February 13, 2004
ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES NEWSLETTER #239
I hope you've all been well, and that all the triskadecaphopics amongst us
are not hiding under the covers today.
We had an untimely death in the family - my beloved Aunt Roz died, well
before her time. I firmly believe the cause of her death was medical
malpractice, and what the family will do about that remains to be seen. The
funeral was held in blizzard conditions on Long Island, Afterwards, He Who
Is The Light Of My Life and I fled to Florida, to rest and recuperate from
the shock and sorrow of it all. It was a healing trip. We are now back in
time for Valentine's Day, and I must turn my attention to some weighty
matters in the collecting world.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE RIGHT MOVE FOR THE WRONG REASONS, OR WHY SPOIL
AN IMPORTANT LIFE DECISION WITH A CHEAP PUBLICITY STUNT?
By now I'm sure you've all heard the news: Barbie and Ken have split up after 43 years "together" (if you can call what they had being together). If you've been a longtime subscriber you know what I'm thinking. It's about time! Barbie should have picked herself up and moved on long ago. Here was Ken, with a perfectly gorgeous and accomplished girlfriend and, after 43 years he still hadn't been able to make a commitment! Oh, maybe he just took her for granted, or maybe he realized that body could not possibly be natural and she never would own up to all the plastic surgery. My gay friends have been telling me for years that Ken is gay, and perhaps they're right. I always thought my gaydar was excellent, but I guess it's not perfect. Perhaps the relationship felt too much like incest, since Barbie and Ken are both made by Mattel, Inc. Mattel Vice President of Marketing Russel Arons says the couple plans to "remain friends". Coincidentally (or not), arriving in stores right now is Cali Barbie, a tanned surfer girl in board shorts, bikini top, and hoop earrings. She has apparently been spending a great deal of time with a new man, Blaine the Australian boogie boarder. While I'm happy for Barbie, a female of a certain age needs to comport herself with a little discretion (hear that, Demi?). On the other hand, everything she has is steadfastly remaining where it was when she was a teenager, nothing at all has gone south a single millimeter, so this may just be envy talking. So, to Barbie I say: Go for it! And to Mattel I say: This publicity stunt is not cheap - it was free! Now Barbie collectors have a new couple to dress. Have fun, kids. No word on whether a Self Pitying Drunken Ken doll is in the works.
THERE ARE A MILLION WAYS TO MAKE A BUCK DEPARTMENT
The New York Times is reporting that some clever entrepeneurs are profiting from others' mistakes on eBay. It seems that many denizens of the Internet have forsaken careful spelling, along with capitalization and punctuation. Clever shoppers on eBay and other online auction venues have made a career of trolling for spelling errors in titles and descriptions of merchandise. These clever searchers purchase the items below market value when they fail to attract other bidders, who can't find them. They then resell the items, spelled correctly, for a higher price. I myself am an excellent speller, but I am arguably the worst typist in the world. I can remember when, fresh out of school, I decided to try working my way up the corporate ladder. At each employment office I was given the infamous typing test. I churned out an amazing 80 words a minute. Unfortunately, no one could decipher any of it. But, I digress. Here's a hint for those who are preparing an online auction listing: Type your listing, including the title, into a word processing program. Use the spell check feature. Then copy and paste the listing into the online auction form.
AND AFTER 100 YEARS, THE CUSTOMS DEPARTMENT DECLARES IT AN OFFICIAL ANTIQUE
This story comes from Alert Accumulator and webmaster at ChintzNet.com (a site you shouldn't miss!). It was reported via Reuters that Sir Winston Churchill's infamous foul-mouthed parrot, Charlie, is still alive and well at 104. A British newspaper reporter tracked the bird down at Heathfield Nurseries, where it has lived for the past 12 years. Charlie, who is female, although she is usually referred to as "he", was famous during World War II for screaming obscenities about Hitler. Sylvia Martin, who manages the Nurseries, says Charlie has "mellowed", and pretty much only says "hello" and "good-bye" these days. The owner of the nursery received Charlie from his father-in-law, the person who sold the bird to Churchill and was asked to take it back after the Prime Minister died in 1965. Charlie is reportedly also a good dancer.
HEY MA, LOOKIT ME
The Ricky Lake Show I taped, along with John Bruno, antiques expert, or as we in the neighborhood like to call him, "Tina Bruno's Husband", will air next Friday, February 20th. Check your local listings for time and station. For those of you in the New York metro area, Tina's Husband and I can be seen on "Antique Show and Sell" on the MetroTV network, airing pretty much all the time.
Okay. It's tax time. HWITLOML and I are planning a romantic dinner out
tomorrow night, but will be ensconced here, sorting the paperwork for the
rest of the weekend. We'd love to be going up to the country house but,
during the deep freeze, a large chunk of our guest bathroom toilet was
popped out by expanding ice and, since there is a rather unpleasant and
oddly shaped ice cube in the toilet at the moment, all water in the house
has been shut off until the spring thaw, when we can replace the toilet.
But, that's another story. Have a great weekend, Accumulators, and a
wonderful week. Happy hunting!
© 2004 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #239
U.S. Library of Congress
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