The lawmaker continued his banter, teasing those who backed out of the bidding process once the price got too high, or anyone who had to agree with their spouse before bidding again.

“Don’t let her intimidate you,” he said to one gentleman bidding against a young woman for a pair of Ole Miss season tickets.

As difficult as it might have been to get auction-goers to bid, Long had no difficulty keeping them laughing.

“This is The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture,” he said as the book was brought up for auction. “All of these cookbooks are autographed by the author, and if they’re not, I’ll autograph them in the author’s name.”

Long revealed that humor was all part of the plan: “I find that people bid more if they’re in a good mood instead of just having an auctioneer yelling at them.”

Long told us after the event he was “honored” to lend his auctioneering skills to the evening’s festivities. But don’t expect him to give up his House seat to return to the auction block: “As the old adage goes, find something you love to do and you’ll enjoy your work. Fortunately for me, auctioneering and serving Congress both fit that criteria.”

When questioned by ITK about reports stating he can utter 500 words a minute as an auctioneer, he told us in an email, “Is it true that I can say 500 words minute? Actually it’s 1,200 words a minute with gusts up to 1,800!”

Photo: Rep. Billy Long / Courtesy: Matt Torrenzano