Philip Baruth: Hummels4BigTime

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If you’ve ever collected Hummel porcelain figurines, you know that over time
they become as dear to you as your own children. And when you find that you
have to sell one of your children over the Internet well, it eats you up inside.

But with the price of gas hovering around $18 a gallon, my wife and I finally
had to auction off the most precious Hummel in our collection: a 32-inch version
of the The Happy Wanderer with almost no crazing in the glaze.

We put it on Ebay for $29,000 and got a bite that same afternoon: a guy based
in D.C. who called himself Hummels4BigTime. Now, as we got chatting over email,
it turns out that the guy is Dick Cheney, and the man is serious about Hummels.
Really, he already has a mint condition Happy Wanderer, but he’s buying up
all the others to increase its value.

In fact, when he receives ours in the mail, he plans to take it out into his
garage at the Vice Presidential residence, put it in a Hefty bag, and bust
it into a million pieces with a hammer, which isn’t exactly the fate you’d
wish for one
of your children.

But even so, my wife and I came away from the deal full of
hope somehow, that maybe the Internet was the key to bringing this crazy
world together again.

Not a red state, or a blue state, but a virtual state,
we Americans can all find our virtue again, somehow.

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