Strange eBay Listings

From the LRB’s history of eBay:

The site has made the headlines most often for the wacky merchandise
that has been sold or listed over the years. The most famous instance
is probably the ten-year-old toasted cheese sandwich bearing the image
of the Virgin Mary that went for $28,000 in November 2004. In March
this year, two sisters from Virginia sold a cornflake shaped like the
state of Illinois for $1350. It was removed at first, since foodstuffs
have to be sold in sealed containers with best-before dates, but the
sisters got round that restriction by selling a voucher for the thing
instead. In May, a jealous husband from Bletchley put his wife up for
sale. He began the auction at a penny, but bids surpassed half a
million pounds before eBay removed the listing. A CD of the ‘income-tax
returns for 2005 of the entire Italian people’, which had been briefly
posted online by the tax authorities, was removed after a few hours.
Cohen mentions the ‘fully functional kidney’ that was listed on 26
August 1999, and shut down as a hoax eight days later, with bidding at
$5.7 million. In July 1999, bidding for a ‘young man’s virginity’
reached $10 million before it was pulled. Shipments of cocaine, votes
and souls have also often been listed. In 2001, the artist Keith
Obadike put his blackness up for sale (the description is reproduced in
Everyday eBay): ‘This heirloom has been in the possession of the seller for 28 years.’

They might have added book and conceptual artist Robert The’s listing for "the present moment," which went for $13.81.



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I saw a two-headed cow on eBay recently and also a taxidermied frog with fangs.

THIS ROCK SEEMS TO BRING GOOD LUCK TO ALL WHO HOLD IT
FOUND IN RIVER AS IS
THIS ROCK IS THE STRANGEST ROCK I HAVE EVER FOUND
IT APPEARS TO LOOK LIKE A
#1 ON ONE SIDE
THEN TURN IT OVER AND A SEA HORSE OR HORSE APPEARS
EVERYONE THAT SEES THIS ROCK SEES SOMETHING NEW AND DIFFERENT.

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5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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