A vial of Ronald Reagan's blood, purportedly drawn from the President's vein as he clung to life after being shot in an assassination attempt, in 1981, has been put on the auction block by a British online auction house. By all accounts, the bids on this unique, if morbid, item continue to pour in. Given the notoriety of the Reagan blood vial, several other historical bodily souvenirs have already been placed on the market. Among them:
Adolf Hitler's mustache. Apparently, after Hitler took his life in a bunker via a self-inflicted gun shot to the head, a corporal in the German army -- one Heinrich Stohl -- entered the room, removed the Fuhrer's watch, ring, wallet and gold chain, and proceeded, messily, to shave off his tiny mustache, believing it would one day be worth a great deal of money. He wasn't wrong. Opening bid is expected to be in the range of $10,000 to $15,000.
Menachem Begin's foreskin. When asked what had prompted his grandfather to keep the future president of Israel's foreskin in an ice-cube tray, the grandson of the rabbi who performed the circumcision said, "I realize this will sound silly, but my grandfather told me that, somehow, he had sensed greatness in that infant child. His tiny penis spoke to him of magnanimity, wisdom, and international fame." The old rabbi took the foreskin home, showed it to his wife and placed it in the freezer. After recounting his story, the grandson then smiled wisely and said something in Hebrew which, alas, the reporter couldn't understand. Opening bid: $2,000.
Margaret Thatcher's toenail clippings. Maude Bemish, personal assistant to Britain's former Prime Minister, originally kept the clippings in a masonry jar, intending to use them as snail bait in her geranium garden. After nearly 15 years as Thatcher's personal attendant, she accumulated close to four pounds of clippings which, she claims, if lined end-to-end, would stretch from Buckingham Palace to Heathrow Airport. It was only after reading about the astonishing success of the Reagan blood auction that Bemish decided to cash in. Opening bid: $1,200.
Charles DeGaulle's hemorrhoid: The former French president's hemorrhoid was removed from his body upon his death, November 9, 1970, and, remarkably, kept alive by French scientists for eleven additional years. The hemorrhoid died of natural causes on November 27, 1981. Confined to a tiny, customized humidifier set at precisely 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the 'rhoid was raised on a strict diet of calf's liver and buttermilk. Asked to comment on the its demise, Dr. Jacques Martain, chief biologist assigned to the project, replied, "In my opinion, it had simply lost its will to live." Opening bid: $3,000.
David Macaray is a Los Angeles playwright and author ("It's Never Been Easy: Essays on Modern Labor"). He can be reached at email@example.com
Editor's note: This post is intended to be construed as satire.