Friday, August 12, 2011

Auction Hunters

Speaking of auctions, I discovered this TV show a couple of weeks ago quite by accident, just flipping around the dial, and now I'm hooked. I came home the other night and found out they were having a marathon showing on Spike TV, with several episodes on one after the other, and I couldn't turn it off!

These two guys, Allen and Ton, bid on abandoned storage lockers and then hopefully sell the contents for a profit.  The auctioneer opens the door to the storage unit and the bidders have only a few seconds to look inside, without touching anything, to try to figure out what is in there and whether any of it is worth any money. For these two, the more dust they can see in the unit, the more they want it. 

The shows I watched the other night included such vintage items as a Ms. Pacman machine, a Thomas Edison gramophone, a 1958 vintage Harley motorcycle and a mini boat that used to be popular in the 80's and 90's before jet skis came along.

The coolest item I saw them find was something called a dice popper.  They used to sit in old saloons and customers would put a nickel in, the machine would pop the five dice and (contrary to Yahztee)the lower the score, the bigger the prize.  The prizes were cigars.  It is speculated that this is where the phrase "close but no cigar" came from, referring to the fact that you might score close to the right number but if it wasn't low enough, you wouldn't win the cigar. 

I found these pictures of a dice popper on

I Googled the show and found a couple of threads discussing whether or not the show is fake as apparently the two "stars" are actually actors, but others suggest that perhaps the auction business is more profitable for them than bit parts on movies and TV shows.  I'm not sure I care either way, it's still an entertaining show to watch and for someone like me who enjoys treasure hunting at auctions, flea markets and antique shows, it's right up my alley!

Did I mention there's another marathon scheduled for this Sunday?

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