In my old age I’ve become somewhat eccentric. I am convinced the condition is born of my experience in life, the accumulated knowledge of what is relevant and what is not, all coupled with the fact that as age progresses priorities are rearranged. I also must insist that my confession of being eccentric is not in any manner a validation of the accusations my children whisper into the ears of my grandchildren.
Being eccentric, a few years ago I got rid of my television. This surprising action came from the realization that just about every program I want to watch on television I can watch online. I can’t watch it on the day it’s available for those of you still affixed to the provincial way of doing things. Sometimes I have to wait a full twenty-four hours after you see the program before I can see it. But I can watch it.
There’s an advantage to this odd way of viewing television programs. If I’m watching the program and fall asleep, something I do more often now, I can just hit refresh when I wake up in the morning and the program’s available again. If I don’t like the program I have two options. I can turn the program off, but unlike normal television viewers, I can also make a comment to the producers about what I thought of their effort. What a world!
My eccentric viewing of television programs also gives me the advantage of seeing programs that are no longer available over the airways. For instance, I surfed around the web recently and found an old Discovery Channel reality program. It’s called “Auction Kings.” What initially attracted my attention was the program centers around an auction house in greater Atlanta. I pass by that auction house often going to and from frequent visits to a couple of grandchildren.
It’s astounding what people bring in to auction. There’s a wide variety, from a stuffed fish to a boat, from a 1890s haunted house Iron Maiden Torture Device to furniture for a dollhouse, from a ship’s telegraph to a jukebox, from a 1947 fire engine to a World War II jeep restored by Richard Petty. It’s amazing.
I was also intrigued at some of the reasons people auction family heirlooms. The owner of the auction house asks the lady why she wants to sell the precious family heirloom her mother left her in the will. “Well,” she says, “I’m going to use the money to take a cruise.” Somehow, I don’t think that’s what her mother had in mind with her bequest.
This program did get me thinking. There’s that old Buddha statue my mother left me. It was given to her by her aunt. There’s that wood plane from my Dad’s workshop. There’s the neck scarf from my old Cub Scout days. They could be worth something.
And then it hit me. I’ve got all these manuscripts of forty years of preaching. I’ve got a few dozen audio tapes of me preaching. And, in fact, I’ve got a few videos of my pulpit talents. So, I thought that maybe I should put them up for auction.
Then I watched another episode of the program. They offered this precious item for bids. Everyone stared at the auctioneer. “Who’ll open the bids for me?” he asked. No one responded. Then I had visions of church members sleeping through sermons.
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