SELLING ALL STARS…
What is it about the culture we live in that makes us obsess with stardom & celebrity?
Turn on the TV any evening and you are bombarded by nightly shows dedicated to telling us what size coffee Britney Spears drinks, where she buys it every morning, and whether or not her kids were with her when she bought it.
The other night I was driving home from the airport when a radio ad caught me by surprise. The ad offered me the opportunity to purchase my very own star. We’re not talking about a star on Hollywood Blvd. We’re talking a real life shining star. For as little as $39.95 I can get my own brightly burning star, complete with a certificate of authenticity. Now, it occurred to me as I listened to this ad that maybe – just maybe – we’d reached a new all-time low in self-centeredness. My very own star? But hey, since I’ll never actually be a star then I figure that owning one is the next best thing.
The Universal Star Council is in the business of selling dreams. They are the official realtors of outer space. Check it out for yourself at www.starcouncil.com . you can buy one star, two stars, a family of stars. You can even pick the constellation.
As the economy around us continues to implode; people losing their life savings, their homes, their jobs, its nice to know that there has never been a better time to get into the star market. Heck, the stock market has failed us this year so why not put my money somewhere safe – outer space.
I’ve got a little money left in my 401k so I took out a loan against it. I contacted the nice folks at the Star Council and asked them if I could speak with P.T. Barnum (of “a sucker is born every minute” fame). They weren’t amused by my implication that they just might be taking advantage of a star obsessed maniac like me. Once they realized that I was serious and that I had the $39.95 in the bank, we started talking about stars. I asked if the Big Dipper was still for sale. It wasn’t. It seems that the Big Dipper is the outer space equivalent of beach-front property in Malibu (where a lot of other stars live). The next obvious choice was to ask about the availability of the Little Dipper. I knew the answer before I asked it but, being the smart-ass I am, I had to ask. Nope, gone…….Starbucks already bought that location.
After discussing the potential availability of something with a view of the former planet Pluto, I realized that it was going to be easier for me to find a rent controlled 3 bedroom apartment on Central Park. No stars with a view of any of the existing planets were available. So, I asked them to show me a nice little star within 1,000 light years from Boston. They miraculously were able to locate the one remaining star in the region. It was smaller than what I was looking for (one bedroom, one bath, small kitchen, no yard) but I got caught up in the buying frenzy. I couldn’t imagine losing this star to someone else. So, while I couldn’t really afford the mortgage I was able to find a former investment banker from Wall Street willing to give me a sub-prime loan (0% interest rate!), and I decided to go for it. I tried to get a good look at it from a telescope I purchased at KB Toys just before they announced their bankruptcy. I was able to locate it but can’t be 100% sure that it was the star I was buying. I wasn’t able to see the “For Sale” sign in the front yard. My outer space realtor assured me that every thing was in order and that my star was a “bank owned” listing. It seems the guy who used to own this particular star was a former senior executive at General Motors. He was unable to make the monthly payments so the bank seized it. Today was my lucky day as the bank was anxious to dump all off-shore properties before they themselves went out of business. So, I went for it.
I am now the proud owner of the 3,279th star to the left of the Big Dipper. Its exactly 45 light years away from Boston. It doesn’t offer much of a view but it does have 13 Starbucks locations on it (three drive-thru locations – who knew they had stores up there too?). I bought a ticket on the Virgin Atlantic space flight (you gotta love that Richard Branson guy!) and will be leaving tomorrow afternoon. I am pretty excited. I’ve decided that once I get there that I am going to paint it bright red, I don’t know. This will help me know exactly where my star is on any given night.
I have to go now. I have a lot to pack. I am excited about the upcoming trip but I have to admit that I have a nagging feeling that by the time I get back that the Universal Star Council won’t be around any more……..that is unless they are able to secure a bail out loan from our friends in Washington.
Seriously? We’re selling stars now?