Welcome to Friday… and welcome to Friday’s mail. I’m your host, John Teehan, and bringing in today’s mail is Corwin, a black-furred fox. Today’s mail comes from a New York address intended for a recipient here in Rhode Island. Close, but no cigar. I got the letter instead, and I’m here to share it with you…

To: Mr. Wynn Featherstone
Codswallop Road
Hope, Rhode Island

From: Barrymore Finkelstone
Ace Appraisers
New York, New York

Dear Mr. Featherstone,

We are returning the various items sent to us via bonded courier as agreed. To be perfectly frank, we wonder how bonded our courier needed to be after examining your items. We cannot give you any formal appraisals given that each item has certain issues which preclude us from doing so. Please note this summary:

  • While Ming vases do indeed come from China, the one you presented us came with a sticker affixed to the bottom which reads “Made in China.” We do not dispute the country of origin, but the sticker suggests the vase is not of the Ming dynasty.
  • The skeleton labelled “The Elephant Man” appears to be a full elephant skeleton. No human elements are present. (N.B. The tusks were notably absent, but any value they may have had is negated by current international ivory trade laws.)
  • We are aware that Da Vinci produced several versions of The Mona Lisa, we do not believe he ever produced a version in which the lady is extending her middle finger to the viewer.
  • Your “genuine” South American fetish doll appears to be nothing more than the head of a 1970s Star Trek ™ Spock doll atop the body of a 1960s Barbie ™ doll. You should note that each doll in their original form and packaging would have been worth something. 
  • Your “first edition” copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit contains numerous references to McDonalds. The Hobbit was first published in 1937. The fast food restaurant chain wasn’t established until 1955.
  • Yes, the 19th century grandfather clock is possessed by evil spirits, as you claim. However, that very fact lowers its overall worth considerably. We suggest acquiring an old priest and a young priest to remedy the situation. Then you might be talking a little bit of money. Possibly
  • The wax cylinder recording of Thomas Edision reciting “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is intriguing, but the constant in-line references to radio personality Howard Stern make us believe it is a very clever fake.
  • Your collection of corrspondence between Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee are highly questionable given that each letter signs off with the phrase “fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.”
  • We are impressed with 18th century water pump. We would be more impressed if the handle was still attached.
  • We are sending back the ship-in-a-bottle without comment. The crew of the ship appear to not only be made up of living humans (albeit very, very tiny), but they also appear to be in some distress. You should know that we are consulting with our lawyers.

Under separate cover, we are sending you a check for a full refund. We would appreciate it if you do not contact us again.

Yours sincerely,


Barrymore Finkelstone
Ace Appraisers
New York, New York


No time to chat. Work to do, work to do. Alexander Technique, Canadian Wetlands, Comedian Trivia, painting!