- An elephant bird egg is to be auctioned in London at Christie's
- The egg is expected to sell for more than $45,000
- Bellini: "It's literally about the size of John Madden's head."
- The enormous egg is perfectly fossilized and hundreds of years old
When people come to my house for the first time there exists only a handful of personal items worth showing off as part of the tour.
Mind you, it's a rather short and uninspiring tour. The gift shop basically consists of pudding. And I'm usually not wearing pants.
Nevertheless, if one does take a quick walk-about of the Bellini manor, the first thing I'll show them is a framed original Rolling Stone from 1972 with Jerry Garcia on the cover. It's pretty much the only thing I own of any interest. Beyond that, I'm left to intrigue visitors with a bunch of large sticks I tossed in a vase.
Also, in the kitchen, I have a collection of condiments. None of which ever seem to impress.
"Sir, I appreciate that you have two different flavors of Cholula, but I really just need you to sign for this package."
"Please. Don't go. I'm so alone."
Fortunately, I finally found the perfect decorative conversation starter to proudly display somewhere within the six cubic feet of space not being lorded over by my dog.
And what is this amazing piece of art?
Well, much in the Easter spirit, It's a giant friggin' egg!
You'd have to hide it behind a Honda Civic. And if your kid can't find it, you failed as a parent.
At a foot high and eight inches wide, it's essentially the same size as John Madden's head. (But covered with far fewer leftover, greasy chunks of turducken.) And it would look great in my living room next to the sticks.
The only problem is that when it goes up for auction at Christie's in London during a travel and science sale at the end of April, it'll likely gavel for more than $45,000.
You see, the reason this particular egg is worth so much money -- and the reason so many people started talking about it online after Christie's put it up for display -- is that it's a fully intact, fossilized ovum of the long-extinct elephant bird.
Other artifacts like this have been pieced together from shell fragments. But this one is in mint condition.
And if you have the money, what a great way to honor the elephant bird!
Up until about the 17th century, the oxymoronically named animal lived happily on the island nation of Madagascar. And at about 10 feet tall, it was once the largest winged creature to walk the planet. But it didn't fly, for that would be asking a lot.
"Fly, stupid bird!"
"Dude, have you seen me?"
The thing was absolutely enormous -- much bigger than an ostrich. And, apparently, it squeezed out these huge eggs that could feed a small army for a month. Or, I suppose, the entire Kansas City Chiefs offensive line for about ... six minutes.
"Easy there, Geoff. Breathe between bites."
But seriously. They're big. In fact, a single elephant bird egg is about the equivalent of 120 normal chicken eggs. And scientists say the elephant birds' lays (is that the right word?) were even bigger than those of the dinosaurs. Which would have been especially disconcerting to Envyosaurus.
Of course, personally speaking as a mammal -- specifically a male mammal -- it's difficult to even imagine what birthing a big, round, shelled oval must have felt like. Which is fine because, really, such considerations don't politely lend themselves to normal conversation.
Unless, perhaps, you birthed the spirit of friendship. But even then, it's of questionable taste.
"Ouch, Dave. And then what happened?"
"I literally exploded with kindness. It was horrible."
There's no saying who might ultimately bid on this elephant bird egg, but, clearly, it takes an eccentric -- someone prone to spending money on things that don't serve a greater purpose beyond just being weird for the sake of weird.
"Jim, what the hell did you just buy?"
"It's a used toothpick from Shaquille O'Neal. You know, for my collection."
Though, when you think about, that might also be worth having.
It would look nice in my vase of sticks.