June 24, 2002
Yes, I punked out on you this past weekend. Artie and I escaped to the country house on Friday afternoon and didn't get back until late last night. Traffic was a nightmare in both directions. After careful study of the situation I've finally discovered what causes all the traffic in New York City. It is cars.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF OH NO, NOT ANOTHER EMAIL ABOUT FREE CLOTHES FROM THE GAP!
If you've been on The Internet for more than three seconds, you are quite familiar with email hoaxes. My favorites are the ones that say if you pass along the email to twenty of your friends a video will appear on your screen. This is, of course, technologically impossible, not to mention logically impossible. I also love the ones that tell you that Bill Gates somehow knows how many emails you are forwarding, and if you forward enough, he'll send you a check. When I think of the number of people who believe this stuff and are clogging my mailbox with emails, I can understand all of the elections in the USA in the past twenty years. It is this degree of gullibility that prevents us from tarring and feathering most of our elected officials. Well, it might surprise you (or not!) to know that hoaxes are nothing new. No, wiseguys have been pulling the wool over the eyes of the public since long before email was an evil glint in the eye of some techie with a hate on for the phone companies. To read about these ancient hoaxes, some of which actually changed the course of world history, you must visit The Hoax Museum. One of my faves is the one in which an 18th century woman named Mary Toft gave birth to seventeen rabbits. You may be astounded. On the other hand, you may not, considering that people haven't gotten much smarter through the ensuing centuries. If they had, you'd be getting many fewer truly dumb emails. Here's the link: LINK.
BRILLIANT BUREAUCRATIC BLUNDERS DEPARTMENT
When one observes some of the things up for sale on eBay, one naturally must ask oneself, "Are cosmic rays from outer space sapping the brain waves of some people?". Last month a "bureaucratic error" resulted in parts from sensitive US Air Force spy-planes going up for sale on eBay instead of being destroyed, as they were supposed to be. Also, a TV reporter managed to purchase fifty boxes of abuse reports and medical records of foster children for $5 on eBay. Can you imagine a reporter doing a story based on that material, and then being hauled into court and ordered to reveal his sources? "Yes, Your Honor, I bought my sources on eBay. Cost me five bucks". The real story here is the one about how dumb some of the people we entrust to safeguard sensitive material are.
In Williamsport, PA, someone just returned a library book to the public library. It was just a little overdue. It was supposed to be returned by September 30, 1942.
Your friend and mine, The Sock Puppet, is now off the unemployment line. The adorable doggie lost his job when Pets.com went under. He now works for 1-800-BAR NONE, a finance company. Good luck, Puppy. This tidbit thanks to Alert Accumulator Nikki Ballard.
If you're in the Albany, New York area, I'll be doing an interview on the Don Weeks Show on WGY (880 AM) on the morning of July 2nd, that you might want to hear. This is the second time I've done the show, and it's a lot of fun.
Okay, Accumulators, sorry to have missed you this weekend, and I'm going to be missing you again next weekend. I'll be doing an appraisal event at Shupp's Grove in Adamstown, PA this Friday through Sunday and, although I am taking my laptop, don't be surprised if I don't get the chance to write to you. If you're in the nabe, please do stop by and say "hi". He Who Is The Light Of My Life has consented to accompany me on this trip. Well, actually, he's going to shop the show, and play golf while I work.
I have been called to task by my friend and Alert Accumulator Rich Delia, proprietor of the Ferndale Marketplace and Gardens in Ferndale, NY. Rich says I always encourage you Dear Accumulators to go to garage sales and flea markets, and never to antiques shops. Guilty as charged. Rich's place is actually quite lovely and filled with beautiful things. Now, there are several thousand of you out there. I want you ALL to go to Rich's store this weekend, and tell him I sent you. Thank you. Have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!
© 2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #184
U.S. Library of Congress
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