Friday, October 22, 2010

Man Sells Lifelong Collection! Sort of.

It may sound morbid, but Strange Times finds that the largest nuggets of comedic gold often come from downtrodden men whose luck is so down that it's nearing the region of becoming a truck stop cliché.  We don't know why, but there is nothing quite as funny as shattered hopes and crippled dreams that are dying in an alley with no one but the roaches to give the eulogy...except maybe that one movie with the talking dog.

Nope, this is much funnier.

Now, we're thankful to live in such an unfair world.  Most of the time we can get our fix of unjustness by looking out our window.  Lately though, the gods have been conspiring against comedy and "Fine 'n Dandy" rates have reached an all time high.  No one is getting flat tires, terminal illnesses are going into remission, and not a single person has lost a big promotion due to a poorly timed case of diarrhea in months.  Things are seriously fucked up.  We've done all we can to right this wrong by purposefully driving through puddles near crowded street corners, pouring scalding hot coffee on subway commuters' laps, and strategically hiding thousands of AIDS needles in the places you're least likely to look, but most likely to stick your hand into.

See that smile? Yeah, remember that. There ain't gonna be another one for a long damn time.

Just when we thought we were going to have get used to living in a world where the good guy always wins and earnest, wholesome morals prevail...Emitt Chilk showed up.  Chilk is an adamant collector of many things: baseball cards, comic books, and a lifetime of experiences that barely add up to diddly-squat.

"I'm afraid your tests came back positive for Type 2 Diddly-Squat.  Mary, you're going to die...soon."

Emitt has jumped from garage sale to garage sale, thrift store to thrift store, in hopes of landing his next big find.  He has garnered thousands of items to complete many collections, but they have all come and go, earning him just enough to live semi-uncomfortably.  Every collector dreams of scoring that one priceless artifact that some freak on eBay will pay top dollar for.

This guy just bought your spoon collection for all the wrong reasons.

Despite Emitt's efficiency at collecting, it has taken him until last week to complete one he began as a child. The collection: Those weird smooshed penny things you can buy in gift shops.  You know, those oblong pieces of metal that have absolutely no monetary or even sentimental value.  Surely you've seen the dispensers and immediately shuttered at the kinds of horrifying C.H.U.D. that are spending their hard-earned change to create this worthless copper abominations.

The Rise of the Machines...this is how it starts, people.

Chilk finished this collection last week at Bernie's Ghost Tours' gift shop in southern Illinois.  They offered four different designs of squished pennies: A ghost, a phantom, an apparition, and a specter.  To most, the differences are miniscule and all of the coins end up looking like skid marks anyway, but to Chilk they were recognition of countless hours of hard work. Chilk bought all four and placed them snuggly in his "Squished Pennies Official Collector's Fanny Pack" that his mother made for him.  The collection was complete.  Chilk is said to have broken down and wept with joy on the spot, but his moment of triumph was cut short when a small child told him to get out of the way, so he could get to the candy aisle.

Clocking in at close to 200,000 squished pennies over the course of 43 years, Chilk's collection was inducted into record books for two categories: "Longest Taken to Complete" and "Most Headscratchings When Mentioned".  "It wasn't supposed to take this many years," said Emitt. "But everytime I thought I had them all, I heard about a new machine that sprung up in a mall in North Dakota or a dildo store in Texas.  At that point, I was already so invested that I had to finish.  I wouldn't have been able to live with myself otherwise."

This is a dark road for collectors that there is no coming back from.

Things were looking up, until embarrassment struck on the set of Antiques Roadshow, the long-running TV show where collector's flock to in hopes of striking rich with their useless junk...we mean prized possessions. Emitt brought the pennies for appraisal in hopes of selling if the price fell within his range.  Before the show, he made his predictions, "I'm expecting at LEAST a million, but probably more.  I mean, I spent my entire life doing this.  That's gotta count for something, right?"  The moment flashed quicker than a trenchcoat pervert on a frigid December day.  The projected sale price: $17.62.

Appraiser Juff Esthler gave a professional's point of view, "Hahaha, I'm sorry.  I'm sorry.  I shouldn't be laughing.  But a person who thinks that anyone would want to buy those things for a dollar, let alone a million dollars, must be devoid of any sort of brain function.  You should've seen his face."

It made this guy look like the jolliest chucklefuck this side of Disneyland.

Heartbroken, Emitt made his way through the mob of laughter.  Judgemental faces breathed hot breath that filled the room a general stink of "I'm sure glad I'm not that guy".  He had a brief scuffle with fellow collector, Ron Higgleburger, who had just sold his Navajo-woven shawl for a quarter-million dollars, but Emitt backed off when Higgleburger threatened to give him wedgie in front of everybody.  In one final act of indignity, Chilk was forced to pay double for his parking because he misplaced the token they gave him when he entered.  Also, several hours earlier he had farted in his car and did not provide it ample time to air out, so he had that to deal with.

Emitt drove home recklessly, stopping only briefly at the Indigo River Bridge.  He attempted to throw himself into the rapids below, but tripped while getting out of his car and skinned his knee.  It was at about this time he began screaming upwards, begging God to kill him.  A lightning bolt struck nearby, but did not harm Chilk.

Not the first time God dropped the ball in the "smiting" category.

"In retrospect, I probably would have spent less time collecting stuff," said Chilk.  "I could have collected a beautiful wife, a nice house, and some kids to be proud of...but instead I collected Beanie Babies and these stupid fucking PENNY THINGS!  You think I liked doing this?  18 bucks?  Jesus Christ. And for what?  For a wasted lifetime and over a fifty thousand dollars right down the crapper.  They wouldn't have cost so much, but for some reason they make you put a quarter in the machine.  The quarter doesn't even go into the smooshed penny!  They just take it from you!  I don't even know who "they" are!  Where are these machines coming from?!  They need to be stopped!"  

We managed to calm Chilk down with some high-powered elephant sedatives, but when he discovered he could have simply ordered the pennies from the internet instead of spending thousands on airfare, he fell into a coma.  He was teetering on the edge of death, but doctors were confident he would make a full recovery within the week.  That was until Ron Higgleburger found Chilk's collection along the highway and sold it to an Enlongated Penny Enthusiast that he met at the Roadshow.  When news broke that the collection went for a staggering twenty million dollars, Emitt's heart rate monitor flatlined.  "I would have told Emitt about this guy willing to pay twenty mill for his collection," said Higgleburger from his mansion atop Supermodel Hill. "But I just thought it'd be a lot funnier to see him freak out."

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, humor has been restored to planet Earth.

No comments:

Post a Comment