Have you ever been auctioned? Yes, you. I have. Now, you’ll have to bear with me, whether due to the erosion of time, or the deep repression of my memory, the details are a little hazy.
It must have been at least a year or more ago, when I was convinced by a good friend that placing myself up for auction, all be it for a charity, would be a good idea. Admittedly, to begin with, I found myself rather reluctant, but I slowly began to warm to the idea, after all what was the worst that could happened? It could even turn out to be fun!
The auction itself was ideally placed around valentine’s day, or so I believe it was. The premise was a modest one, each volunteer (male or female) was to be sold for a date, with a voucher for a resturant of the prospective couple’s choosing. As previously mentioned it was undertaken in the name of a good caused, although that cause escapes me now. It was run by a group of friendly and charming girls, perhaps aiding in my final decision to take part. The venue was to be the Student’s Union on what promised to be a busy night. The stage was set. Butterflies had all but set in.
As the evening in question drew closer, me and a few of the guys that had also agreed to take part headed to the Union before hand, for a little dutch courage and a game of pool. I remember an overwhelming sense of trepidation sweeping over me as the beginning of the auction was announced. To my great dismay it was I whom was named to go first.
What lay before me could only be described as bleak. Unfortunately due to the starting time the Union was far from packed and the abundance of guys in attendance, littered with a sprinkling of girls, didn’t entirely fill me with confidence. As it so happened, things were only going to get worse.
It was expected that each volunteer would introduced themselves and provide the audience with one interesting fact about themselves. Nerves overcame me, being a naturally shy guy as it is, I coughed, spluttered and mumbled my name, which was followed by a barely audible fact. Not for the first time that evening, I was to be rescued. One of the girls hosting the event thankfully took the microphone from me and repeated what I had attempted to say.
“Let’s open the bidding at £5” she then gleefully stated. Silence … nothing but abject silence except, ofcourse, for the proverbial tumbleweed dutifully making its way from one side of the room to the other. There I was standing in front of a smallish crowd partly laughing, partly crying unsure what to do. This continued for some time, the deafening silence punctuated only by the hosts desperatley trying to rally some bids … one bid … anything. Their efforts it seemed were all in vain, until after what seemed like an eternity had passed, one man on a table not too far from me slowly raised his hand, pledging his £5. My saviour! (He later explained he had no interest in a date, but felt someone had to put an end to my ordeal.)
I sprung free from my shackles, as if I had been freed from a prison, quickly scurrying back to the saftey of my friends. Laughing the entire way, I was to be met with cheers and high fives. Yes it was pretty horrendous, but all the while it was a pretty unique experience and a hilarious one at that. The girls later approached me, offering their thanks and reasons as to why it didn’t go so well; the size of the crowd, it was early in the night etc. Reasons I gratefully lapped up.
If I could do it again I would. It’s important to put yourself out there, give these things a try and laugh them off, after all, what’s the worst that could happen? Right?