It all started back on September 9th. Beth was out running and I was at home and decided to play some video games. I setup my laptop and was watching Twitter and Facebook as I was playing. Apparently Wil Wheaton was relegated to clean out the garage. He found a bunch of things and some junk that I am sure we all have. Wil decided that he was going to auction off a movie that he had to help benefit the Pasadena Humane Society.
But that “junk” he found wasn’t ordinary junk. After being pestered by his followers he put the ping pong ball up on eBay as well. But it is a ping pong ball, who cares… right? Apparently a lot of people care. In about 5 minutes the auction had 24 bids and was going for $100! But I think Wil explained what he was thinking about better in his Blog. He took the time to write a hilarious backstory for the ping pong ball, Silas.
This beautiful ping pong ball is almost completely caved in on one side, providing an exquisite, built-in stand to properly display the smaller dent that runs across the other side.
This particular ping pong ball, named Silas, was used in many games of ping pong. It also delighted no less than two cats when dropped on a hardwood floor. Silas was the one ping pong ball in the box that all the other balls made fun of, because he had a name they didn’t understand and he liked to read books instead of going to parties — what the hell is wrong with those other balls? Not everybody likes to go to parties, okay, mom? Maybe I just want to sit in my room and read the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy and maybe look at some dirty pictures on the internet when I’m done. GOSH!
But now the joke is on the other balls in the box, because nobody remembers them or even cares where they are, and now Silas is Internet Famous for, like, maybe two whole days.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS: THIS PING PONG BALL WILL NOT OPERATE IN A GAME OF PING PONG. THIS BALL WILL NOT BOUNCE OR RESPOND TO A PADDLE IN THE USUAL MANNER.
This ping pong ball is probably worth less than the cost of shipping. You will probably laugh a gerat deal when you place your bid, but will likely have the worst case of buyer’s remorse since that one celebrity wedding. Yeah, that’s the one I’m talking about. You’re probably going to feel like that, without all the attention and free drinks that come between the closing of the deal, and the overwhelming regret.
HOWEVER. This ping pong ball will be placed into a lovely padded envelope, perfectly suitable for opening, and it will be shipped to the buyer’s address with my compliments. You will open it, and you will probably say to yourself, “Well, crap. Now I have this stupid ping pong ball that I have to deal with. I suppose I’ll build an expensive display case to show it off at dinner parties.” And then you’ll invest lots of time and money to get that display case, money which could have been spent on whisky or many yards of colorful ribbons to braid together into a whimsical belt. Also, you need to learn to juggle, because it’s a useful skill that doesn’t impress many people, but WOAH is it satisfying when you throw torches around and don’t catch yourself on fire.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: DO NOT ATTEMPT TO JUGGLE TORCHES UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN TRAINED BY A PROFESSIONAL JUGGLER. A PROFESSIONAL JUGGLER CAN BE IDENTIFIED BY THE FOLLOWING:
- Is wearing a jaunty hat, of many colors.
- Asks you for money.
- Arrives and departs on a unicycle.
- Is profoundly offended by this list.
ALL OTHER SO-CALLED JUGGLERS ARE MERELY ENTHUSIASTS, NOT PROFESSIONALS. DO NOT TRUST THEIR TRAINING
That night Beth and I were laughing over the fact that the ping pong ball had reached over $1000! At one point Beth pointed at the dented ping pong ball we had for our cat to play with and said “I wonder what we can get for that.” A light bulb went on… If Wil Wheaton can sell a ping pong ball for $1000, how much would a “replica” go for? I quickly checked to ensure that no one else had done it yet.
The next morning I took pictures and put together a backstory for my ping pong ball, Bob. I checked again to make sure that no one had beaten me to listing a replica, because a replica is only funny for the first one. And so it was listed.
A long long time ago in a factory far, far away….
Ok, it wasn’t that far away, it was still on earth. Some ping pong balls were formed. One of the ping pong balls would grow up to be Silas. At first Silas’ life seemed normal, he played ping pong and was batted around by two adorable cats. As always happens with ping pong balls, he got dented and relegated to the back corners of the garage.
The one day he was found and his pictures was Tweeted by none other than Wil Wheaton. This made him famous. Again people wanted Silas, he was listed as an auction on eBay to find a new family. People really wanted Silas and soon it became apparent that not everyone had a shot at owning Silas.
Silas’s half-brother, Bob, heard about this and wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to own a dented ping pong ball. Since they are half-brothers they look rather similar. And so Bob is being placed on eBay to help ensure that one more family might get to enjoy owning a crappy dented ping pong ball.
Like Silas, Bob was a little different. He never got a chance to play ping pong. He just enjoyed the fact that he brought happiness to the kitty of the house. He spent most of his free time under the couch watching SciFi movies like Star Trek and Firefly.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS: THIS PING PONG BALL WILL NOT OPERATE IN A GAME OF PING PONG. THIS BALL WILL NOT BOUNCE OR RESPOND TO A PADDLE IN THE USUAL MANNER. THIS BALL HAS NOT BEEN SEEN OR TOUCHED OR OWNED BY WIL WHEATON.
This ping pong ball is probably worth less than the cost of shipping. You will probably laugh a great deal when you place your bid, but this auction is mainly for those who wish to own a dented ping pong ball but can’t afford the Twitter famous Silas.
Just with the real Silas this ping pong ball will be placed into a cozy padded envelope, perfectly suitable for opening, and it will be shipped to the buyer’s address. You will open it, and you will probably say to yourself, “Well, crap. Now I have this crappy replica of a crappy ping pong ball that I can’t even at least say Wil Wheaton touched in.”
At first nothing happened, but It was a Monday. I was hoping someone would eventually see it or one of my Tweets about it. Maybe I could at least get a retweet. And then I saw a tweet from Wil. Someone found Bob and Wil even saw that it was going on! Even better is he was actually the first to bid! I am sure that helped get people to start bidding.
Then I started to realize that if my ping pong ball was going to sell I needed to do something more. A certificate of authenticity or something. But this isn’t something that is authentic. Well it is a ping pong ball, but there isn’t anything special about it. Then I took a shot in the dark and asked Wil if he could write a certificate of inauthenticity. He actually responded!
So my ping pong ball didn’t pull in any huge amount like Silas, but it did end up going for $46! I printed out a bunch of pieces of the story, a certificate of authenticity, as well as the certificate of inauthenticity. I hope the new owner appreciates it. And of course all $46 went to Pasadena Humane Society’s Wiggle Waggle Walk (Team Wheaton of course.)