A group of about 50 people are anxiously watching a very animated gentleman who stands before them. The man speaks loudly and very rapidly to the group. He is standing behind an elevated table, and waves a wooden object while frequently repeating himself. The man continues to spew forth his manic repetitions while frequently pointing at individual members of the audience, until finally, he shouts out one word, while pointing directly at a specific member of the group --- sometimes even describing their appearance or the clothes they are wearing. After shouting the word, the man instantly becomes less agitated --- but soon, his manic mood returns to sweep over him. Is this man presently experiencing symptoms of manic-depressive illness with symptoms of rapid, pressured speech, or is there some less extreme reason for his behavior? If so, what exactly is going on here, and what is the one word he shouts which calms him?
The man is an auctioneer trying to get the highest bid for the objects he is selling. The wooden object he waves about is his auctioneer’s hammer. The one word he shouts which calms him for a short time is, “Sold!”