Squirrel Underpants & Being Our Brothers’ Keepers


I had a little china business back in the earlyish days of eBay, and I did some public speaking about the ins and outs of eBay sales. And it was fun to shock the crowd with lists of some of the items one could actually buy (or sell) in the “Weird Stuff” category (which is in fact broken down into subgroups. No, I’m not kidding.

I’ve always been curious about why “Really Weird” (3,012 today) has so many less items listed than “Slightly Unusual” (10,432) or “Totally Bizarre” (8,695). Is it a sort of “bust or boom” mentality within this category… people want to go for an understated approach or for shock value?

So today I decided to see what bargains I might snag from the realm of “Weird Stuff”:

  • For $499 there is a listing for “Wilbur the Cornflake.” Serious inquiries only. He has not been altered at all since being removed from the box. Words escape me.
  • For $1, I could get a jar of Upstate New York dirt (if I’ve “ever wanted to own a piece of New York”).
  • You could snag a pair of “Squirrel Underpants” for $9. These are not human underwear with a squirrel motif; they are underwear for squirrels (so they’re quite small, I’d say).
  • Finally (though obviously this is not really final with over 22,000 items in this category among the three subgroups) there is a heartfelt plea that people (a lot of them) would pay $1 each to help a dog have a skin graft (so he can avoid amputation) because (ouch) a Brown Recluse Spider bit him. Poor Pigsley the dog. They need 800 donors; it’s not going so well yet.

I’ve got to wrap up this post because I’ve got 14 minutes to decide if I’d like to spend $100 on an x-ray of a hip with a pin in it. A guy in West Virginia hopes to sell this vestigial record of a health problem from his childhood, as he has no money and this is all he has to sell. I have to say that this competes with Hemingway’s famous short story in six words, “For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”

There’s something so beautiful about what can emerge from internet community. There’s something so sad about people reaching out via internet (or by any method) for what they need or want, if those needs or longings go unmet. It’s hard to read that posting and not think of a Bible verse (James 2:16) which says, “If one of you says to (another), “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” How do we act as our brother’s keeper when brothers are everywhere, even in the Slightly Weird category on eBay?

I was just trying to snag a few bargains, and now I’m worrying about this man in West Virginia and about that dog’s leg being amputated. I’m going back to my bidding, though I won’t tell you which ones I’m bidding on. I don’t want you to outbid me.

One thought on “Squirrel Underpants & Being Our Brothers’ Keepers


  1. Loved having her come meet you all.

    Yes, “win” is definitely a misnomer… especially if one is prone to impulsive bidding, as I have been known to be.

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