Auction sale

Last weekend was a fun weekend for me.

We had a slight break in the cold winter weather and I was able to do something that I often wanted to do, but never ever seemed to be able to find the time.

What I’m talking about is the annual spring Auction Sale of the Canadian Ornamental Pheasant and Game Bird Association that was being held at the Paris Fairgrounds.

Quite a few members of the Saugeen Valley Fur and Feather Fanciers Association were heading in that direction, so we carpooled with another driver in the dark of the early morning at Durham and headed south with the verbal directions repeatedly given by “Gypsy.”

Just in case you are not familiar with Gypsy, she is the feminine voice, which I so tagged, that keeps telling you where to go on that GPS gizmo that gives you satellite directions from somewhere up there in the heavens of outer space.

Well, let me tell you, Gypsy can’t tell you which roads are closed and which are not, and is intent at all times in giving you the shortest route.

So if you shoot past a road that is closed, she will begin jabbering that you must turn immediately around or she will lead you down an alternate shortcut that is nothing more than a proposed road which is, up to this time, nothing more than what is colloquially known as a goat path.

As Gypsy was borrowed from another vehicle, and I was riding in the jump seat of the vehicle chosen, she ended up perched on my lap. It is quite fortunate that Gypsy was not equipped with an ear to slap, as I was losing my cool as she continually jabbered wrong directions. I ended up by not paying attention, and she quietly slipped to the floor.

That, too, was a wrong move on my part, as apparently on the way to the floor, she bumped against something and fate saw fit to automatically reprogram her to give us directions to someplace just north of Toronto.

By this time, we were south of Highway 401, and she repeatedly tried to direct us back to the 401 and demanded that we head east towards Toronto. But we eventually refused to listen to her and decided to get guidance the old-fashioned way. We stopped and asked directions from a dog that was dragging a pedestrian along for a walk. As it happened, we were on the right road and a little further along were greeted by a sea of cars in the appropriate parking lot.

Let me tell you, folks, the sale was an education in itself. It was well organized with triple-tiered rows of wire-fronted cardboard boxes, lined up on tables, in which the birds were displayed. Never before have I seen as many different species of game birds, poultry, peacocks, pheasants, doves, ducks, geese, swans, quail, and cage birds.  The boxes numbered in the high hundreds.

The auctioneer’s escalating chatter started at 8:30am, and his singsong prattle was still echoing strongly from the widespread speakers, with a couple of hundred boxes still to go, when we left at 1pm.

If you need a bird to pair up with any that you already have, believe me, folks, that is the place to go. It was certainly a fun and educational day for me.

Take care, ’cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins