The Toads Come Home from Wags to Witches
The Boss gets nervous whenever the Humane Society has a fundraiser. It's not that he doesn't enjoy the party; it's that he worries about his wallet, as I have a tendency to get carried away with silent auctions. The Humane Society's Wags to Witches Fur Ball Bash was no exception. I'm a mad competitor and often keep the bidding going simply because I like to win.
My habit started when I worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters and we threw our annual Bowl For Kids' Sake. The silent auction featured a signed Titans football and a signed Predators hockey stick. The ball got tons of bids, but the stick was stuck at $0. I figured I'd get the ball rolling and bid $75. Guess who won?
The Boss was beside himself. And those things are huge — where would we stick the stick? Of course, I knew where The Boss would have loved to stick it, but I never turned my back on him for weeks afterward. He finally decided to hang it in his office as a conversation piece about what a nut job his wife is.
My auction madness didn't stop with the stick. Next was a Humane Society online auction for a variety of pet items. As I browsed, I spotted a beautiful frame with a painting of a dog. It had zero bids. The fact that no one bid probably had something to do with the dog, an Airedale wearing a British military red coat. You've seen that type of painting, like the dogs playing poker.
I always feel sorry for an underdog, whether it's a homely dog needing a home or the hard-luck Cubs who've been struggling for a century to win a World Series. So, I made a $50 bid because I felt sorry for it. Yes, I felt sorry for a painting. Lucky me won the prize and brought home the Brit. I hung it in a hallway on the way to a bathroom, where it was out of view, but The Boss couldn't stand it. It was a constant reminder of my insanity and his dwindling dollars.
I joked with Amy Shaver, a Humane Society board member, that we should have a fundraiser with it. I'd pay someone to take it and hang it in their house, then they'd have to pay someone to take it off their hands, and it could make money in perpetuity. I got no takers and eventually donated it to a Cats Are Us yard sale. I often wonder if the poor pooch found a good home.
I lost my next foray into the auction world, which was an exciting bidding war. The painting was truly great, created by local artist who donated it to the Humane Society for a fundraiser at the Ice House Cafe. It was a take on the Beatles' Abbey Road album. The Fab Four were crossing the street, and each had a little dog trotting along at their feet. The Boss doesn't know how high I bid on that one, but let's just say it's a good thing I lost, or I'd have been served with divorce papers citing me for mental cruelty.
When I bid on my latest treasure Saturday at the Wags to Witches dance, I didn't fear getting the boot, just the usual tongue-lashing. The print is titled "The Trophy Room" and shows two toads — one sitting on a chair looking out a window and one lying on a sofa — inside a cozy cabin. On the wall are mounted heads and wings of insects they scored.
You might wonder why I'd want such a picture. Well, I don't like modern hunting, because it's a "sport," not a necessity. I don't care if hunters eat what they kill, and I understand the deer overpopulation problem, but the fact is hunters hunt because they get a thrill from the kill, and I am turned off by those who derive pleasure from killing of any kind. A real sport is a fair contest between players who choose to play. Heck, hunters don't even use the word "kill," instead choosing sporty words like "bag" or "took" or "tagged." Have the guts to call a spade a spade.
To me, the toads illustrate the absurdity of trophy heads on a wall, so I hung the picture as a statement. Some day you may come across my trophy statement at an animal-rescue group yard sale, where you can win it for a far cheaper price than I did and pass along the story. It's all for a good cause. For me, the added bonus is getting a rise out of The Boss, one of my favorite sports, a sport that is fair and, so far, bloodless.
posted by Sandy at 10/24/2007 11:04:00 AM