Highlights of the East Knobville Livestock Auction
I’m imagining a State Fair where well-to-do farmers sell off their prized cattle. But no. This is more like a critter yard sale for welfare trailer trash that want to sell a chicken or two, in order to buy a case of beer. Think of the Manson Family meets Hee-haw, with a bit of Pahrump, Nevada thrown in. It’s a weekly event. The auction is held in a rusty decrepit building….that probably doubles as a pit-bull fighting ring when livestock isn’t being sold. PJ comments that all we need now is a few midgets thrown in, to improve the atmosphere. I concur.
Picture a building full of cousins who married each other. With many, many baseball caps. Lots of red necks (literally). Scary looking men. Biker-wanabees who weren’t classy or educated enough to get accepted by a gang. For women under 30, it’s mandatory to have part of your face pierced. For women over 30, the body weight must exceed 200 lbs, and be covered with polyester. No one with a triple-digit IQ is allowed entry. (We somehow managed to sneak in).
You can buy animals on the spot. Mostly chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, maybe a few doves. Then they’re stuffed into cardboard boxes (which are thrown in as a bonus). (It’s up to you what to do with the critters after that). We’re talking Big Money here. Chickens are selling for up to $3.00. “Exotic” items like ducks go for up to 7.00$. There are lots of rabbits (a cheap source or protein, for those who cant’ afford expensive meat like hot-dogs or bologna). The auctioneer gets to keep 20% commission. So by Geez, a guy could make 5-8 bucks a night, selling some of his junk.
A Big Lummox handles the animals while they are being sold. One of his hands is burnt…all blistered and oozing. Probably from his tractor blowing up. But at least he makes sure it’s not bandaged and it’s kept open to infection. (This is especially important when handling squirming, scratching biting animals).
Some doves get away. Big Lummox chases them around the room. The audience helps. Big Lummox tries to swat the birds to the floor with his good hand. Someone holds up a frantic rooster by the feet and jokes “Who’s got some grease?” Big Lummox tells one of his buddies (Truck Bubba) to come and pick up these hear greasy ducks….By Jeezus, I don’t want to handle them, he says, they stink.
Meanwhile, free-range 2-year old children are running around outside in the parking lot, waiting for Momma to come back out. A chicken gets loose. By reflex, I swat at it and it lands next to me, indignant and clucking. Truck Bubba picks it up and gives it to Big Lummox, who stuffs it in a box. Big Lummox continues to stuff the live animals into the boxes, much like a checkout clerk stuffing groceries bags. Roosters are mixes in with rabbits, rabbits with ducks. It doesn’t matter. It’s all good.
The critters seem to be used to this. Which leads me to suspect that the same animals aren’t ever actually eaten, just bought and re-sold, week after week. Kind of like a Trailer Trash barter system.
Once the animals are all sold, the cages they came in are also up for bid. One of the cages is homemade, held together by baling wire, feces, and rust. The asking price is a buck. What a piece of crap.
PJ buys the cage. (Of course he does).
Wait..the auction isn’t over yet. Now it’s time to start selling off random junk. Again, we’re talking big bucks. 2$….3$…Who will bid me 4$? There’s a two-stroke engine with missing parts. A broken skateboard. A box of assorted plastic letters (that are used for those roadside trailer-signs). A set of four greasy, dusty fans (where the plastic has turned yellow). Everything looks urine-soaked.
Perfesser BH and PJ have bought 5 chickens. We drive home with them stuffed in their cardboard boxes, clucking indignantly all the way home.