Lee Pitts: Faux pas
October 13, 2014
I have decided to class up this little dissertation by using some foreign words. For my cowboy friends a "faux pas" is not a fake father, or the way a southerner refers to a four pawed animal, such as a dog. Faux pas, I am told, is French for "a mistake." And that is what I'd like to talk about: mistakes. And order buyers.
Normally I don't believe in paying someone for something I can do myself. Especially someone who is as sociable as a puffed up bronc on a cold morning. But as much as I hate to say this, order buyers are often necessary which the following four faux pas will illustrate.
BIG Mistake #1
I know this fellow who is so tight when he takes a dollar out of his wallet old George Washington blinks in the sunlight. This guy needed some replacement cows but he didn't want to pay the commission to have an order buyer buy the cows for him. Besides, he thought he could do just as good a job. So he dressed up like a cattle buyer, with a diamond ring, his best monogrammed shirt and boots so fine you could see the wrinkles in his socks. Once at the sale he went right down to the very front row where no one was sitting so he could get a real good look at the cows as they came in the ring. The problem was the cows had been on some very green feed and before too long this guy I know was upholstered in recycled hay. If his mouth hadn't been open he would have got it all over his face too. Meanwhile, the regular buyers who knew better than to sit down front were laughing themselves to death. The only thing that I could do was wait and hope there would be a phone call for me like the order buyers get so that I could get up and leave with dignity.
BIG Mistake #2
A friend of mine who is about as good a cattle breeder as you'd ever want to meet went to an all-breeds bull sale for the purpose of buying a high performing Charolais bull. It was a brisk pace and instead of the 1,800 pound Charolais bull he wanted, he actually got an 850 pound Piedmontese/Holstein cross bull. And I think that bull still holds the record price for that particular breed combination.
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BIG Mistake #3
I worked a horse sale once where a city slicker father brought his whole family to the sale to buy a gentle horse for his children. He sat up real high in the bleachers so he could see all that went on. I don't know if he was just scratching his nose or he meant to buy the rankest horse in the entire offering. After the auction I found him out back, but before I could warn him, he was crawling on the back of that no good cayuse to show his kids what a cowboy he was. I swear, that horse bucked so hard and threw him in the air so high that he had time to say his prayers… and it wouldn't have been a long distance call either. Almost as an afterthought, the bronc planted that novice so deep in the ground I thought he might take root.
BIG Mistake #4
I got a phone call the night before our county fair auction from an order buyer friend of mine to buy a pig for him the next day at the junior sale. "Money is no object," he said, because the kid was the daughter of his best customer. "Can you handle it?" he asked me, as if buying a pig was all that hard. I mean, how hard could it be?
Now I ask you, what are the odds of two girls both having the same name and both having pigs in the sale? How was I supposed to know? By the way, does anybody need some high priced pork for their freezer?
Which brings up the real reason we need order buyers: so we'll have somebody to blame things on if something doesn't go exactly right.