Cover Photo: photo courtesy of author
photo courtesy of author

SOLD: Nine Days at the World Wide College of Auctioneering

“Learning to chant with real cowboys and girls is kicking my ass.”

I’d booked a ticket on a flight with Air Choice One from Chicago to Mason City, Iowa, home of the World Wide College of Auctioneering. The airline is so small that its flights are not listed on monitors at O’Hare Airport. You call a phone number off the website, and get directed to a door at the far end of a terminal.

nowdollarbidgomake itbid it onbidder down here


Last night I could not get to sleep. The sound of auctioneer chants buzzed in my brain. I heard them in the hum of the refrigerator, the sound of my urine in the toilet, the bubbling breath I released underwater while swimming. I drank a beer but needed something stronger.


one say two go three now four and five dollar bid six say seven now

It’s the last day of school; tomorrow we graduate. I’ve opted to take a two-day bilingual training course for certification to auction in Spanish. Our instructor is a wired Puerto Rican from New York who needs no microphone. He’s like a combination of a coked-up Al Pacino and George Costanza on steroids. He has a passion I admire.

Lucas Hunt was born in rural Iowa, and is the author of Lives (Vagabond, 2006), Light on the Concrete (North Sea, 2011) and the forthcoming IOWA (Thane & Prose, 2016). He studied at the Iowa Writers Workshop, and MFA program at Southampton College. Hunt has published in The New York Times, East Hampton Star, Clarion, Slice, and received a John Steinbeck Award for poetry. He is the director of Orchard Literary, founder of Hunt & Light, and a professional live auctioneer.