standing in the common lobby, eyeing the donuts, when the following announcement was made: “Hey, Bubby this is your girlfriend. My water broke, I took an Uber to the hospital and you better be there when I get there.” (Or words to that effect.)
To this day I don’t know from which room came the announcement. All I know is men from all four rooms barged into the lobby and grabbed a donut as they were hot-footin’ and high-tailing it up the escalators faster than you can say, “Accidents cause people.”
For me personally the biggest loss was the suspects decimated the donut selection so that by the time I got within grabbing distance the only donuts left were the ones with sprinkles all over, which I detest.
I don’t know how many men showed up at the hospital or how many leaked into the landscape looking for some high tules to hide in. I do know that a friend of mine was sitting around a table with other couples when his wife said, “You make one move towards that door Bubby, tomorrow I’m hiring the meanest, nastiest divorce attorney your money can buy.”