Like the internet that shelters it, it is one of the roots of all evil and people with addictive or competitive personalities should stay far, far away from it.
People like me, for example.
It all started so innocently this morning, when I found myself searching the internet for my favorite Yankee ever, Graig Nettles. I'm not even sure why but perhaps it was destiny?
I came across an interesting site, Baseball Almanac, that had some great stats for him as well as links to other sites. One of the featured Google Ads linked over to the aforementioned eBay and that's where it all fell apart.
Several autographed pictures and balls were available, along with a single bat. Just one. A couple of more searches and several memorabilia sites confirmed that it was the only such bat currently for sale on the internet. And the high bid was only $25 with 13 hours remaining.
Salomé's recently discovered the
So we bid, setting a maximum of $50, and were sitting on top. For all of 5 minutes! Someone new had swooped in and outbid us. Having watched Andie frantically monitor some of her auctions, I knew how the final minutes worked but I had no idea what do for the next 13 hours!
So we waited and went about our day, until there were 30 minutes left. Refresh. 29 minutes. Refresh. 27 minutes. And so on.
With 10 minutes left, I started probing, trying to figure out where the other person had set their maximum bid and how much of a Nettles fan they really were. $52. $54. $60. $75. All under their maximum bid. A real fan, apparently.
As I was getting cold feet, Salomé took over and I pledged $25 to the cause. She bid $100. Still not enough but the increments started to change, suggesting we might be getting close. There were only 3 minutes left at that point and it was now a competition.
And we'd found it! Their maximum was $136.99 and we'd outbid them, giving them less than two minutes to respond. Unless they were actively monitoring the auction, there was no way they could beat us.
And those last 90 seconds took forever.
Refresh. 47 seconds. Refresh. 32 seconds. Refresh. 20 seconds. Refresh. 11 seconds. Refresh. 7 seconds. Refresh. 2 seconds.
$139.49; only $89.49 more than I said I'd bid on it in the beginning!
It's all good, though, because that other Graig Nettles fan out there is probably still a Yankee fan. Probably thinks the '96 Yankees were better than the '78 squad. Probably doesn't mind seeing Pay-Rod out there patrolling Nettles' old base.
eBay is still evil, but these are different times and sometimes you need evil to fight evil. At least, that's how Dame Judi Dench rationalized turning to Riddick for help against the Necromongers.
You keep what you kill!
Or, at least you get to play with what your wife
The bat is mine!