Check out this eBay auction: Writer Michael Martone's leftover water: Imbibe literary genius (dozens of authors) in one swig!
Go to the auction listing (click on the auction title above, in blue) and read the auction description by water seller madcabre. It's a hoot. Be sure to look at the questions and answers near the bottom of the auction page too. Great literature, I tell you.
Oh, and keep watching this blog post. As the auction continues, I'll be posting more here. And also, when the auction ends, I have permission from madcabre to upload the text into the blog.
Double oh . . . put in a bid! The bids are up to $10.51 right now. This item could be the beginning of your Michael Martone shrine/museum, a sure moneymaker! The auction ends on Monday morning (
Triple oh . . . please be sure and comment below. I really want to know what you think about this whole affair. And if you bid, do tell us if you win. Or if you lose, we want all the juice . . . and your story better hold water. Good luck!
It was an interesting finish, rather like David and Goliath: winner Mandood has a current feedback score of only 1 while runner-up Hot-66 has a score of 56. This means Mandood has only completed 1 eBay transaction in life, compared to the respectable 56 transactions of Hot-66. One wonders how Mandood — presumably an inexprienced newbie — knew to "snipe" (as eBay parlance refers to the action of appearing in the last moments of an auction and outbidding the competition without leaving them time to retaliate). I suppose, though, one could argue that Mandood didn't actually snipe because there was still a minute and a half left for Hot-66 to respond with a higher bid. Evidently Hot-66 had previously decided to go no higher than $20.00. In any case, the winning bid was — ka-ching — $20.50. Sold! (Gavel thump.)
$2.47 per ounce. Assuming that the seller madcabre bathing in the water and gargling it then returning it back to the bottle has added to the liquid volume, we might estimate a slightly lower per-ounce-price of $2.28 (though of course if we are counting only the Martone water, then we still have $2.47 as the final price per ounce). In either case, quite a coup for madcabre, who has not only earned $20.50 for water that would ordinarily have been discarded, but has also gotten a bath and a gargle out of the deal. Which of course means that madcabre has now absorbed many H2O molecules of literary genius(es) both externally and internally. Well done, madcabre!
NOTE: Watch this blog post further . . . it will grow in size and import as I insert the text of the auction page and Q&As over the next few days. Whew, it's been a fascinating auction, folks.
Please comment below. It would be interesting, for example, to find out who the four bidders were, that is, both their actual eBay usernames and their real names in the quotidian realm. Also, who is madcabre? Muwah hah hah. Whoever you all are, sign in please.
Over and out. For now.
Added on 29 Apr 2009: eBay auctions are left up for only 90 days. In order to make the Martone-water auction available beyond its expiration, seller madcabre and I have agreed that my blog will host his eBay auction text for the enjoyment and edification of Michael Martone fans.
Writer Michael Martone's leftover water
Imbibe literary genius (dozens of authors) in one swig!
Seller: madcabre (140)
You are bidding on approximately 8.3 ounces of Dasani water (plus backwash) in a 20-ounce plastic Dasani bottle (lot number NOV0909 TOC0931L3). This was left by writer Michael Martone on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009, after a reading at Brigham Young University, during which Martone read the "Contributor’s Note" where he talks about his mother writing his school assignments, "
Why should you want Michael Martone’s leftover water, especially when Elvis’s may come up for bid again? You may recall from one of Martone’s "Contributor’s Notes" that:
"In his role as host of a reading, he is often faced with what to do with the leftover water of his guests ... Martone is left behind to secure the room, coil the microphone cables, clean up, kill the lights. Part of the cleaning up part has always included the disposing of the evening's water. Often the lecture halls and auditoriums are not outfitted with a sink. Indeed, the whole point of the headache of providing water in the first place has been the fact that the hall is not in close proximity to sources of water. So Martone has found that he has fallen into the habit of finishing the water himself, drinking the dregs from the glasses or bottles left by the readers like a priest ingesting the leftover Eucharist at the end of Mass. Martone does this more out of a sense of neatness and order, but, he supposes, there is some of the spirit involved as well. He has witnessed some really amazing performances, listened to the work of famous and remarkably gifted writers. And he has drunk their leftover water. Perhaps a part of him believes some of that talent and skill will find its way into his own metabolism through this communion with greatness. It is a kind of inoculation, by means of this tainted fluid, with the cooties of the greatest. Martone hopes, as he drinks, that its inspirational properties, if not the medicinal ones, have 'taken.'"So, you’re securing decades' worth of literary genius — "the cooties of the greatest" — all at once, through the cooties of this pioneering collector. Whose DNA might you find swirling in this literary stew? Gordon Lish, Tobias Wolff, Mary Karr, David Foster Wallace, William Gass, Jane Smiley, Lewis Hyde, Susan Dodd, Susan Neville, Tony Early, Louise Gluck, Dean Young, Louise Erdrich, Charles Baxter, AND MORE! Plus, with over eight ounces of the muse-juice, you can pass it around at your next writers’ group meeting and still have liquid to spare. Save it a few years, collect other writers’ backwash, spit in it yourself, resell it on eBay and make your money back, do what you want to do: you bought it; it’s yours.
Whatever you do with it — whether you gulp it down in one swig, savor it a sip at a time, share it with friends, or simply place it as a trophy on your writing desk — you may be assured of immediate inspiration and better literary output, followed by fame and adulation, and most likely a hefty advance on your next book, not to mention the royalties from the movie version, starring Sean Penn and Winona Ryder.*
In addition to this priceless H2O, the winning bidder will also receive a handwritten Postcard of Authenticity from Michael Martone congratulating him/her on his/her wise investment and certifying that the leftover water is indeed Martone's.
*Results may vary; seller makes no guarantee, expressed or implied, of literary potion’s actual effectiveness at making your writing better.
Questions & Answers