Ah, eBay. I'd sworn it off for months, took my credit card info offline, and then something like item number 310015728172 comes along: a first edition of Patricia Highsmith's The Cry of the Owl -- what certainly seems her most morbid, misanthropic, and blackly funny book, based on the ten or so I've read -- being sold by an antiques dealer who a) hasn't bothered to authenticate that the signature in the book is Highsmith's (it sure looks right); b) hasn't bothered to mention in her item listing that the book is signed; and c) probably has no clue that signed firsts of this book go for $450 on fixed-price sites. I LOVE EBAYERS LIKE THIS - it's almost as good as the people who would misspell Bukowski as "Bukowsky," which led to my getting some very good deals on signed & rare items (strictly for resale), back before eBay started offering spelling suggestions... Anyhow, all week, the book has been sitting at below $20, and I've been attentively waiting for the end of the auction. In the last minute, a bunch of nickel-and-dimers bump it up just past $30. With 12 seconds left in the bidding, heart pounding, I swoop in and bid the maximum I can conceivably afford, $88. And at the same time -
- two money'd sharks quickly push it well past my limit. The book ends at $159.06. Ah, well. It's more than I could have ever afforded anyhow, so... what the fuck.