April 20, 2003
Holiday greetings to all - hope you've been
enjoying fine spring weather and happy times with loved ones. We have been
in a frenzy of activity up at the country house - building, cleaning,
primping - I'm sure you can relate.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THERE IS AN AMUSING ASPECT TO PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING
During the three long weeks of battles and bloodshed in Iraq, Artie and I were glued to CNN first thing every morning, the way I suppose many others were. You would not think it cold be possible to find a source of amusement in all this, but - heck! You know whom I mean. That jolly Iraqi Minister of Information, Mohammed Saeed Al Sahhaf! Every day we'd watch the live video of coalition forces invading wherever, followed by a live interview wherein he insisted we were not there. Who can forget, "our initial assessment is that they will all die", or the inimitable "they're not even within 100 miles of Baghdad"? All this hilarious denial, coupled with his strong resemblance to a borscht belt comic, prompted HWITLOML and me to nickname him Shecky Al Sahhaf. One day Shecky just didn't show up for work, and we've missed him ever since. Now, a Connecticut company called Herobuilders.com is offering an action figure of "The Iraqi Dis-information Minister" that says things like, "there are no American infidels in Baghdad." The $36 doll makes several bizarre statements in Shecky's own voice, via digitized snippets from his actual news conferences. No word on whether he'll be doing the Catskills circuit this summer.
HOW ABOUT GETTING A CLUE? DEPARTMENT
It seems that $500,000 in rare books and prints were stolen the Roslyn Landmark Society on Long Island. It just took a long time for anyone to notice. Recording Secretary Mary Ann Brandl first observed last Friday that, "Gee, the shelves are missing a lot of books." And then, according to Sgt. Garry Walsh of the Nassau County 6th Precinct detective squad, "she noticed that some etchings were not on the walls." The society, which runs tours of the village, used the building, the George Allen Tenant Home on Main Street, for storage and office space. It was not open to the public. Detectives found no signs of forced entry. There was a slightly open window, but no fingerprints. Roslyn Deputy Mayor Nolan Myerson said, "I'm amazed to hear of this. I would have thought these artifacts were only valuable to those of us who live in the village." Deputy Mayor, with all due respect, I feel I must say this to you: DUH! Those of us with functioning cerebral lobes have managed somehow to put two and two together, and the answer is not "five". No forced entry, no fingerprints. Have you, in your travels outside your driveway, come across the concept of "inside job"? Apparently not.
AND IT ALSO APPEARS THAT ALMOST ANY FUN THING CAN HAVE A DISTINCTLY
UNAMUSING ASPECT AS WELL
Owners of a miniature village In England say they have been forced to delay opening their exhibit because their insurance company will not cover them, citing a heightened threat from terrorism. Model Railway Village in Southport, a 1.5 acre miniature landscape will not open for children and their families because of the terrorist risk, according to the owner, Ray Jones. Jones and his wife, Jean, have managed the ourdoor attraction since 1996. "Anybody with any common sense can see that insurance premiums will rise from people falling over and claiming against the business but terrorism in this village is zero - unless it's a 1:18 scale terrorist." he said. They were set to open for the season on April 12, but their longtime insurer recently told them their site is uninsurable because of the high risk factor. After finding a new insurance company, the village expects to open. That will make all the garden gnomes in the neighborhood very happy.
Okay, off we go. He Who Is The Light Of My Life is on vacation this week,
so I can't keep him cooped up all day. We're off to run some errands. Have
a wonderful week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!
© 2003 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #214
U.S. Library of Congress
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