Saturday, May 3, 2008

Live TV at its cheesiest

I love the public television auction.

We found it on tv tonight by accident, just flipping through. I love the volunteers. I love that many of them go directly from work to the studio, only grabbing a drive-through meal on the way. They show up in jeans and t-shirts, tired and a little rumpled, but they're ready to be cheerful and answer phones. They're willing to stand awkwardly next to the auction item in the studio to "liven up" an otherwise lifeless image of a garden trellis. Or a crate of jam jars packed in pine shavings.

I love especially the volunteers who read the descriptions of the items being auctioned. I love the people from the city trying to pronounce "Mooselookmeguntic" or some other such name with noble Native roots. I love the people who are transplants, who love Maine so very much, but who have no idea where things are or what might attract someone to a motel in Lincoln in October (think foliage and/or bow, then black powder season).

I love the locals who know to pronounce Dougherty "Dorrity" and Michaud as "Mee-sho." I love the real locals who say Auguster and Wataville and Loyston (Lewiston).

I love that artisans can donate stuff with thousand-dollar price tags and bring in a couple hundred bucks for public broadcasting, but the coupons and certificates to Houle's Plumbing and Pat's Pizza regularly go for their face value. I love also that places from Fort Kent to Kittery and from Owl's Head to Umbagog (pronounced Um-BAY-gog) donate things and they get all get bids.

I don't usually bid on things on the auction. I am too frugal (broke) for many of the items, most of which fall into my definition of luxury or convenience items. I've got a truck to get fixed up before I go bidding on something frivolous, however yummy it sounds. Once I did get a certificate for 18 holes of golf for two, plus cart, from the Bangor Municipal golf course for fifty bucks. I had never played there before, so it was kind of fun. I remember standing on the fairway as a big military plane took off from the nearby international airport. It was so huge and so low in the sky I felt like I could hold up my four iron and scrape its belly as it went over. I watched its shadow, outlined sharply in the very green grass, pass over the rolling fairway and sand traps and then disappear out of sight. It was a moment to feel very small indeed.

I did not work today on that porch. I awoke this morning sore and tired and more sore and more tired. It was cold and damp outside, and warm and snuggly inside, so I stayed. It does not look much better tomorrow weather-wise, but at least I'll have have a day of rest behind me so I can get back to work. Until then, though, I will continue to rest with enthusiasm. I have a pie in the oven and my flannel pajamas on. I shall rest until I must work.

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