Pee Wee’s Auction Adventure

No, not THIS Pee Wee. Image from here. 

Once upon a time, about 23 years ago, and I really and truly am not making this story up, I was a newlywed. OK, I know that’s not that hard to believe. But hang on: it may take a while to get to the unbelievable part, but I promise, we’ll get there. Patient yourselves, as they say in French.

So, anyway, the Big Bison and I married for love. It was love back then, and it’s still love 23 years later. What I’m trying to say tactfully, is that neither one of us was exactly well off. We furnished our first apartment, our little love nest in the tree tops, with a whole lot of used, and frankly, ugly furniture that other people didn’t want anymore because it WAS so ugly. We were OK with that. We were living on love. What did we care???

But, after our wedding, we decided we wanted to begin feathering our nest a little bit, and our friends had told us of a cool little place down in a small town in Tennessee that held auctions every Saturday night. And apparently, this place offered Spiegel catalog overstock items. And lots of interior designers in town would frequent this auction in order to snag  some great little items for their clients. Well,  this sounded like something that was well worth investigating to us, so one Saturday night, just for kicks, we drove down there to see what the fuss was about. And sure enough, amidst the junk and the clutter, they occasionally offered some pretty nice stuff, Watching the bidding alone could be more exciting than a football game. We were hooked, and for a while, we began driving down there fairly often on Saturday nights, just for the sport of it. We got to know the personalities of the auctioneers, and their helpers (the guys who carried out the stuff that people were to bid on).

Which leads me to the crux of this story. There was one helper named Pee Wee. No, it wasn’t Paul Rubens. Nor did OUR Pee Wee look anything like his more famous namesake. Tennessee’s Pee Wee came by his name honestly. He surely must have been the runt of the litter in his family. Short, wiry, perpetually sporting a baseball cap and a big cheesy moustache, he was quick on his feet, and quick with a grin, which proudly displayed at least 4 or 5 teeth. Pee Wee was a character. We were kind of fond of Pee Wee, although he never knew us. He made the drive worth taking, as he cheerfully carried out item after item for the auctioneer to conduct bidding on.

One night, Pee Wee and his fellow helper brought out an extremely singular item for our bidding pleasure. (This is the part where the story gets unbelievable. I told you it was coming.) We heard a murmur going up from the front of the room, that grew to a dull roar,  as Pee Wee and his coworker brought out a HUGE boa constrictor, that it took both of them to carry.

Pee Wee’s boa was bigger, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. Picture from here.

 The snake was big and fat, and my dear husband says that he was at least 8 feet in length, but I maintain that he was definitely 12 feet long. It took TWO GUYS to carry him, for crying out loud. And the plan was to auction off this creature! I was shocked, horrified, and mesmirized all at the same time. I could not tear my eyes away: there was Pee Wee, little Pee Wee, grinning like a toothless Chessie cat, with that HUGE REPTILE in his arms. And that’s when the unthinkable happened. (Now, what follows was a sight gag. You really almost had to be there, and I’m desperately sorry that I don’t have a REAL picture to show you, but you’re just going to have to try to picture it in your own mind, and let your imagination see what I saw with me own eyes that night.)

Now, where was I? Oh, yes. The unthinkable happened: Pee Wee lifted his arms over his head, the better to display SnakieBoy to the incredulous crowd. And as he raised his arms up in the air, hoisting the snake aloft, a gap appeared between the bottom of his t-shirt and his belt buckle. And his hairy belly showed. And there, displayed for all to see, underneath his navel, was a large tattoo of an arrow (a “This End Up” kind of arrow),  pointing down.

And that, kids, is the story of PeeWee’s snake.

I ask you: could I make this stuff up???

P.S. Could you “see” it? Or did you just have to be there?


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