So you thought a sandwich was a sandwich was a sandwich. Wrong. Before you take a bite out of your next toasted cheese sandwich, examine it closely: you may just see the face of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Saddam Hussein or even Jesus. This one sold for $28 000 and was bought by an online casino.
Previously, slices of brinjal with the seeds spelling out the name of a certain prophet have also surfaced.
This sort of phenomenon, while coming at a price, raises the tricky problem of provenance. In the UK, there are ducal homes with beds supposedly slept in by Queen Elizabeth. Elizabeth Number One, not the reigning monarch. But unless she left a handwritten note pinned to the bedstead saying: “we slept here, Liz 1”, one has to take his Lordship’s word for it. In addition, one is forced to say: so what? She was known as the Virgin Queen, so no interesting hanky panky took place in it that one could fantasize about.
A good friend owns a desk used by Dr Malan when he was editor of Die Burger. Some idiot removed all the brass handles so now it’s hardly desirable, even if a former prime minister once laboured at it.
Convincing a potential buyer an item is worth more than it actually is, is a useful skill for any dealer in used (excuse me, pre-loved) items:
“Elvis wore a shirt just like that in Hound Dog.”
“They don’t make them like this anymore. Just feel the weight!”
“Nice bit of old English fumed oak. Probably came from some Duke’s mansion.”
Yes, one can “talk up” a slice of toast until you’re sure you can make out Jimi Hendrix or Bob Marley and a Wailer or two baked onto the surface or a cow pat that looks like Hitler’s mother; but you need to be in the right mood to see these things. I’ve grilled many brinjals, but never seen a face with the potential of earning me money. Maybe I’ll get lucky some day, but I’m not holding my breath. The only faces I want to see on inanimate objects, are the leopards and Madiba on R200 notes.
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