By now you might have heard about an online auction service called eBay. On it, and the competitors that have copied the idea, you can find and bid on just about anything. Want an asparagus knife? Type 'asparagus knife' in the search field, and you'll probably find lively bidding on one right now. Online sales of collectibles like toy trains, thimbles, and belt buckles are especially popular.
But the Internet auction phenomenon really spikes upward when someone decides to sell something bizarre, like that toasted-cheese sandwich that was said to look like the Virgin Mary. Or the ghost in a jar. Other people have sold wax mushrooms, used pill bottles, a wallet belonging to Elvis Presley's father, and fur that someone shaved off his four cats. And e-bay has had to say No to items far more risqué or disgusting.
Often the seller gets quite a good price, which may explain why the owner of an animal named We wanted to sell it on the Internet auction site, with bids starting at $150,000.
We is a rat snake. Seven years ago, the World Aquarium in Saint Louis, Missouri, paid $15,000 -- one-tenth of what it's now asking -- for the slithery albino serpent. Even that is a lot of money for a snake.
What makes We so valuable is that this snake has two heads. So what once would have been a carnival sideshow curiosity is now a headline attraction on the web.
Turns out, eBay refused to auction the snake. No live animals, it said. But already lots of We merchandise, like socks and puppets, are for sale there. And the aquarium says it has at least three potential buyers for the snake. Maybe the old saying is true: Two heads are better than one.