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Small Beer

September 16, 2021

I’d not long returned from the local auction house when my friend Diana Facetimed me from London. We’re still in lockdown in Sydney but are permitted to travel within 5km of home for ‘click and collect’ purchases. What I had collected was a job lot of goods that included three antique, hand-carved corbels. It was the corbels I was after but with an auction lot you have to take all the treasures in the bundle. In this case, it was a grubby old suitcase and NINE beer steins. I’m not a fan of beer steins.

While I was showing Diana the corbels, I swept the camera over the steins. Yes, I admitted, I’d also bought nine beer steins. Diana looked puzzled and asked in a mild way what I intended to do with them, all nine of them. I mean, I don’t even drink beer. Well, I told her, perhaps I could sell them on to pay for the corbels.

The conversation then drifted to other topics before returning to the beer steins. By this point we’d been talking for half an hour or so. Diana once again asked what I was going to do with the nine beer steins. She then came out with the question she really wanted to ask, WHY DID I BUY NINE BEER STEINS? This is when I realised she’d missed the bit about them being part of an auction bundle. All this time she’d been thinking I’d bought them for their ornamental value.

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