So there I was, all set to write a lengthy blog discussing my great many fascinations and the specialist websites I spend hours poring over, when I received a terse feedback note from my solicitor explaining that 90% of these were enitrely unsuitable for an internet that doesn’t have a watershed. So acting on his advice, I’ve trimmed my choices down to a morally bulletproof two: Ebay and Lists. Ebay, because it’s my favourite form of home-shopping after door-to-door salesmen, and lists because, well, I could give you my top 17 reasons why, but they’d mainly revolve around my agent’s insistence that I write a rundown article that’ll go all viral like Buzzfeed’s do. So in the spirit of lazy journalism, I’ve combined the two to create my top ten things on ebay at the moment. All I’ll say is make sure you have someone on hand to pinch your eyeballs, because you won’t believe what you’re about to see…
In at number 10 – It’s the pessimist’s choice, 12 lucky rabbit feet keychains, catering to the kind of discerning e-buyer for whom one fortune-bestowing severed animal limb just isn’t enough. Produced in only the most vibrantly respectful colours, these whimsical keepsakes prove that even when you’re watership down, you’re not out. Unless you’re the rabbit whose foot they cut off.
At number 9 – Tell Obama to stick it where the sun don’t shine with this novelty Presidential poop roll – perfect for anarchists, Mitt Romney and people looking to ‘wipe’ away hundreds of years of the civil rights movement in one front-to-back motion alike. And if you’re feeling particularly anti-establishment, you’ll be thrilled to hear that every purchase also includes a free ‘fake’ $1million bill, perfect for helping you defraud the economy too.
At number 8 – Wicca-wicca-what! Yes, financial woes be gone with this, your own personal money spell kit. According to the listing, ‘this spell is about bring more money into your home‘ – presumably meaning grammar spells are sold separately. Obviously, anyone investing in this bewitching beguilement of objects is destined to be disappointed, as it’s all complete tosh designed to extract money from the gullible (otherwise why doesn’t ‘Diane’ – great witch name by the way – just magic up her own reddies rather than charging others for the spell?); but I’d guess that anyone willing to part with £6.64 for a feather, a candle and a scrap of scrawled paper probably doesn’t have the acumen to handle sudden wealth anyway.
At number 7 – Chaps, brace your little chaps: what looks like a pen is actually a pen…is stretching device. This horrifyingly innocuous biro-like contraption is, for reasons unknown to me and I’m guessing science, designed to slip excruciatingly down your willy shaft (known in medical circles as the urethra franklin), creating a seemingly coveted gaping hole in your John Thomas. I’m shriveling at the mere thought. Reassuringly, the listing does point out that this instrument of torture is at least ‘hand polished’… an activity I imagine you’ll have to lay off, at least with certain appenadages, after usage.
At number 6 – For the buyer who has everything but a change of shreddies and a shred of dignity, it’s used underwear. Now I’m undies no illusions, but I can’t figure out what would compel someone to search for, let alone buy, pre-owned smalls. With brand new, never before worn underwear available in abundance elsewhere on the site, it’s clearly not a lack of supply prompting these brief encounters, which can only lead to the disturbing conclusion that there is a healthy (read:unhealthy) demand for such items. Perhaps I’m being prudish though – after all, this type of thing is de rigeur vending machine fodder in Japan.
At number 5 – Continuing with the dead-animal-parts-attached-to-a-bit of metal theme of earlier, why not tell that special person in your life how much they really mean to you with a tasteful kangaroo scrotum keyring? Let’s face it, keyrings are, for the most part, a load of b*llocks anyway, so you might as well have one that literally is. I bet you’re not feeling so spritely any more, eh Skip?
At number 4 – Finally, an item with mass appeal: an old postcard of two native Sakai Malaysians playing nose flutes. Although at $26.99, you may feel like you’re paying through your Malaysian nose for this. Unfortunately, I was after a snap of 7 Estonians playing arse banjos, so this was entirely unsuitable for my needs.
At number 3 – And going for a song is a copy of Rik Waller’s take on the Whitney hit ‘I Will Always Love You’. Incredibly, old (actually deceptively young) Rik has now outlived Ms Houston, a feat that most people, including Nostradamus, the Mayans and Rik himself would have found it impossible to predict when this baby was released twelve (yes, twelve!) years ago. So why not celebrate with the man who has, in the kind of twist Agatha Christie would be proud of, since re-invented himself as an exam invigilator, by purchasing this classic (well, the original was) on a format that is sure to enjoy a healthy shelf-life for years to come, the CD single?
At number 2 – Are advertisments for the bane of my life: Shires Toilets and bathroom suites. Of all the products to have your name attached to, I can’t think of many less salubrious or gratifying than urine receptacles. It leads to such life-affirming conversation openers as “Hey, I was having a wee the other day and it made me think of you” and the unforgettable “all I could see as I was throwing up was your name”. Most gallingly of all, as far as I know, I’m not even related to the founders of the brand and so don’t see as much as a penny for each time someone goes to spend one. Needless to say, getting pissed on inevitably leads to feeling pissed off.
At number 1 – We’ve reached the apex of our tat mountain, so which inconceivable item have I plumped for to summit up? Well, I’m afraid it’s going to be a bit of a cop out, as there are far too many favourites to pick just one. As it is, I’ve chosen to illustrate the top of the chart with an item relating to someone who’s entirely unfamiliar with being there – it’s a Frankie Cocozza novelty laminated driving licence. I can’t even begin to explore the deep psychological issues undoubtedly associated with ordering the fake ID of a man who even himself must wish he was someone else, but it gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure to think that somebody, somewhere would want one. And that, in a nutshell, is why I love Ebay. Honourable mentions must also go to a Ronald Raegan DNA Sample, a pebble with a hole in it, an air guitar and a fake bigfoot footprint, all of which help to enrich this bizarre cornucopia of curiosities. What continues to intrigue me is not the fact that someone has listed these oddities in the first place, but the reassuring inevitability that there’ll be someone even weirder out there who is desperate to buy them. Frankie, take it away…