Brennan's school had a fundraiser yesterday. From noon til five was a country festival that included hay rides, livestock, and handicrafts. A silent auction began at six followed by a dinner and a live auction. (Actually, they called it an “oral auction” but that sounds too much like a bit on the Howard Stern show.)

Given that the people behind the event were the rich people in the community, we didn't go to bid on anything. As it turned out, there were some things at the silent auction on which we could actually bid and we even won a massage. But the real fun was at the live auction.

(Dodge's Law of Auctions: Liquor leads to largesse.)

The fifth and sixth grade classes made items for the auction. One class made a Renoir painting by each student painting a tile with one section of the painting and then assembling them into the whole. Another class decorated a bird bath with a mosaic consisting of half-inch tiles.

I'm so highly introverted that events with 250 people, most of whom I don't know, aren't my cup of tea. As often happens, we ended up doing more helping than socializing. Our main task was organizing the sold items for later pick-up. This involved quite a bit of carrying (one of my strengths) and organizing (one of Christi's strengths).

The silent auction was held on the first floor and the dinner and live auction were held on the second floor. The items for the live auction were, accordingly, on the second floor. While quite convenient for the auction, it made pick-up more difficult and, once the band started playing, their location on the dance floor put them in some peril.

As part of my Ministry of Heavy Lifting, I volunteered to fetch them. Given the budgets that most teachers have, I thought that the bird bath would be the inexpensive resin kind. I thought wrong. Our enterprising artistes must have been concerned about stability because they opted for the solid concrete variety.

That son-of-a-bitch was heavy. Like most bird baths, the basin is separate from the pedestal. The basin was somewhat heavy but was more awkward than anything. As I prepared to lift the pedestal, I tipped it to one side to get a grip under the base. Hmmm, I thought, that didn't tip as easy as I figured. But it wasn't until I actually lifted the thing that I realized exactly how heavy it was.

Luckily I'd prepared my path through the tables, down the stairs, and to the pick-up area. By the time I got to the stairs I already looked like a contesting in The World's Strongest Man.

As we were leaving later, I asked Christi, “Has anyone picked up the bird bath yet?” She says, “No.” I replied, “Then they're not getting it tonight.” “Why?” she asks. “Because I'm going home,” I answer.

You see I quite literally train for this sort of thing. I do quite a bit of strength training and I'm still feeling it today. My left arm supported the base of the pedestal and my left bicep and wrist are still sore. I honestly doubt most people could lift the dang thing.

But whoever bought it won't have to worry about it falling over.


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