Going, Going, Gone! Associated Press reports today on an unusual Britney Spears used item for sale: " There are over two dozen auctions of used chewing gum on eBay, each claiming their product has been spit out by the 22-year-old singer. Prices go as high as $14,000, but most are for significantly less.'
My first thought was 'what about the provenance?', and sure enough this turns out to be a problem. One vendor offered a piece of Spears' gum from the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards that "still has her teeth marks in it." The only problem is that Britney didn't turn up for that event.
Anyway, I started thinking a little deeper and realised that the ramifications for future generations could be very serious. London's Bond Street and Brighton's Lanes will lose all their wonderful old furniture and artefacts and instead the antiques shops of tomorrow will be full of discarded celebrity junk. Their windows will be dressed with gum from Britney Spears and dead fingernails from Eminem.
Worse still, that lovely old programme, 'The Antiques Roadshow' will no longer feature old 'chaps' in bow-ties pontificating about Georgian tables, and clocks from the Louis XIV era. Instead, someone will produce a celeophane-wrapped rotting apple core retrieved from Moby's trash can.
"How long has it been in the family?" our new generation pundit will ask. "My grandfather bought it on eBay 100 years ago for $70" says our hopeful punter. "Well unfortunately, as you can see, it is not in pristine condition. Also, you may not realise, but when Moby and his contemporaries realised the value of their debris they started churning them out - a little bit like Picasso and pictures...now if this was a 20th Century apple core then it might be worth rather a lot, unfortunately its degradation seems to suggest that it dates from around 2006." And our hopeful punter starts to look crest-fallen.