Monday, May 22, 2006

Two Time Loser

Well crap! A few days ago I was all giddy about the prospect of crossing three more Packers football cards off of my list, and now I’m moping around the house, still completely stunned at the way things went down.

All three auctions were scheduled to end Sunday afternoon, so I left my mom’s birthday celebration early and rushed home, telling my wife to weave between traffic...time was too short to be waiting for these suckers driving the speed limit. Before the car was in park in the garage, I had zoomed inside and logged into eBay to check the first auction. It had 15 minutes to go and it was still only at $2.25. Whew. Plenty of time. And because I was ready to bid $28, I knew that was enough for a Javon Walker card, even if it was limited to only 10.

With 10 seconds left, I typed in my bid, clicked the button, leaned back, mentally crossing the card off my list. But wait. That doesn’t say congratulations. That says…what does it say? The experience was so new, so unexpected that it took me valuable heartbeats to figure out that I hadn’t won the auction. Instead, the screen was telling me that I was outbid. And those precious moments I spent trying to decipher the meaning behind the words may have cost me the card. I tried to up my bid, but it was too late. The auction had expired. I hadn’t given myself enough time to re-bid.

I couldn’t believe what just happened. I sat there in shock for several minutes, speechless, still not comprehending what went wrong. I actually just lost an auction. Amazing.

These cards come along too rarely to let another slip through my fingers, so I vowed then and there that I would never lose another one. And I would get my first test in only 16 minutes, this time with a much more valuable Brett Favre jersey card.

Despite my previous loss only happening moments before, I saw myself letting the seconds remaining tick down to 20. What was I doing? I have to bid quicker in case I was outbid. How could I forget that valuable lesson? So typed in my bid as fast as I could, and this time I was rewarded with the congratulations notice. But wait. What have I done? There’s still one second left. Oh shit. I clicked refresh and saw my life flash before my eyes as the blood red text appeared: You have been outbid! That’s bullshit. You mean to tell me in that one second, some asshole swooped in and won my card? That bastard!

I moved around the house in a daze for the next two hours, unable to comprehend pretty much anything. I was just so damn confused.

“I think I just lost an auction,” I said to Stephanie. “Two actually.”

“That sucks,” she said with no more emotion then she would’ve shown had I said we were out of twist ties.

Didn’t she hear me? I said I had lost not one auction, but two. Armageddon was upon us, didn’t she recognize that?

Lucky for me I still had one more auction to attend to. In my mind, I was guaranteed a win. And how do you guarantee a win? You bid more than the card is worth. And bid I did.

And I won. I won a Nick Collins card for $38. “Who’s Nick Collins?” Good question. Perhaps an even better one would be, “Why did you just spend $38 on one of his cards?”

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