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for April 24, 2003

Pump And Dump
by Sean Carolan
from a procrastinatory tangent
explored at the worst possible moment
by Sean Carolan and Jennifer Keating

For the past few weeks, it's been difficult to find anything in the news that didn't involve Iraq, SARS, or some combination of the two. But there is one item, standing head and shoulders above the rest of the incoming news, that merits attention -- if only for the tangential bearing one of the people involved has with the kind of music we like to berate here at Altrok.
Y'see, a few weeks back, Ben Affleck bought J-Lo a US$105,000 toilet seat.
What, in the name of all that's holy, could possibly justify that cost, and still allow it to ... you know ... function reasonably, relative to its stated objective? I mean, sure, a solid gold toilet seat would do the trick, but wouldn't it be uncomfortable? (And on a winter's morning, wouldn't that wind up giving off a particularly expensive sort of chill?)
Eventually, I found a fuller link to the story, pointing out that it had jewels mounted within clear lucite - kind of like the novelty toilet seats filled with pennies, except for the few extra orders of magnitude in net worth.
Nah, that's not worth it. All that is, is a toilet-seat-shaped jewel box. What I'm more interested in is whether it's possible to have a $105,000 toilet seat that does nothing beyond that - but does it so supremely well that it handily justifies that price tag.
I picture an airplane hangar full of civil engineers, all in white short-sleeved shirts, dark skinny ties, horn rimmed glasses, and crew cuts. Draped about the CAD/CAM machines on the production floor are blueprints and layout drawings of every contour of J-Lo's kiester, and not for prurient purposes...but for science.
They gather as their leader speaks:
"We have been assembled here because we are at the pinnacle of our area of expertise. The aggregate brainpower in this room could easily cure the common cold, put a man on Mars, or figure out why Carrot Top has a career. But that's not what we do.
"We build toilet seats. The best goddamn toilet seats money can buy.
"And that's what we're all here to do. We will proudly fortify the last line of defense between J-Lo and the city sewers. It's an awesome responsibility, and I know we're up to the task. Gentlemen...
(He pauses for impact.)
"Let's build a toilet seat."
The roar of approval from the hall is deafening.
At least, that's the way I think it ought to be. I could be wrong. Maybe it's just a lame way to spend a hundred thousand dollars.
I do know one thing: it's all probably Kevin Smith's fault.

©2003 Sean Carolan

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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