I’ve been doing this blog about 9 months now, and so far I haven’t had anyone materialize as an arch- nemesis. The Lost Collector and Dimwit beat me so regularly at Words W/ Friends that they could have been good candidates, but they are nice guys, and I don’t have any motivation to destroy them. I need a good, solid enemy. There is a “lady” that lives down our block who gave my son candy from her “cheap candy” dish on Halloween a few years ago which really pissed me off. I saw the good candy dish on the table behind her with Reese’s and Kit Kats. She made my boy choose from the dish with little tootsie rolls and sweet tarts and caramel squares. I sneer at her house every day, but she’s not really a satisfying enemy. I need a nemesis in the card collecting world. A yin to my yang. A Jabba the Hutt to my Han Solo. A Redskin to my Cowboy. A night to my day. A Hatfield to my McCoy. A chicken to my Peter Griffin. A Joker to my Batman.
That enemy arrived Tuesday night, and announced himself to the world at Cleve’s auction. Before we get into that, let me show you what I won.
My first 1952 Topps cards. I’ve decided to construct a sampler album from every year Topps has put out cards, and will only be able to afford the cheapies from the early years. These were $3 each.
This was only $3 also, which was a no brainer for an auto/relic from 2011 Triple Threads.
Finally, these two relic cards were $2 each. The Kemp was a great value, considering his budding super stardom, and the Beltre will be a nice addition to my Rangers album, even though he’s in a Red Sox uniform. Overall, a pretty solid B for the auction.
Now let me tell you about what I DIDN’T win. I went into the auction with three cards on my wish list: Autographed relics of Elvis Andrus and Craig Gentry from 2011 Triple Threads (gorgeous cards), and a very cool Derek Holland auto with a little USA flag patch from Upper Deck Black. These were all beautiful cards that I really wanted and needed.
The Holland came up for bid first. Bids at Cleve’s usually go quickly. There is no dramatic pause between bids like on Storage Wars (great show by the way). The bidding started at $2, and I offered $3. Someone else said $4 and I said $5. No one else said anything, and Cleve started to write my name on the bidding sheet as the winner. I was so stoked. Holland may never amount to much, but then again he may, and this card was a work of art.
Then out of nowhere I hear, “Oh, wait no, $6.” I glanced around to get a look at who was killing my buzz. He was two rows behind me: young guy, late twenties, glasses, spiky hair. Well, I was not going to be pushed around. “$7” I said, with a gravitas that should have made this guy understand who he was up against. “$8” he replied without missing a beat. “$9” I said. Some of the children in the room huddled against their fathers at the pure intimidation in my voice.
“$10,” he said, not even looking at me. There was a deafening silence in the room. Well, I didn’t want to let this character beat me. I prepared to keep going, and then remembered there still were the Triple Threads cards of Andrus and Gentry on the docket. I also wondered how I would explain to the lovely wife if my purchases got out of control. I said nothing, and gave a dismissive wave of my hand to let everyone know I couldn’t care less about that card. He could have it. Whatever.
Soon after came the Andrus card. $6 was my opening bid. Immediately, $7 was counter-bid by the same guy behind me. This time, I whipped my head around and made sure he could see the fury in my eyes as I bid $8. Did he stop? Nope, he upped the bid to $9. I got a better look at him too. He definitely is one of those people you can tell has an evil soul and probably tortures puppies. There was a certain menace to him. I said “$10” and he said “$11.” I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I had to pass again.
Next was the Gentry card. Surely, this guy had blown his wad on the Holland and Andrus cards, and would lay off and let me get the Gentry. Nope. He bid it up against me all the way up to $10 again, forcing me to pass again. I was now 0-3 on the main cards I really wanted.
When the auction was over, I turned to face my tormentor, and get a good look at him. This time, I noticed he was sitting in a large leather chair, wearing all black, and stroking a white cat. He looked at me and began to laugh, a slow, evil laugh. I started toward him, ready to punch him in the face, or perhaps break a finger. He opened his jacket to reveal his gun and slowly shook his head.
I backed away, paid Cleve for my winnings, and headed home. I fumed all night. The Rangers losing didn’t help any. I couldn’t sleep. Was my new enemy out there, plotting his schemes for the next auction? Or was he watching my every move right then, perhaps through a scope on a sniper rifle? I dusted off my Chinese throwing stars in case I needed them.
We’ll meet again, arch-nemesis. We’ll meet again.