Newsletter #183

June 14, 2002

Greetings Accumulators!

He Who Is The Light Of My Life is a hero! At least, to my Mom. Mom has been plagued by pigeons on her terrace. She lives on the top floor of a high rise building, and the pigeons have apparently taken up residence on the roof. They also find the railing of Mom's terrace a convenient place to alight when returning from an outing somewhere. Aside from the incessant cooing, and the insolent looks they give her whenever she tries to shoo them away, the pigeons have been leaving great mounds of pigeon gifts for Mom. It is particularly unappealing to be sitting in the dining room looking out at the terrace, and opening the door invites the stench to waft its way into the kitchen. What a diet aid! Well, HWITLOML went to the local Home Depot, picked up several long strips of moulding and a heap of finishing nails, nailed the nails at 1 inch intervals all the way through the moulding, and attached it to the terrace railing. Voila'! The railing is no longer a comfy pigeon gathering place. We are triumphant!

If you haven't heard of The Darwin Awards, you must visit the web site at LINK. The Darwin Awards are given out annually to those individuals who have most helped the gene pool by removing themselves from it. Here's an example of a 2001 winner, who happens to have been a collector. It seems that two newly discovered caverns in Mexico contain the largest natural crystals known to man. Some of the translucent selenite crystals are over 20 feet long.The Darwin site quotes an observer who said, "Walking into either of these caves is like stepping into a (sweltering) gigantic geode." So, one collector who couldn't resist the urge to steal one of the magnificent crystals, paid quite a price. He stood directly beneath it while chopping it free. When he did get it free, it fell, crushing him to death. So please, confine your acquisition of minerals to the gift shops in natural history museums.

Wow, those poor Parisians. No sooner do they begin to make headway in the Great Dog Poop Controversy, than along come the world's coolest jewel thieves. Le gangs of voleurs have been operating in broad daylight, in the high-toned and busy Champs Elysee-Place Vendome area. One group walked into the busy and classy Fred's jewelry store, threw a tear gas canister in, and pulled jewels out of the cases, before jumping into a stolen getaway car and driving off. Another gang simply smashed a jewelry store window, inserted a battery-operated hand vacuum and sucked up the jewelry right out of the display. Parisian police were quick to react. One said, "Using a vacuum cleaner, that was new. Thieves certainly don't lack innovation. We'll certainly see that again. It's clever. In one swipe they sucked up jewels that usually have to be picked by hand." What a jolly bunch, those Gendarmes Parisiennes! Always seeing the humor in every situation. Right now Fred and the other seven jewelers who have been robbed in recent months are probably chuckling along with them. That is, until the insurance bills come.

I am not picking on the French. But, there was this French artist in Colombia, who used an ax to cut off his little finger. He did this, he said, to symbolize the loss suffered by the kidnapping of a politician. It is not clear who suffered this loss. Here in the US, if they kidnapped ALL the politicians, I'm not sure anyone would notice, except maybe that things were running unusually smoothly in Washington, and that C-Span was way less boring than it usually is. Oh sure, we could probably dig up hundreds of guys with bad comb-overs to fill the void, but we probably wouldn't bother. We'd be busy enjoying the sudden wealth of a debtless society, and the unusually thin daily newspapers that were only printing actual news. Anyway, this artist chopped off his own finger and then circulated photos of himself using it as a paintbrush. I am not making this up. The photos reached Bogota, and the people there were understandably upset. According to Reuters, "it unsettled the nation." I should think so. They probably suddenly realized that the early release program at the local mental hospital just wasn't working out.

Okay, I know the newsletter was silly today. But it could have been worse. I left out the story about the Canadian police being unable to arrest a man they've had under surveillance for two months for shooting and selling amateur videos taken up women's skirts. Why? Because the victims can't be identified. No, I'm not going there. All you video collectors are on your own.
We are going to the country house tomorrow - it's way too cold and soggy to venture out tonight. Work on the interior will resume tomorrow. And if it would just stop raining long enough, we'd hit some yard sales and a flea market or two. If only. Have a wonderful week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!

2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #183
U.S. Library of Congress
ISSN 1520-4464


Your comments, as always, are welcome. If you have something to say, write to me.
To subscribe to the free short weekly email newsletter, send a blank email to





Any questions? E-mail us at

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