Newsletter #173

March 9, 2002

Greetings Accumulators!

We have now recovered from Judith and Artie's Excellent (Not!) adventure, which occurred last Sunday night - ALL of last Sunday night, on Rte 17 in Wurtsboro, NY. We were stranded in our van in the pitch black night by the side of a road heavily travelled by trucks. We could do nothing but sit there until our hero, State Trooper Ray Walter showed up at 3AM and parked behind us with lights flashing, enabling He Who Is The Light Of My Life to change the horribly pancake-like rear tire on the driver's side. After removing half our inventory from the back of the van so we could reach the spare tire, we discovered that the wrench we had didn't fit the nuts on the old tire rim. So, our brave trooper drove Artie to the house to get the right tool, then raced back to make sure I was okay, locked in the van all alone. We were soon home, safe and sound - at 5AM. Such is the life of the vagabond antiques dealer.

I suppose we all know by now that the Powers That Be in Iran have devoted a good deal of time to trying to purge any shred of Western culture from their mind-freezingly restrictive environment. As one might expect, Barbie Dolls have been banned in Iran since 1996, when they were declared "Un-Islamic" (well, I can certainly understand the banning of Ken dolls - who likes him anyway? - but sweet busty Barbie?). Of course they're still openly for sale all over Tehran. Guess they haven't managed to kill everyone's brain just yet. So, what's a hardworking authoritarian to do? Why, meet the competition head on, of course! According to Reuters, twin dolls named Sara and Dara (that's the boy) arrived in shops this week. They are dressed in traditional Iranian outfits. However, these dolls cannot be undressed, since they are "Islamic". Little girls all over Iran are asking, "So, what's the point?" When I told Artie about the new dolls, he wondered about the accessories, particularly vehicular. "Will Sara be driving a Corvette or a camel?", he wanted to know. Of course, Islamically speaking, Sara's not allowed to drive. No word on which twin has the breasts.

Okay, I guess this was bound to happen. DC Comics filed a lawsuit against The Wella Corporation, makers of Kryptonite, a green hair gel. DC wants Wella to stop selling the gel, since its name infringes on the name given to that pesky element from Superman's home planet, Krypton. Kryptonite is the only thing than can weaken Superman. According to the suit, DC Comics first used the word "Kryptonite" in a 1943 Superman radio show. The word gained fame in a 1945 radio episode when the Scarlet Widow gave a chunk of Kryptonite to several fellow bad-guys to use against Superman. As for me, no thank you, I like my hair strong.

If you haven't yet decided that the whole Oscar hooplah is not just silly, but also bears no resemblance to anything in the real world, listen to this: shoe designer Stuart Weitzman has designed a pair of platinum stiletto heels with 464 carats of diamonds in them. People Magazine, who doesn't know the difference between carats and karats, has published a report that the shoes, valued at one million dollars, are the subject of fierce competition from ladies with feet, amongst them country singer Faith Hill, all of whom want to be the one to wear them at the telecast. Fabulous publicity for all involved aside, there are practical considerations as well. The diamonds can be removed from the shoes and worn as a necklace and a bracelet. Which is great if you feel people will be so dazzled by the jewelry that they won't even notice you're barefoot.

So, off to the country today. There's a mighty appealing auction in Pine Bush, NY tonight. It's an all art auction, hosted by the wonderful Robersons, Del and Lou. And there's work to be done. Like buying a new tire for the van. Have a great week. Kudos to my brother and sister-in-law, Arnie and Wendy Katz of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, and my lovely rosy-cheeked niece, Miranda Lauren, on the production of their unspeakably cute new baby, Jeffrey Hudson. Jeffrey weighed either 7 lbs, 6 oz, if you spoke to Arnie on the phone, or 7 lbs, 16 oz - hey, isn't that 8 lbs? - if you read the birth announcement. Don't bother sending your congratulations to Arnie. He's undoubtedly busy haranguing the guy who printed the announcements. Have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!

2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #173
U.S. Library of Congress
ISSN 1520-4464


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1996-2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.