The cult of celebrity has reached a new low. No, I’m not talking about Kim Kardashian making millions from her wedding and then dumping the groom less than three months later. We could have predicted that. What is even worse is that one of the late John Lennon’s body parts has sold for more than $31,000 at an auction.
Here’s the story. Back in the mid-1960s, Dorothy Jarlett worked as Lennon’s housekeeper at his home in Surrey, England. According to Jarlett’s son, the two were very close. So much so that Lennon gave her a tooth he had removed by a dentist.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. What’s the big deal? Famous people give housekeepers their extracted teeth all the time. Why are you making a big deal out of this, O’Reilly?
Well, there’s more.
Jarlett is now 90 years old, and her son says she believes it is the right time to pass the tooth on rather than risk the incisor getting lost. Of course, that makes perfect sense.
The owner of the Omega Auction House says she cannot prove the tooth actually came from Lennon’s mouth because it is too fragile for DNA testing. But she has “no doubt” the tooth is authentic. And that settles that.
A dentist in Alberta, Canada, Dr. Michael Zuk, forked over the 31 grand for the tooth. He says he eventually will have it mounted and displayed in his office. That would certainly be in good taste, would it not? But before the doctor mounts the fragile tooth, he says he wants to carry it around in his pocket and show it to a few people. I pray that I am one of those lucky few.
I just hope the Occupy Wall Street people don’t hear about this. They’re already down on capitalism, and the tooth transaction will not likely change their opinion.
Truthfully, though, selling the body parts of dead people has been going on for a while. Various auctions have featured locks of hair from folks like Elvis, Abe Lincoln and George Washington. (George lost his teeth, so that isn’t an option.) There are collectors who will pay big money for anything physical attached to celebrity icons.
So if Kim Kardashian and her peers are smart, they will begin stockpiling various body parts they no longer need. I mean, you really don’t have to be dead to have value. Kim could begin selling her hair and other stuff on cable. It might divert her attention from the tragic marriage.
We obviously live in strange times, when some folks will buy anything and some will sell anything. It used to be that ghouls were society’s outcasts. Now, they are sought out by auction houses. As Lennon himself once sang about Strawberry Fields: “Nothing is real.”