That’s an interesting concept. Let’s forget about the whole ‘ain’t that slavery?’ part of the equation because that would just make this exercise ugly. Let’s concentrate on the what brought us to someone saying to someone else,
“I could buy and sell you.”
It’s never a good situation. It’s never a situation when you’ve run out into the street to save their tottering grandchild who escaped during a moment of distraction from their mother. You never hear,
“I will buy you out of your current work-a-day life and sell you to the highest bidder so as you will live in a heretofore unimagned life of luxury. And, if I find not a suitable purchaser, I will retain you for my own even if I have to sell my own children and rent out my grandchildren to a lesser god to make sure your all dreams and wishes are fulfilled.”
It’s always some pumped up braggart who isn’t getting the attention he (and come to think of it, I’ve never heard a woman say it) feels he deserves. It happened to me recently. I was out with some people and it was a night of warm conversation and other boring platitudes. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice. But who wants to hear people talk about their jobs? And that’s what they’re going to talk about. Most people hate their jobs so what kind of story is going to come out of that?
“And then Brenda said, ‘Capital idea, Mr. Smythengen. Only a great, wise and noble gentleman, such as yourself, could have conceived of such a brilliant plan.’ What an ass kisser she is. And she’s not in the department that now has double the workload. I hate my job. And Brenda.”
After sixty or seventy seconds of that I’m ready to kill the messenger.
I never get into work discussions (unless the story is hilarious). I always say, “Good. Nothing new.” I even said that on the day I had to physically restrain a drug-induced psychotic woman so she’d stop bothering another customer. And I said customer not patient because I don’t work in a ‘go restrain this person’ field. Generally.
After everyone has barfed up their hating work stories someone asked me to tell a specific story. It was a story I’ve told many times including here. It’s a funny story and I don’t mind telling it but I hate to be called upon to unexpectedly perform. It’s not part of the flow of the conversation. Add to that the ‘tell us a story, Chris’ part of it is off-putting. I mean, yeah, I know I can tell this story in a funny manner but, it’s not a story for everyone.
Necrophilia and coming out of a men’s room with a strange woman isn’t a story for everyone.
But, I tell it. Mainly because I didn’t want to hear one more Brenda story. I get laughs where I should and dismay in the correct places. After I finish people are reacting then one person said,
“Ah, you think you’re all that.” I just told a necrophiliac/men’s room with a strange woman story. I obviously don’t think I’m above much. “I could buy and sell you.”
“What?” I can already feel his buyers remorse.
“How much? What’s the going price? I mean, I could give up my current life if someone was willing to put up some cake. What’s the going price for a stud like myself?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You just said you could buy and sell me. To do that, first, you’d have to buy me. So I’m just wondering what that price would be?”
“Are you nuts? It’s just an expression.”
“No,” I redirect him. “It’s not. It’s a statement that monetizes my worth in regards to your perceived worth. Which, as stated, you are worth so much more than I you are willing to pay to make me your property. So, what am I worth to you? I know my girlfriend would like to walk out of here with cash sans me. So what’s the opening bid?”
“Me? You’re the one willing to illegally, in a public place, purchase another human being.”
By now the guy is flustered so I know I have mere seconds to get this to a close.
“I’ll tell you what, I’ll set the price.” I stop and think for a second. I can see his flee instinct pushing him. “Seven hundred eighty-six thousand four hundred twenty-seven dollars and thirty-nine cents.”
Everyone is quiet. I smile and look around. “Okay, anyone want to top that bid?” No one says a word. I know some of them want to say something but they’re going to stall their eagerness to jump in to see how this ends.
“Huh.” I say to my new owner as I slide closer to him. “The buying part is easy. But the selling, well, the selling is a bitch for such a rare commodity as I.”
I look him in the face. He pissed. I’m happy. Funny how often those two things intersect in my life. “Guess I’m yours now.” I lean closer. “And you’re fucked because I drink a shitload of Heineken.”