He feeds at least half our jones with information about Harry Houdini’s continued hold on the imagination of our collective, modern mind.
Today, he filled us to the brim with news about Harry Houdini AND antique watches.
We have admitted our weaknesses often, publicly and consistently to certain objects that hold a fetishistic control over our innards. Two of those “things” that can make us lose track of time, sense of place and dollars we do not have or could hope to ever obtain are antique pens and watches.
Why? We don’t know. No clue. Yes, much of our schooling was accomplished (or at least attempted) while we were traveling with the Li’l Tom Hardy show and the private tutors hired often had peculiar takes on educational methods. And yes, we were affected deeply by one tutor who would hypnotize with the aid of a brilliant gold watch, rewards us with beautiful fountain pens and, when necessary, punish us with the same two items but used differently.
Some (such as the California Child Endangerment Board) might associate our current irrational joy or fear to our prior experiences with watches and pens. We do not think about it that much, however. We just assume it is one of those special little quirks that make us “special.”
Other quirks include:
1. Refusal to drink any hot beverage unless it is placed on a table and sipped through a 24″-26″ plastic straw;
2. Refusal to eat any meat unless purchased from Burger King (or other establishment with a connection to royalty);
3. Fear of spontaneous landslides occurring whilst using a portable toilet;
4. Insistence that all Swiss Cheese have an odd number of holes;
5. Belief that the souls of chicks from eggs we have eaten cause dyspepsia and hearing loss;
6. Fear that the taking of our picture could cause our soul to be sucked into the camera and replaced with the soul of an Amish person previously trapped in the device;
7. Refusal to use a public changing room for anything other than changing clothes; and,
8. Resistance to eating carrots (cooked or raw) with anyone else in the room unless their hands are in plain sight.
But, that’s just us. We are all special in some way.
Houdini, however, was more special than us. This statement is supported by his world-wide fame, his lasting importance in our culture and the incredible 18 karat gold pocket watch he possessed.
Mr. Cox has a fantastic picture of the watch on his Wild About Harry site and tells its story with his usual style and enthusiasm.
We need to stop typing this article now, however. There are baby chick ghosts trying to tie our shoelaces together – we just know it.
Read Mr. Cox take on the auction for this gem on his site: WILD ABOUT HARRY: Houdini’s watch sells for $25,000.