You know you are in the wrong line of work when someone sells a cornflake on eBay for $1,350.
Two Virginia sisters got someone to buy the cornflake because it vaguely resembles the outline of the state of Illinois. The 15-year-old sister said she was stuffing dry Frosted Flakes into her mouth between classes when she abruptly stopped because she noticed one of the flakes was in the shape of Illinois.
I find this story highly questionable given the geography skills of the average American high-schooler. Many students are unable to recognize the outline of the United States, let alone a state in which they do not live.
Stories like this make me mad, not because I question their authenticity but because I wonder what riches might await me on eBay, assuming I knew how to auction anything on eBay, which I do not.
For example, as I scratch my head while writing this column, I notice that I have a dandruff flake that is in the shape of the Dalai Lama. This must certainly be worth more than a cornflake in the shape of a deceased movie director, especially since Hitchcock, for all his talent, did not have to fend off the Chinese army.
Also, I do not see why inanimate objects have to resemble something else to be valuable. I am not a distinguished art scholar per se, but it seems to me that a thing that represents nothing more than itself should attract bidders, too.
For example, there is a hard-boiled egg in my refrigerator that is a perfect representation of a hard-boiled egg. Smooth, white shell. No cracks or dents. Neutral aroma. If I were a hard-boiled egg, I would ask it to marry me.
I am not a greedy person, so I will start the bidding for my hard-boiled egg at $500. Just to spice up the pot, the winning bidder will also receive a half-full jar of Publix mustard.
Also, notice that your receipt is in the shape of Richard Nixon's nose.
Now that's value.
Photo by Donald McIntire.