One of the most random, yet comforting, pleasures in my life takes place on Thursday evenings. This is my PBS time. My wife and I put the kids to bed and proceed to enjoy “This Old House” for an hour between eight and nine pm. We laugh and joke about our ability to party, sure, but I still find it one of the most entertaining moments of the week. Following that bit of embarrassing educational television, another guilty pleasure of mine airs: The Antiques Roadshow. I freaking love the Antiques Roadshow. I am always eager to hear both tales of unexpected wealth as well as shattered dreams of fortune. My favorite tends to be the guy who brought his coveted family heirloom to be appraised only to find out that Grandpa Edgar never actually went to France, never camped with Native American tribes, or never left his TV room in Omaha. Sorry, friend. Your Faberge nest egg has turned rotten. I relish in the Shadenfreude.
I would love to go to an appraisal some day, if only to bring some totally worthless item with a fake back-story and earnestly try to keep a straight face as I await the verdict. I have made a list of a few things I think would be hilarious to “Roadshow”.
- Some sort of house-wares item that I pick up at a discount store on the way to the show, tag still attached. I will defend some ludicrous story about a great uncle bringing it back from the war. Bonus points if it is dated in some way with the current year.
- A lock of my own hair in a bag. I will talk at length how my grandmother kept this hair for decades and professed it belonged to an angel, all the while winking surreptitiously to the expert. I may even try to cry a bit for effect.
- An obviously faked piece of art done by myself. A laughably done paint-by-numbers with the name “Picasso” written in crayon on the bottom, perhaps, or a sculpture done in Play-dough and attributed to Michelangelo. When I am told it is an obvious fake, I will whisper “but…I need the money. The people…they are going to break my legs!”
- A mason jar full of “Unicorn Tears”, technically pure grain alcohol, which I will sip on during the program. I will occasionally burst into song when appropriate. Bonus points if I wear a wizard’s cap.
- Something “invisible”.
- A picture I drew as a child with a smiling sun and lollipop trees. When I am told it holds no value, I will scream “My mother said it was priceless! PRICELESS! You can go to hell!” I will then remove my pants and run in circles until security arrives.