Farrah had her eye on this smallish framed print since she had first pulled over to check out the yard sale.
It was just sitting there on a card table in the house’s front yard. She noticed it when she passed by the piece while doing her preliminary scan of the goods available, and she decided to circle back around and see what they were asking for it.
She looked it over again. She definitely wanted to buy it; she found a price tag affixed to the piece’s bottom right-hand corner.
“Interested in the print? That’s a nice piece, isn’t it?” said a friendly-looking older man from the other side of the table.
“Yes, it’s nice. Question: What does ‘OWO’ mean?” Farrah pointed out the tag to the man, as if he hadn’t put it on there himself.
“Oh, that. O-W-O: ‘Or Worst Offer’. If you’re interested in the print, make me a bad offer.”
Farrah was thrown, but quickly got back on her bargain-hunting game. “Uh, um…OK. One dollar?”
“Hmm…that’s bad…but probably not the worst I could get.”
“Well, OK then–I’ll pay the five dollars.”
“Eh–I’d like to see what other offers I can get first. Pardon me, it looks like I have some waiting.” The man motioned for Farrah to step aside with one hand and did the “come on down” wave with the other. She turned around and saw two men queued up behind her ready to make their offers. She decided to stay within earshot to see how this played out (and also so she could jump back in with a worse offer should the opportunity present itself).
The first of the two men stepped up. “I’ll give you two acorns for it.” He tossed them onto the card table.
The friendly-looking man picked up the acorns, pulled a jeweler’s loupe out of the pocket of his cardigan, and inspected them both carefully.
“Well, sir…this is a bad offer, but I’m afraid it’s not bad enough. If you’re going to give me two acorns, you could have given me one that was broken open and rotted on the inside, or at least cracked on the outside. These both appear to be flawless. I’m sorry–I can’t accept them.” He handed the acorns back to the man, who pocketed them and sullenly walked away.
The third man quickly approached, said “I got your offer right here”, then hauled off and sucker punched the friendly older man in the gut.
The man fell backwards into his lawn chair as the jeweler’s loupe flew out of his eye socket, crashing to the driveway a few feet away. He looked up at his assailant while holding his side and wheezing, then cracked a slight smile and coughed out “Sold! Well played, my good man!”
The puncher picked up his purchase, nodded to the old man in thanks, and quickly left.
Farrah’s first instinct was to jump back in with an even worse offer before the puncher got away with the print…but what was that going to be, exactly? What was she going to do, crack the guy over the head with his brass coat hanger he had for sale?
She sighed and headed back to her car, empty-handed. She knew when she’d been bested.