Dear Henry Becton Jr.:
I want my pink flamingos back.
As the honcho at 'GBH, which wrapped up its auction last month, you're the only person who can do it. For years, in our house, we waited for the auction every year as the final glorious triumph of kitsch over good taste. Bad art! Strange gift packs from tiny stores on the Cape! The Quickie Board, which was not what many people thought it was, alas, but, rather, a place to buy a session at Hildegarde's Casa de Rubdown in Agawam. And, yes, even pink plastic lawn flamingos. For a couple of weeks every year, the station that gave us more stuffy Brits than you can shake Tony Blair at would transform itself into a tag sale in Elberton, Georgia. I was even a regular auctioneer, usually on Hawaiian Shirt Night, so I wouldn't have to change after leaving the office.
For the last couple of years, though, I dip into the auction and, every time I tune in, somebody's trying to sell me a bottle of wine. Like seaweed potions and eternal salvation, wine is one of the things I decline to buy on TV. And if it's not wine, someone's pitching me something else I'd have to mortgage a kidney to buy. There's high end, and there's higher end, and then there's the Moons of Neptune, where your apparent target demographic seems to be orbiting. All of this pricey stuff , sold with hushed voice-overs and tinkling piano music. What is this? The Masters? I realize times are tight there, especially now that you've committed yourselves to building a nuclear aircraft carrier out at Brighton Landing. You can't make the nut with knitted goods from Yarmouth, but couldn't you at least give away a couple of flamingos with the lease to the Lexus?
Charles P. Pierce