From the Background:
You're on vacation in the big city. Your room at the Wayfaring Stranger has been paid for in advance for the next two weeks, but your cash reserves have dwindled down to almost nothing. In an effort to cut back on expenses, you decide to set out on foot and explore your surroundings. There should be plenty of things to see and do in a big city without costing you an arm and a leg (yeah, right!). If you can't find a museum or art gallery, then perhaps you can find some local street performers or a flea market to while away the hours.
With this thought in mind, you're attracted to a large crowd of people on an otherwise vacant lot. You can hear a voice mumbling over a loudspeaker, but you can't make out anything it's saying or where it's coming from. A picket sign at the edge of the assemblage reads:
ESTATE AUCTION of "The Amazing Mumsford" All proceeds to pay child support in arrears
You can't recall ever hearing of anyone by that name (at least, not anyone real, anyhow), but from his or her title, you decide they must have been in showbiz. You decide that there's a good chance something of interest might be auctioned off, and you press forward through the throng to see what's for sale.
However, when you finally catch sight of the auction block, you're disappointed to discover that the auction is nearly over and most of the items have already been claimed. From the looks of things, the "Amazing" Mumsford must have been a two-bit, amateur magician. Everything that's left is either cheap, gaudy, or broken - or some combination of all three - and the only thing that remains to be sold is a lichen covered wicker hamper, like the kind you put in the closet to keep your dirty underwear in.
And then, it happens. You get a tickling deep in your nasal cavity that will not be denied. And one sneeze later, and the auctioneer pounds his gavel and announces that you're the proud owner of a rotting wickerwork. And despite your pleas and declarations that you weren't really bidding at all, you're quickly parted from what little cash still remains you. Your only consolation is that they offer free delivery to your hotel room. With a heavy heart, you head back to the Wayfaring Stranger in the hopes of catching something decent on TV.