Staying in Totem felt both homey and odd as normally I stay there because I lacked the basic camping gear to stay elsewhere which I rectified to complete woodbadge last year.  Now, I had the more respectable excuse that I owned the appropriate gear and that I’d even recently stayed in genuine national parks but said gear was in Tucson… and I had the blog to prove it.

My work seems lazy during OA weekends, I usually sleep through breakfast and then tool around a bit and see what odd things I need to do before the patch auction.  This time, I was asked to up with an entirely fake copy of the Bucktail (the lodge newsletter).  I’m quite proud of the list of fabricated facts:

  • Mark was the only gospel apostle to not get Eagle but helped Luke get Brotherhood.
  • Tohickon is the Lenape term for “place to dispose of bodies”.
  • The insulation in Totem Lodge is made entirely of Triscuits.
  • As a prank in 1975, Ockanickon Scout Reservation was sold on Craiglist in exchange for 8 beaver pelts and an antique flax wheel.
  • The Science Center’s basement contains a capstan operated by Ordeal candidates which powers the xenon space laser used to calibrate the camp’s telescopes.
  • The camp’s totem poles are actually ancient Indian cell phone antennas.
  • Bill Mischke is challenged to a duel on average 1.12 times a summer camp season.
  • Ranger Dave Smith is a three-time New York Times crossword puzzle champion.
  • The diesel engine was invented and perfected in what is now the Handicraft Lodge.

The full fake document should be available shortly.

In the OA, besides generating fake content, I do little besides running patch auctions.  Tonight’s auction went frighteningly well with a reasonable start, reasonable end, no cases of me accidentally insulting someone’s sexuality or cursing, and a good selection of items.  I celebrated with a slice of re-frozen cheesecake which I thought was the cause of my insomnia but it turned out to be an observation my subconscious had noted that my active faculties hadn’t: I sold the 2004 NOAC two-piece for $40.

Friends don't let friends pay $40 for this patch.

This patch debutted at $8 for the two pieces and is a simply hideous patch.  The top makes no sense without the bottom, the deer looks like he’s taking a whiz behind the tree, the reference is 10 years late, and using “Brothers” twice is jarring to the ear.  Eight dollars to forty dollars, that’s 61% interest compounded annually…  I disgust me.

I enjoy a good auction.  I enjoy running one even more.  Auctions are battle of wits and represents a very strong suspension of disbelief from the audience with the I’ll-pay-this-much-if-you-convince-me-it’s-worth-that-much methodology as the cornerstone of success. Normally I shoot for 50% above regular market value as my target price for a given items and there are a few ways to help this along:

1) Every item is special – it doesn’t matter if you’re selling something out of a God damn gumball machine, the what-ever you’re holding is unique the audience just needs to know why.

2) Convince the bidder that they’ll be taken down a peg in the eyes of a cruel and calculating God if they let the bid stand with someone else on an item they’ve bid where the high bid is less than the combined value of their wallet and retirement.

Anyway, I’ve set a new personal record.  A patch that normally sells for $8.00 sold for $42.00.  I win.