The McBride Library is trying to raise money to buy a new building. Last night, they had a fund raiser. They put on a spaghetti supper and something they called a “Loonie” Auction. For those that don’t know, a “Loonie” is the name given to the Canadian dollar, which is a coin with a loon on it. I, and most everyone I knew, was pretty confused about what a Loonie auction was, but since it was for the library and there was also spaghetti, we all went.
Naomi, our librarian, trying to drum up support for the event, told us after our Tuesday Night Jam session, that it would be a chance to get some really nice items for only a loonie. She rattled off a list of items to be auctioned: a romantic weekend at a local resort, some appliances, bedding plants, etc. We were all pretty unenthusiastic about the list, until she said, “and a truckload of gravel”, then we all perked up. It seemed that all of us rural inhabitants were interested in a load of gravel.
Before we sat down to the spaghetti, we got to look over the items for the auction. I noticed there were some other things that I wouldn’t mind having. There was a power washer, and some really nice hanging baskets. It seems that everyone was still confused as to how the loonie auction was supposed to work.
Once we were all stuffed to the hilt with spaghetti, salads, rolls, and desserts, the “auctioneer” once again explained how the loonie auction worked. I then realized it probably could be better described as a series of lotteries, rather than an auction.
It item was shown, then, if you were interested getting the item, you could buy numbered poker chips for a loonie each. You could buy as many you wanted. When everyone had all the chips they wanted, the chips were put into a container, which was shaken up, and a chip was drawn. If it was one that you bought, you got the item.
I bought chips for the bedding plants, the power washer, some hanging baskets, but sadly, my numbers never seemed to come up. I kept buying the chips, but never seemed to win. I missed out on the power washer, and the bedding plants. Actually, it seemed that no one on our table won, while people at other tables seemed to be winning all the time.
Eventually, our friend Di, who was sitting at our table, bought two chips on a combination prize of a patio table, big flower container, and a hanging basket of flowers, and surprisingly, she won. I figured that the luck at our table had finally turned, so I started buying chips on other items with renewed optimism, but what I was really saving my loonies for was that big truckload of gravel.
The loonie auction process was fun to watch as various people won things, but it took a long time, with so many different items to auction. People were winning, gathering up their prizes, and as the evening turned into night, people began to leave. I figured that this would just increase my odds at winning the gravel, if it would ever come up.
Eventually, about 10:45, way past my bedtime, the last item came up for bid. It was the load of gravel. I bravely put down 10 loonies for chips, and crossed my fingers. Sadly, that load of gravel was not destine for my driveway, so Joan and I, with a bit of disappointment in our hearts for going home empty handed headed out into the dark starry night to our truck to drive home.
It wasn’t that we arrived home with an empty truck. Di’s table, planter, and hanging basket, were too big for her to take home, so we hauled it back for her in the back of our pick-up.
I had heard once that the worst thing that could happen to you, was to win when you first gambled, because that would set you up for future of misery. Fortunately, I didn’t win that first time, when I put a quarter into a slot machine in Los Vegas, or it seems anytime since, when I have put down money for a chance to win something. I guess I am lucky that way. Looks like for me, the only way to get gravel for my driveway is to buy it.
To view my paintings, go to www.davidmarchant.ca
he way to get a load of gravel, is just to buy it.