by Dr. Rutherford Benson III Certified Appraiser for Antiques Roadshow as told to Joel Decker
Well, here I am again in “beautiful” Phoenix, Arizona waiting on the parade of the clueless and obese as they traipse their “treasures” in, of which 99% will be worth zero dollars yet cost me minutes of my life. I sit here waiting to see the delusional hillbillies as they bring forth a red wagon full of their grandfather’s collection of decade old whiskey bottles, numerous VHS copies of Top Gun and “Big Johnson” t-shirts. How clever.
“You’re the world’s foremost authority on antique bowls. You’ve devoted your life to it. Why not see if you can get on Antiques Roadshow?” said Genevieve, my now ex-wife. I only retain my position with the Antiques Roadshow to pay alimony to the woman who got me into this seventh circle of hell that is my existence. A vicious and unforgiving circle of destiny that has become my routine. My kingdom for a 16th century black powder musket with a reachable trigger while the barrel is in my mouth! Tis all for naught. I tried trading for such a weapon but no one is willing to trade an heirloom of such value for a “kingdom” which consists of a studio apartment in Richmond, a 20 year old Hyundai, and a $14.00 an hour job on Antiques Roadshow. Life is a cruel mistress.
Every now and again a stirrup pant wearing behemoth will waddle forth adorned in the latest sassy Tweety Bird tank top, stretched to the seams testing the workmanship of the seven year old Chinese factory worker who fashioned said garment, bearing a treasure unworthy of most, yet history has determined, through cruel fate, it end up in her sausage fingered and cheese dust covered fritter mitts. “Ah keep mah keys in it.” You simple beast. In your paws you hold a 15th century Ming Dynasty bowl worth many millions of dollars. “Ah keep mah keys in it.” Yes. I heard you. “I used to eat queso from it during mah NASCAR parties.” Yes, but it is of great historical significance and belongs in a museum. “But…what’ll I put mah keys and queso in?” For numerous exchanges of this variety, I am oft tempted to withhold information regarding an item’s value knowing full well the person who has the property will merely find someone to purchase said item and take whatever price offered and spend it on items unworthy of most humans. And yes, a lifetime supply of Pizza Flavor Blast Pringles are not fit for humans.
Seems the American dream is to discover something you’ve taken for granted may be worth enough money to improve your situation. However, most will take their gains and instead of improving their situation will simply make themselves more comfortable with their situation. This is seen when new money allows purchasing of a vibrating chair large enough to house a Guatemalan family or a miniature refrigerator to be placed near the large chair so it’s owner can guzzle their vile ale or keep yesterday’s McNuggets at the ready for the time they choose to exert their doughy appendages for nothing more than to shove genetically altered chicken parts down their esophagus.
Perhaps if people valued the memory of the loved one they received the item from more than it’s monetary value. Perhaps consider keeping whatever the object is in your family and passing it on to generations of your offspring you will never meet. Monetary value of a thing doesn’t always equate true meaning.
Who am I kidding? Go sell your shit, tubs.