Coming home in my car, an NPR piece stung me. So, the wholesome ear of the Kosher Samurai was, by a radio program, rankly abused. Murderabilia! Aye, Murderabilia most foul, as in the best it is, but this most foul, strange and unnatural.
It appears that people’s appetite for the foul, strange and unnatural is never sated. Take the particular segment, presently under discussion, of All Things Considered, a program of National Public Radio (NPR). The U.S. federal government is auctioning off online the possessions of Ted Kaczynski (aka the Unabomber, presently serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to setting 16 bombs), whose bombs are responsible for killing of three people and injuring dozens of others.
Proceeds from the sales will go to help the victims of Kaczynski’s crimes.
It is perhaps only a slight exaggeration to say that this story caused my knotted and combined locks to part and each particular hair to stand on end like quills upon the fretful porpentine.
So… What’s on the Unabomber auction block? The famous hooded sweatshirt and aviator sunglasses, handwritten and typed copies of his 35,000 word manifesto, even the Smith Corona typewriter he used.
And, to no one’s surprise except, perhaps, mine… this auctioning off of treachery-related tchotchkes is by no means an isolated thing. There’s quite a market out there for this kind of stuff, according to a spokesman for Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas, purveyors of wicked whatnots.
Notwithstanding (or perhaps because of) the fretful porpentine reaction many of these objects inspire in others, fairly affluent middle-aged men with disposable income are prepared to drop some serious coin for such items. Bonnie and Clyde wanted posters. Letters from Lee Harvey Oswald. This stuff isn’t cheap, I’m sure.
You never know what some successful real-estate developer in Nevada or enterprising ‘waste management contractor’ in New Jersey might want as an interesting, albeit gruesome, conversation piece. Wild Bill Hickok’s blood-spattered “aces and eights” poker hand? The Charles Manson Family photo album? Jeffrey Dahmer dinnerware set, complete with steak knives? The mind boggles.
BTW: No word yet on the availability of John Dillinger’s pickled pudenda. (Talk about fretful porpentine material!)