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| February/March 1996

Rt 1, Box 297, Salmon, Idaho 83467

They say, at an auction, never scratch your nose. No, stand still, ignore the itch, watch close. For the auctioneer will notice, and you'll be in the bidding. Be sure the article he is standing on is the one on which you're bidding.

Get over there! Get close, the bids are rising fast!
That sweet little garden tractor may be yours at last.
Just in time, the bid is low yet. 'I'll raise five!'
Sold! It's yours now, but there's the Missus coming.
'Look' he says. 'It's ours. In no time I'll have it running.'
'You didn't buy that tractor, you just bought that gas pump!'
'I did not,' he says, as perfect s trangers walk up.
'Do you collect gas pumps too?' she inquires as if in the know.
'She's been talking to them' he thinks. 'I'm in for it now.'
'No, I didn't buy that I bought this tractor here.
Only $95. That's cheap. Isn't it a dear?'
'No, honey,' the Missus says. 'Here's your number very clear.'
'Yes,' the strangers say. 'Weren't you Number 252?'
Waves of disbelief cross his face; he sees it, too.
They turn to go and smile at each other.
'It could have been me!' as his laugh he smothers.
Our hero has a plan! He looks around high and low.
'One guy bought the other four. Where did he go?'
'He was the one in the red shirt there! by the van!'
She watches him take off and the strangers return again.
'What are you going to do with it?' they ask.
'I think he will try and sell it to the bidder who was last.'
'Here, he's coming back. It's hard to tell if he was successful.'
'Did you find him? Did he take it? You're looking rather
'Yes, I found him. He didn't want to take it for 95
So I said I would help him load it for 85.'
Laughter all around who could resist such a chance?
But a year later, he will see, as he gives the ads a glance.
Those pumps, unrestored, are selling for one-twenty.
And he let his go for less. Now he wishes he had plenty!
Watch close, don't scratch your nose, no matter what you've found,
Or strangers will become good friends, but you will never live
it down!


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