Mastodon on eBay: A mammoth purchase

Last year, in an effort to clear out my house, I put a bunch of stuff up on eBay. As I considered the piles of junk I was listing, I was impressed with the strangeness of my various collections and the disordered personality that they reflected. From a life mask of Vincent Price to a bunch of signed first editions to a collection of stuffed dolls in the shape of horror movie villains, my eBay listings bore silent witness to a twisted, eclectic personality with a poor attention span and a tendency toward oddball purchases. While I didn't want any of this stuff any more, I was strangely proud of what it said about me.

Recently, however, an eBay listing made me realize just how normal I actually am. Faced with a lack of space and an inability to use her Sauna, Nancy Fiddler recently decided to get rid of the mastodon skeleton that's been crowding her garage for the past six years.

And I thought I was weird for keeping a humerus on a shelf in my bedroom.

The skeleton, which a ranch hand discovered in 1997, was on display in the Oakland Museum of California from 1999 to 2002, and has occupied Fiddler's garage ever since. However, her son now needs a space to build hot rods, which means that the mastodon must go. A relative of the woolly mammoth, mastodons stood about ten feet high, which helps explain why this fossil takes up so much space. Fiddler originally listed it for $115,000, but has dropped the starting bid to $99,500, which seems like a pretty good deal.

So if you're looking for a unique home decoration or just want the perfect present for that special someone, remember this: diamonds are for losers, and nothing says "I love you" like the bleached bones of a gargantuan proto-pachyderm.

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. Someday, he wants to buy his wife a mastodon; in the meantime, he's making due with trilobites.

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