If you’re new to the world of e-auctions, don’t be intimidated. Buying and selling online couldn’t be simpler or more fun! The groundwork for our exclusive system of “distributed pain”™ was laid by the economist Lionel Furt in his work at the University of Gstaad, and field-tested by the Chinese during the Korean War. Just remember these few simple rules:


  • The minimum amount of your maximum bid may be no greater than half the opening price requested by the seller, or 75 percent if the declared value of the item is greater than $999. This applies to every kind of auction except the “Flemish Roundelay.”


  • In the case of the “Flemish Roundelay,” all bid amounts will be halved and the identities of the bidders broadcast on an unused sub-frequency of Radio Havana. Bidders will then have between 16 and 24 hours, depending on local ordinances, to resubmit their bids. At the close of bidding a festa will be declared. The children of the village will sing and dance. Gradually spring will turn to summer and then to fall. Lydia will wait by the kitchen window. Gomez will not return. 


  • No auction will be declared a “Flemish Roundelay” until 24 hours after its completion, unless the time of completion falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or April 25 (Gallipoli Day). In such a case, the declaration of the “Flemish Roundelay” may be delayed up to 48 hours, or canceled entirely if the weather is bad at the airport.


  • A “Flemish Roundelay” may, with no prior notice, be declared a “King’s Mazurka.” In the “King’s Mazurka,” all bid amounts immediately revert to zero, and the bidder with the fewest fillings is declared the winner, points to be awarded on a sliding scale: silver, amalgam, gold. In such a case, the simple mnemonic “SAG” may be committed to memory, but must be forgotten at the close of bidding.


  • The following variations on the “Flemish Roundelay” may also be declared with no prior notice: the “Winnipeg Twirl,” the “Philadelphia Fandango,” the “Boston Rag,” the “Tijuana Taxi,” the “Denver Omelet,” the “Maximum Bob,” the “Geezer’s Revenge,” and the “Chrysler Pavilion.”


See? That’s all there is to it! Happy bidding, and see you in hell!