Russell Crowe's great-grandfather was an auctioneer in Kelowna, B.C., "known for breaking plates and reciting poetry."
"[Mr. Crowe] wasn't the greatest auctioneer in the world; he liked to talk too much instead of sell," [Bill] Whitehead recalled. "He used to tell stories about how you could pick up a heavy dinner plate and pound a nail into a wall without hurting it. He'd ask for a 10-cent bid on something and somebody would offer a nickel and he'd get mad and throw the cup on the floor."
Instead of turning off potential buyers, Mr. Whitehead said the trick got customers' attention and turned into a regular feature. He added that Fred Crowe used to frequently recite verses while selling items, a favourite being about blue willow pattern of china. [Link]