Wednesday, November 14, 2007
“I told you. Tom knows what the going rate is. No—tell him there’s other buyers too. Yeah I know. Bono is very interested. Yeah. I don’t care. You can tell it to his face. Look we gotta move on this, or I’ll sell to someone else. Fine.”
I placed the receiver back in its cradle. Tom Cruise’s handler seemed pretty confident that Tom would “show me the money.” In just a few short days, I’d gone from doodling in my Biochemistry Textbook at the back of a cavernous lecture hall, to selling space garbage to Tom Cruise. Not just any space garbage, though. This was bonafide organic matter found on the 2003 Mars Rover Expedition. It could possibly contain the keys to interplanetary life. This is all what Tom Cruise (and possibly Bono) thought.
Truth is, I was sick of school, and I just wanted to make a buck. I didn’t have the aptitude or attention span to actually get a degree from any accredited University, so I came up with the next best thing. I’d sell shit on eBay. So I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and invested in the biggest lufa sponge available to civilians. I had to stop at Home Depot for crazy glue, pea gravel, and brick-red spray paint to complete the project.
Not too long after I arrived home, I had the pea gravel glued into the little alcoves in the lufa. Couple coats of paint and I’d be on my way to the good life. My little con weighed a little more than a volleyball when the paint dried. That was precisely how it should have been. I wanted the mass of the spheroid to surprise the buyer.
“This is lighter than I thought,” they’d say. “I’ll take it.”
The whole shopping experience would exhilarate the buyer into sealing the deal. It was time to fire up the computer and post the ad. I took some grainy snapshots of the meteor on my cell phone. Now it was time to write the ad. This would be fun.
YOUR’RE BIDDING ON 100% REAL ORGANIC SPACE MATTER RECOVERED FROM 2003 MARS ROVER EXPEDITION. CONTAINS MARTIAN MATERIAL. NO ZERO FEEDBACK BUYERS. CONTACT REX FOR MORE PICS.
I started the bidding at 15 million U.S. dollars to separate the men from the boys. To provide a hassle-free shopping experience for my customers, I set my Buy It Now price at 50 million USD— If people didn’t want to deal with the stress and finagling of bidding, they could own a piece of space garbage in one click. I threw in free overnight shipping as a nod of appreciation.
Not much happened the first day. Day two, the bidding began at 20 mil by someone by the handle of Zorlog3030. No more teachers, no more books… I got on the horn and custom ordered my Porsche GT3, and had lunch with a real estate broker in Santa Monica. We talked shop over seared ginger Ahi tuna salads.
By day six, the bidding was up to 250 million bones. Word had spread like a Malibu wildfire that Cruise was bidding on my item, and Hollywood A-listers couldn’t phone their publicists fast enough to get a piece of the pie. Turns out that Tommy Boy was Zorlog3030.
The eBay CFO personally called me to say that eBay would not host auctions of such stature. Turns out PayPal could not afford to take the burden of anything over 45 million dollars. He personally connected me with the good people at Sotheby’s.
The auction officially ended a week after it began. As the price of the Mars rock shot up I noticed Tom and Katie at the rear of the auction hall. Both tried to look incognito in the back corner. It didn’t work on many levels. Primarily because Katie had Tom on her shoulders so he could see over the crowd. And because Mr. Cruise was in full MI:2 garb. The couple was actually quite fetching.
All in all, I made out quite nicely. Tom borrowed against the mortgage on his house and signed the profits of his next five movies to me to finance the deal. At the close of the auction, Katie brought Tom up to inspect the goods. Tom used a jeweler’s loupe to inspect his space junk. Would the subterfuge last? I felt like Nixon at the 1960 presidential debate as Tom viewed my 265 million dollar craft project.
“It’s the real deal,” Tom concluded. “Hey. Guy.”
“My name’s Rex.”
“Dex. Riight. Have your people box this up. Pleasure doing business with you.”
“Oh… and Dex. If I find out that one thing about this is not Kosher, I’ll melt your face off with my death ray.” The look on his face was a shade of unwavering seriousness that only an actor could muster. I almost snickered at the delivery from the vertically challenged, yet critically acclaimed actor. Who threatens someone by death ray?
“Let’s go, Kat.” Katie hoisted all four-feet 11 inches of Tom on her shoulders and slinked out of the auction hall.
Did Tom Cruise really have a death ray to melt my face off? I didn’t care. At this point, Tom would never find me. I was on my way to John Wayne airport to board my newly- acquired Gulfstream 550. Besides, I had to pick up my Porsche in Stuttgart.
SOD is Hustlers, ft The Game by NAS.