How Much Do I Love Shakespeare? Apparently $120 Worth.

Last night we attended a fundraiser for the town’s baseball league, and part of the activities involved a silent auction.  For those that have never seen one of these, various gift baskets are donated (in this case each team was responsible for finding a donor), and then they’re put on display with a list of what’s in them, their actual value, and then a sheet of paper where you write down your name and what you bid on it.  At the end of the night all the sheets are collected and the winning bids are posted.

As we’re wandering around there’s a bunch of beach themed baskets with towels and lotion and folding chairs, and a bunch of beer and/or wine baskets.  We bid on a couple of those, and on a “family game night” basket that had a bunch of movie tickets and things.  Then I see this smaller basket with fewer bids, and as I walk by “Thou rampant fustilarian!” catches my eye.  I backtrack and look closer, and sure enough that’s a Shakespeare Insult Mug sitting in the basket.  Next to it is another mug reading, “A screaming comes across the sky,” which if I recall is the opening to Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow.
I read the sign.  “The Bookworm Basket.”  Consists of a Paperwhite Kindle, case, booklight (isn’t the paperwhite version backlit?), Kindle gift certificate, blanket, and the two mugs.  I tug on Kerry’s arm and say, “Look!  Shakespeare.  I kind of feel obligated to bid on that.”  She says to go for it.

Night continues. I go back to check on our bids and see that, as expected, most of them have been beaten.  That’s how these things work, you basically have to be the last person to write down your number.  So if you really want something you have to camp out on it.  So I poked around, bumped up a few bids, noticed that the book basket wasn’t really going up.  But then later I do get outbid.  So I think, “Ok, I put in my token bid for the Shakespeare thing just to say I did, but do I really want this?”  I up the bid again.
Eventually the night starts to come to a close.  We’re way outbid on the wine packages but the family game night is still within reach.  I try bumping up the bid by $30 (instead of the minimum $10) to try to and scare away people but then somebody else bumps it by another $30.  I hear them say that the auction will be over in 10 seconds so write down your final bids.  I head over to that basket to throw another $10 on it and snipe it at the last second, and dangit if the organizers didn’t sweep in right in front of me and scoop up all the papers.  Rats!
But guess what?  As if you couldn’t guess from the title :).  I won what I keep calling the Shakespeare basket!  
My mom’s birthday is next month, she’s getting the Kindle (everyone in my family has one, and we just got my dad one for his birthday earlier this year).  We kept the gift certificate for the kids, and my wife likes the blanket.  
Look for the mug to become a prize in some future giveaway 🙂

UPDATE : I just remembered that sometimes my Dad reads the blog.  If so, Hi Dad!  Don’t tell Ma what she’s getting. 🙂

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