I saw the following CL ad today, posted by some enterprising person North of Detroit….
*BARN COLLECTION OLD BIKES* - $500 )
Date: 2010-06-17, 2:01PM EDT
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
BICYCLES THAT HAS BEEN COLLECTED THRU OUT THE YEARS. THEY MUST GO ALL AT ONCE WILL NOT PIECE OUT. PLEASE RESPOND IF INTERESTED IN ALL OF THEM
Did you ever notice that junk becomes more valuable if it’s found in a BARN? - It’s no longer the plebeian, run of the mill stuff that you or I might have collected, but rather by mere association with a barn, it becomes something infinitely more valuable and desirable - like the lost treasure of some Egyptian Pharaoh.
It seems, that in popular American culture (and maybe even some more sensible cultures) the mere suggestion that something was found in a barn implies that it is an object of extraordinary worth, a virtual miracle of preservation, put there by some forgotten (but historically significant) person, no matter what its age or condition: Fine eighteenth century American furniture, discarded Formica cabinets from the ‘70’s, a pristine Lamborghini Countach, and a burned-out Yugo on blocks - all elicit that same visceral reaction. “Gotta have it! Gotta have it!”
You know, with the abysmal state of the economy in Michigan, I’ve had some extra time to think, and a new business plan has just occurred to me: Why not sell all of our junk out of barns? The world will beat a path to our door, and we will all become rich. -I’ll even be able to afford my Grail Bike!
…Unless of course, some son of a gun is selling it out of a barn.