Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Outside of Enough

So, I was half way looking through a catalog for a new flannel nightgown, and thinking about how my current one started getting pretty sad just about two weeks after the rest of the world started stocking clothing for summer only and the days are getting shorter at a tremendous clip and flannel is becoming necessary here on the northern frontier and the rest of the world still seems to be focusing on light cotton. And the other half of my mind was enjoying a McBride rerun on USA. I was kicking back for a sort of lazy evening, having been out with the Saturday Morning Breakfast Club and then a big shopping at Fred Meyer and having cleaned out the fridge and organized the freezer during the afternoon of putting the groceries away. You know, hide anything the hooligans might get into in the oven while I make room for them where they belong, sitting with an ice pack whenever the bending and twisting got to my back, taking out the vegetable drawer and organizing it, setting aside the things I am going to use tomorrow when I cook for the week, and mixing a container of grapefruit juice. In other words, feeling mildly virtuous that I had perservered and everything was away, even the dinner dishes washed, and taking the TV show as a reward that I had earned by my determination to work through the ache. And, feeling good that the ache is growing less and sort of thinking about how long it is taking me to heal and get back on my feet and how much it sometimes feels like it isn't happening at all but today, what with all the little stuff I had managed to do, why even getting the radishes and carrots trimmed to take to work for lunches next week and . . .

And, suddenly there it was. A commercial for a five year commemorative coin for 9/11, with a pop-up World Trade Center made from silver reclaimed from a bank at Ground Zero! Suddenly, my pleasant mood was done. I couldn't believe it! And yet, of course, what else can you expect! A pop-up coin made from recovered silver! A souvenir! Over 3,000 people die and someone is selling a souvenir with a pop-up of the WTC! And, I would guess, others are buying it! So, I sat there, catalog forgotten in my lap and McBride progressing without any attention from me, staring out the window at the growing night and thinking about crassness and souvenirs and such as that. Thinking about how when you go to the seashore, you might like to take something home to remember it and prove you were there and you might buy a box that someone had pasted seashells on and covered in glitter and while that would not be art or even craftsmanship, it would not be crass, either. And not even following the thoughts about different tastes being satisfied in different ways or how the seashell box wouldn't even be apprentice level work down the paths they might ordinarily lead me. Nope, no distractions here. Just kind of feeling like I'd like a bath and some syrup of ipecac and perhaps -- well, let's not go there.

So, since I wasn't going to finish the catalog or McBride, I put one down and turned off the other, filled a sports bottle with grapefruit and pomegranate juice and wandered upstairs to my computer. Before I started writing this post, which I needed to write, I thought I'd google it and well, well, well. First I found This article, from 2004 in which I discovered that two years ago Eliot Spitzer took the National Collectors Mint to court for fraudulently marketing a 9/11 commemorative coin that claimed to be made with silver recovered from a bank under the WTC. So, this is not new. And, it is apparently a scam. Then I found The Worst Yet, by which I see that I am not the first blogger to write about it this month. Nor am I the only blogger to be appalled by it. Well, that's good.

And so, I wonder, do you suppose Eliot Spitzer will go after these folks? Do you suppose they are the same folks as in 2004? Google also turned up other mentions of commemorative WTC coin schemes. Not a new con -- well, I remember in the mid 70s when Sixty Minutes did an expose of the Franklin Mint and how they sold relatively worthless coins at greatly inflated prices by advertising them as limited editions and how my step-father called me the next day and had me take his collection of Franklin Mint coins in to a dealer and sell them so no one would know he had done such a stupid thing as to buy them. (The only time in my life I ever had $7,000 in cash in my pocket, and I do wonder how much he paid for them.)

And with all the places that wondering and thinking and remembering took me, the overall feeling is of such sadness. There are people who would like a souvenir of the deaths of over 3,000 people. There are people who would run a scam to provide them with that souvenir. And almost (my, Jimmy Hatlo does keep coming to mind this weekend, doesn't he?) a sense of "anyone who would buy such a thing, deserves what they get."


Ally Bean said...

I've not seen this ad or heard about it. I don't like what they're selling one bit. Not entirely surprised, though.

Chancy said...

I saw this ad and wondered why anyone would buy this coin with the pop up WTC in "silver"

I do hope that someone in authority makes them stop this ad.

Congratulations on all you got accomplished. Isn't a spurt of energy like that just great.

Anonymous said...

This shouldn't be so surprising since some of us can be such a money hungry and greedy A.H

kenju said...

I have not seen the ad either - and I would have one if they paid me to own it. TACKY!

Ms. Mamma said...

Bad idea, very bad. I don't think I have anything in common with people who "collect" these types of coins or even "state quarters". Cheesy and gaggy.

Autumn's Mom said...

How very sad. I haven't seen the ad yet either, but I'm sure it will make my blood boil.

Jill said...

I remember when I lived in Baltimore and, not long after 9/11, there were ads in magazines and newspapers with bus trips to NYC--highlighting a trip to Ground Zero. It seemed so odd to me--especially when the trip to Ground Zero was in a list, like:
--See Times Square!
--Eat lunch in Chinatown!
--See Ground Zero!

It frustrates me that people are making money off of that. If someone is going to sell these commemorative coins, how about making commerative airplanes using the actual materials from United 93? It's really tasteless, if you ask me.

Kay Dennison said...

I've seen that commercial -- like you, it disturbed me greatly but it surely doesn't surprise me. That there are people out there who actually feel they should make a buck from such a tragedy offends me greatly. I guess Barnum was right.