'Downton Abbey' auction lets you read poetry to Mr. Bates - um, what?

bates-auction-carriage.jpgThe Origin Theatre Company, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the cultivation, development, and interpretation of new and emerging European playwrights, has organized a series of online auctions to raise money. Which is great.

And most of them are perfectly normal, like a VIP "Tonight Show" experience or tickets to Alan Cumming's "Macbeth" with a chance to meet Cumming after the show. There are even two "Downton Abbey"-related auctions that sound like a lot of fun -- tea with Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) and lunch with Mr. Bates (Brendan Coyle).

However, there is one "Downton" auction that has caught our eye ... and not in a good way.

The actor Brendan Coyle, who plays the ill-fated butler Bates on Masterpiece Theatre's mega hit Downton Abbey has agreed to let himself be waited on hand and foot by a super lucky auction bidder.

The winner of the table-turning prize will read poetry to Coyle in a horse-drawn carriage ride in Central Park, and then take Coyle to dinner at the super fancy Per Se at the Time Warner Center, all the while making sure that Coyle's every need is taken care of. The bidder will offer to share their dessert with Coyle, and, after dinner will make sure Coyle gets home safely by depositing him in a cab and shutting the door for him. Coyle will then let the bidder know that he has arrived safely at his hotel.

It's not that the concept is that weird, but the way the auction describes the experience is a little creepy, no?

Though, from what we've seen of the crazy female Bates fans online, perhaps the auction site knows exactly what it is doing.
Photo/Video credit: PBS