Secret of eternal life: bidding starts at 99p, no reserve

Posted in Fiction on April 7th, 2014 - Be the first to comment

Remember me telling you about the Faux-Goblet of DOOOOM! some weeks ago, and how I didn’t know what to do with it?

Well, inspired by the Antiques Roadshow’s ability to use the word “provenance” to mean “we can make up whatever the hell we like about this crappy old vase in order to bump-up the price”, I decided that the goblet might sell better if people knew about its extensive, factual and not-at-all made up history.

I wasn’t expecting it to sell, so figured I would take the opportunity to have an enjoyable and very sarcastic morning writing the description. I’m particularly proud of “Elf Clinic”, which shows that despite my delusions of being a proper writer, my humour tends to plateau around the level of a Christmas-cracker joke.


Tree of Life Goblet

Imbued with magical powers. Unique provenance. Dishwasher friendly.

It’s going to be difficult to do this item justice in something as superficial as an eBay auction, but I shall attempt it anyway …

GobletOfDOOMThis auction is for a goblet, its surface seemingly carved in the likeness of a tree. This is undoubtedly symbolic of mother-earth, and nature, and oneness with the universe. The underside has a layer of green beize, so as not to scratch the surface of your High Table at the next formal Pagan Banquet and Bingo Evening. The metal inner section can be removed from the goblet and put in the dishwasher – because The Busy Working Druid of Today needs their ritualistic crockery to be convenient and quick to clean, just like everyone else.

But it’s the subject of provenance that really makes this auction something special. Following extensive research, I have tracked down two experts (from right down the other end of the bar) who, after much persuasion and many gins, were able to authenticate the history of this very vessel!

Without question: this very goblet was drunk from by none-other than Gandalf himself during the Council of Elrond. After the council, Gandalf decided to keep it as a momento, wrapping it in some fluffy towels embroidered with the logo “Rivendell Luxury Spa and Elf Clinic” and forgetting to mention it during checkout.

This goblet then travelled with Gandalf throughout all his well-documented journeys through Middle-Earth, was present at the destruction of Mordor and the defeat of Sauron. It then accompanied him on other, less-well documented travels, such as a pub-crawl through Mordor-on-Sea (a lot like Blackpool, incidentally) with Legolas and Tom Bombadil, and a Gay-Hobbit-Pride rally through Hobbiton and Bree.

Then, at the Prancing Pony, Gandalf donated the goblet in a charity tombola, won by none-other than Dumbledore who was backpacking on a year-out before starting work as a part-time teaching assistant at Hogwarts.

The goblet came to me many years later as part of a debt-collection sale of Dumbledore’s possessions. it seems he rang up some quite considerable payday-loan debts thanks to being partial to a flutter on the ol’ Dragon Races.

As you can imagine, spending time in the presence of such magical beings from actual genuine English history has imbued this goblet with unearthly powers. I can attest that drinking from this goblet slows the ageing process, promotes healthy bones and good teeth, and gives the drinker a glossy coat and wet nose.

Why would I sell such a thing, you may ask? Thanks to drinking from this goblet on a daily basis, I have lived for over four hundred years; and my neighbours assure me that I’m still as handsome now as when I was two hundred and fifty. I’ve saved a fortune at B&Q over the years, thanks to 10%-off on Pensioner Wednesdays. And I can usually be sure of a good buffet when attending a funeral of one of my many great-great-grandchildren.

But I feel like my time on this earth has come to an end, and now I must pass it on. Besides, my wife has also been drinking from this cup. I don’t know whether you can imagine what it is like waking up next to the same crabby old witch for four-hundred years, but take it from me: I’m ready to die now.

The goblet comes stored in a magical, soft squidgy material, that seems to sprinkle like fairy-dust and sticks to your fingers and clothes. No matter how much of it you try to brush off, it just can’t get away. I can only assume it contains magic, protective powers; longing to cling and protect anything it touches.

Enclosing that is a smooth shell – like wood, but thinner. It is the colour of alabaster (obviously signifying purity and beauty) and struggles to contain the magnificence of the item within. There’s a sticker on the side saying “Tree of Life Goblet”.

Item is for sale for 99p, no reserve. Item for sale to anyone in the UK or Middle-Earth. It will be sent by first class post – sadly, I couldn’t find a courier who employs orcs, wingèd monsters, or furry-footed midgets. Blatant Hobbitophobia, if you ask me.

No timewasters or Ring Wraiths, please.


It sold for £3.27p. Deduct about 90p for listing it (two categories, with subtitle). Deduct a percentage for PayPal fees. And then consider that I have to carry it on the train to work, then spend most of my lunch hour packaging it up and queueing up at the Post Office.

All in all: possibly not my biggest earner.

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