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Philip Baruth: Hummels4BigTime

05/18/07 12:32PM By Philip Baruth
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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, where we Americans can all find our virtue again, somehow.
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