Sunday Snippets: Going, Going . . . Gone! 12/08

Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB

You might be warned not to scratch your nose if you go to an auction. The signal for making a bid can be widely varied, very subtle, and often secret: touching the nose, brushing an ear, lifting a hat, winking, glancing in a significant way, nodding, blinking, lighting a cigarette, wiggling the nose, tugging an ear lobe.

Discreet signals will let the auctioneer know that a bid is meant; it can also keep competing bidders in the dark. These silent signals reduce the noise level in the auction house and are often more easily distinguished than an audible bid.

Such signals must be arranged with the auctioneer before the auction begins, and may include different signals for various kinds of bids: a shrug could signal a $50 bid, while tugging a pant leg may mean the bidder is willing to cuff bid up to $60.

And if you have a tendency to be OCD, maybe you shouldn’t go to that auction after all!

(These facts came from the Reader’s Digest Book of Facts.)

See you day‑after‑tomorrow for Tuesday’s Tutor!

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