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Tuesday, 25 March
Caution! Auction! (That's An Anagram, Son!)

This was the weekend of a monumental annual event! The child care center that the wife works at--and has for some time--held its annual fundraising evening, with several silent auctions, a raffle, and one live auction, complete with actual auctioneer. It's a massive affair, and almost all the parents show up (not to mention the large number of them who help set the thing up), and it's very important.

Naturally, over the past six or so years, I've never attended a single one. Until this year! This year, I felt I had to attend, mainly because the wife asked me to. "Some parents are starting to joke, I think, that you don't really exist," she explained.

Well, I won't stand still for accusations of nonexistence, as many state jurisdictions have come to learn. Fucking Utah. I may have done my bit for obstruction, but those fuckers damn well know I'm no bigamist. Also, that I exist. Sneaky Mormon DA. Don't get me started. (Future Skot: I just reread this paragraph, and I'm not going to delete it, even though it's a weird joke that doesn't work and doesn't make much sense. I just wanted to put that out there. Just move along.)

Anyway, so the thing was a big rubber chicken dinner affair for those stuck for the long haul; I was only expected to show up for the cocktail hour, which, you know, I'm always grudgingly up for. Also, even for Very Important Spouses of the staff, non-employees wanting catered dinners were charged $40, so fuck that. I traded in a drink ticket--because apparently, nonprofit fundraisers are run exactly like Bingo Blackout Bonanza down at the Elk's Club--for an IPA and perused the hundreds and hundreds of items up for glomming on the silent auction tables. They ranged from the sublime (6 weeks of intensive language lessons) to the ridiculous (Zune--my friend J. excitedly asked, "Was it a brown Zune?!") to the simply confusing ("Paint your own plates set!").

(Seriously, though. Paint my own plates? Who wants to do this? To what purpose? You're just going to get food all over them and then have to wash them to enjoy their pristine, painted state again, so what's the net here? You might as well auction off a piece of paper saying "Make your own bed!" There's crafts where you do things for fun and you wind up with pretty or interesting or useful things, like say knitting, and there's crafts that are simply crafts for crafts' sake, things you do to help ignore the vast existential angst that would otherwise consume your mind, like painting plates. It might have been the most depressing thing out there, except maybe for the case full of fortune cookies and the fortunes all said "You should go to the dentist.")

The live auction stuff was more interesting to read about--again, I went home long before that shit started. One family offered their coastal Spanish villa for a week to the highest bidder; all you had to do was get to Spain. The wife reports that that little dilly went for around $2500. A tidy sum! No report as to what the hopefully brown Zune went for. I assume: one hundred million dollars. It was 8 gigs! You can almost fit a Built To Spill song on there.)

So while I was there, I mostly prowled around the place trying not to look like too much of a shambling fuck. I wore some natty jeans--NATTY!--along with a velvet jacket that I got at a Huggy Bear Tribute Sale down in the hobo district a couple years ago. I was gladhanded by any number of nice people, most of them women, for some reason. The dads might have all been getting crocked in preparation for some very male bidding wars and the attendant cock-waving at all. At any rate, I've never been good with names anyway, and I was soon lost among the dozens of hi-howareya-nicetameetchas and what Tom Wolfe indelibly described as "boiling teeth."

I met other people too, who were not Lemon Tarts or Social X-Rays, and whose teeth did not boil. One of those was the auctioneer. The wife introduced me to him, and he exclaimed, "Of course! I remember you from last year!"

"I thought you looked familiar!" I exclaimed. As I mentioned before, I've never gone to one of these events. There's no point in even trying to set this sort of thing right.

"He's high, right?" I whispered to the wife after he wandered off.

"I think so," she replied.

And I met someone else. I met a man . . . I wondered if I should even use his name here, because when you write a blog that is read by tens of people, you should be a little careful, you know? But then I realized that if that certain somebody has his own Wikipedia page, his personal info is already kind of out there, so what's the point? And so I can reveal this.

It TURNS OUT . . . that one of the wife's co-workers is dating a certain Mr. Garrett Wang, aka Ensign Harry Kim from the TV series "Star Trek: Voyager," possibly the least-loved entrant in the Star Trek franchise, although I have to say I'd watch it over "Enterprise," but I may have Scott Bakula issues after realizing partway through the run of "Quantum Leap" that that show was, in fact, insultingly horrible.

Anyway, as much as I wanted to give him the whole "DUDE YOU ARE HARRY KIM" business, I didn't have the heart; I just didn't want to be that guy. He seemed like a perfectly nice fellow, and I figured he had a long three hours or so of half-drunk dads strolling up to him asking if he ever got to fuck Jeri Ryan, so he didn't need any shit from me.

Besides, what could I say? How would he respond?

"DUDE YOU ARE HARRY KIM."
"Sigh. Yeah. But I never got to fuck Seven of Nine."

"So, Kate Mulgrew."
"STOP. Ugh. Let's go get some more beer."

"Let's free-associate. Tell me how you feel when I say 'CHAK-O-TAY!' "
"I . . . it was nice to meet you, but I have to go bid on a brown Zune."

I think we could have been close. I really do. Or he might have been high.


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Comments

"...and there's crafts that are simply crafts for crafts' sake, things you do to help ignore the vast existential angst that would otherwise consume your mind..."

This, here, is exactly why I do 99% of the things that I do. I read 3x as much when I'm depressed and consumed by the angst, because it is nice and mind-numbing. At least, the shit that I read is mind-numbing.

Comment number: 016989   Posted by: superblondgirl on March 27, 2008 07:26 AM from IP: 12.148.18.152

Will this explains why an actor of Mr. Wang's caliber hasn't been seen in anything since, um, Voyager went off the air.

Comment number: 017030   Posted by: Topher on March 31, 2008 09:30 AM from IP: 76.170.3.62

'Social X-Rays'. I use that phrase and get blank stares...my black heart always grows a little more ashy around the edges after reading your blog.
xoSMJ

Comment number: 017056   Posted by: SaltyMissJill on April 1, 2008 07:53 AM from IP: 69.202.93.232

I was out with friends recently when one of them saw Tim Gunn (Project Runway guy, formerly from Parsons), and fretted endlessly about going over to say hello.

It all worked out, and he (it was reported) was remarkably friendly.

That being said, a guy who is/was on a Sci-Fi show, especially of a trek-ish variety is probably sick to the core of his being of being approached, especially in character name form, as opposed to actual human name as method.

Well played skot. Well played.

Comment number: 017231   Posted by: pantaloonfan on April 7, 2008 12:52 PM from IP: 208.133.250.7

"Now who in the hell wants to eat off a plate with the state of Idaho staring at you in the face? Now every time you take a bite you to see a little bit more..."

Comment number: 017244   Posted by: Sam Shepard on April 13, 2008 10:29 AM from IP: 63.249.22.103

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