That old starship commander, William Shatner, is once again boldly going where few men have gone before. Shatner, who as "Star Trek's" James T. Kirk combined equal parts heroism and ham, was in the news recently when he generously sold his kidney stone for $25,000, with the money going to a housing charity. The buyer was GoldenPalace.com, which appears to be a gaming website but also indulges in collecting such oddities as a partially eaten cheese sandwich thought to contain the image of the Virgin Mary.
The deal includes the surgical stint and string used to permit passage of the stone, which Shatner said was so large "you'd want to wear it on your finger." Thankfully, we were spared that sight.
But it got me to thinking, what other kind of oddities are being offered out there in cyberspace? Plenty, as it turns out.
When it comes to body parts, perhaps nothing was more astonishing than the "Bel-Air MD" who offered on eBay to donate a "perfectly healthy kidney for a reciprical donation of $2.5 million to a charity of my choice. Absolutely serious inquiries please. "
On a more chilling note, an eBay seller offered three of serial killer Roy Norris' fingernails, affixed with a small piece of tape, to a "recycled card... He's penned a long note authenticating the nails, which fills half the card. At bottom right, he's signed in full over a perfect right thumb print, in black ink. Absolutely guaranteed authentic for life, or your money back. " The bidding opened at $9.99.
Then there was a lad named Franics, who declared, "I just turned 17 and I'm going into my senior year in high school. I decided I'd like to lose my virginity. I figured with the latest eBay craze, I'd see exactly how much I could get for my virginity. Bidding on me will start at $10."
An even more enterprising youth offered, "I have a talent for listening and valuing people. You might feel a little lonely or just underappreciated. I am facing graduate school loan payback. Our solution together: I become your daily e-mail pal who will listen sincerely, care deeply and always be there for you." All for $1,500.
Turning to the animal kingdom, one seller offered an "annoying cat. Vomits constantly, coughs up hairballs 1-2 times per week, and wakes you up at 3am on a consistent basis by meowing outside your bedroom door." Starting bid: one cent.
Guns are banned on eBay but apparently missiles are OK: "Hughes AIM-4D Falcon Missile. Disarmed no warhead. What a great conversation piece this will make!!! "
And finally, this one:" I have discovered the reason for our existence and will be happy to share this information with the highest bidder." Eight people bid, the winner coughing up $3.26. Cheap enough for the secret of life.
I'm not sure what this says about the entrepreneurial spirit in this country. But it makes Shatner's gesture seems downright mundane.