Oddities on the Auction Block

SAN FRANCISCO (08/09/2000) - A limbless Barbie doll, a macramé beer-can hat, a pregnant key chain: Disturbing Auctions is not your mother's EBay (Inc.).

The Web site isn't an auction service, either. But it is an entertainingly goofy celebration of our disposable culture's extreme excesses. Designed and written by Steven Frank, Disturbing Auctions is a rogue's gallery of some of the most offbeat, outlandish, and plain old tacky items auctioned on EBay and elsewhere.

Frank forgoes the obvious--babies, kidneys, and other freakish items that have shown up on EBay--in favor of the unexpected. You'll find ghost poop and a frog-skin purse, for example. With tongue firmly in cheek, Frank has compiled and chronicled such items for our disbelief and pleasure. No advertisements interrupt our exploration of unfathomable kitsch.

Some of the best examples, along with their final bid prices and Frank's snickering asides, include: - A dismembered Barbie doll (no bids): "Let's just say that Barbie will never borrow money from the mob again."- A transparent toilet seat with coins embedded in it (over $200): "The seller suggested that this item could alternatively be used as an 'oval picture frame.' Yes, whichever family member you frame with a toilet seat will no doubt feel loved."- A funeral home coffee scoop ($4.99): "We've secretly replaced Aunt Ada's ashes with Folger's Crystals! Let's see if anyone can tell the difference!"- An atrociously ugly toothpick holder ($92): "I took pottery in junior high, and most of my efforts came out looking something like this. Had EBay been around, I might be $92 richer now."- A Saddam Hussein hand puppet (final bid unknown): "Is it just me, or does he look more like Pasqually from Chuck E. Cheese than Saddam?" As for the pregnant key chain, that one has to be seen to be believed.

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