Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dwelling on the Pit, Pt. II

Spent the day yesterday trying to plow through the last crunchy bits of the paperwork; alas, I was hampered by a broken printer and a shortage of binders. (I should just start buying binders by the box, I swear.) I can’t believe some of the stuff I found this year - reference material for Melbaware? The show program for the Second Eastern Regional Congress? Bumper stickers from IMHCC? Wow. I can only imagine how much more I could have found if I really had the time to shop.

Let’s go back to the Pit!

I didn’t hear about THAT video - the narrated one of the shenanigans going on before, during and after the Pit - until late Friday night, and I wasn’t in any mood to watch it. I’m still not, especially if the allegations about the video makers being line cutters themselves are true. (I wouldn’t know: I have a dreadful memory for faces.) I was there, and I know what happened. And my reality is probably significantly different than the snarky, blasé one portrayed in the video.

I didn’t hear about THAT foal - the Palomino Appaloosa Proud Arabian Foal - until Friday night, either. By the time I had fought my way to the Fun Foal section of the Pit, all that was left was the Pintaloosa Standing Stock Horse Foal, and I was happy to get even him.

I have heard different reports about just how many of these Proud Arabian Foals there were - anywhere from 8 to 25. I didn’t see them in the first place, so I can’t confirm either the higher or lower end of the estimate. A couple people have brought up the notion that this might have been a "surprise" designed for the early risers; if so, that might explain what last year’s Gloss Summer Solstices were about - right down to the small, undefinable quantity.

(Isn’t it interesting that the Gloss Summer Solstices that were so casually dismissed as "not all that cool" last year are now a hot item? Such fickle creatures, hobbyists.)

If this is true, it’s very nice of them, but also potentially quite dangerous; one friend of mine who showed up at 4 a.m. panicked a bit over missing the PAF, and is contemplating getting up even earlier next year. Reeves, if you really are going to do this "Early Riser Special" thing, you better darn well institute the Estate Sale numbering system next year, because someone will get hurt. I saw a fight break out this year, over what I think was the last Escondido (I didn’t want to get too close to find out what it was, exactly.) I hate to imagine what would happen if they dumped something like a couple dozen Gloss Honey Bay Alborozos in the mix.

I certainly don’t think that he’s worth the high three-figure or low four-figure price tag hobbyists are asking (and apparently getting!) for him right now. I sold a test color PAF last year in the $400-500 range, which would seem a little more sensible price range for him.

But ZOMG! It’s a PAF! One of the few molds beneath the hobby’s collective contempt! Whatever. It’s getting filed in the same never-gonna-have-it list as all those other uber-rare Glosses and SRs I can’t possibly afford. (Or would even be willing to pay for, if I could.)

Like the FEI World Cup Strapless.

I didn’t find out about the Straplesses until much later, either. I think of all the models I missed out on, this one annoyed me the most - not because I didn’t see it (a situation I would have been more acceptable to me, if so) but because of the way they were distributed in the Pit.

They were simply handed out, by Breyer employees. It was either randomly, or to people they thought deserved one, without the fuss or having to find or fight over it. I guess I was neither random nor deserving enough.

I had heard of this happening in a previous year: a random shopper just being handed this random treasure. I thought maybe that was an Urban Legend, but nope, it really did happen this year: I got to talk to one of those gifted persons. (An interesting story I could tell you more about - in private. Yeah, one of those kind of stories.)

It wasn’t really a gift - the giftee still had to pay $300 for it, but still a bargain. I would have paid it.

And now the story about my hat.

Well, either sometime during my first or second trip in the Pit on Friday, I lost my hat. I didn’t notice that my infamous chapeau - the one illustrated in my avatar - was missing until much later in the day. I was oddly unconcerned about its disappearance: I figured I’d find it on Saturday, either in the Lost and Found, or via a friend or acquaintance. It’s gone missing before, and always makes it back to me.

So I’m in the Pit again on Saturday, picking up a second Radar for a friend of mine, and there’s my hat, casually perched on top of the stacks of Dealer Catalogs, near the checkout. I put it back on my head, and continued shopping. A short time later, a Strapless-free Breyer employee roaming the Pit stops me and mentions the hat. "We were going to take it to lost and found, but we figured you’d be coming back here anyway."

Gee, umm, thanks? Glad y’all know me so well, I think. (Now, wouldn’t happen to have a stray Chestnut Trakehner lying around you could gift me for a Benjamin or two, would ya? Didn’t think so.)


Jenn said...

I'm curious about the fei strapless and how people were 'offered' them. I myself was not, although I did manage to reach an arm into the fun foal frenzy and get a red roan clyde foal (was wishing for the paf but could not fight past the people who were picking up stacks of fun foal boxes to get it) What's the story on the fei strapless?

ANDREA said...

The FEI Strapless was from 2007. Some of them were allegedly given as gifts or prizes there. I've heard reports of anywhere from 10 to 35 pieces being made. I have no idea which number is the more accurate.

As far as I know, Breyer employees just walked up to people in the Pit and offered them. No real rhyme or reason, as far as I could tell. The one person I talked to this year insinuated that the person who gave it to her (along with a Sassy) offered it to her because she was doing a favor for someone. (It was the Swap Meet line - loud and confusing - so that part of the story might have gotten garbled in translation.)

For the record, I've never received anything for my efforts to organize the line from Reeves. Other than the return of my hat. (Which I did appreciate.)