The other day this book came in at the library for me: Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry.
I totally don't remember why I requested this book, or where I heard about it. (Sadly, this happens a lot; my memory is a sieve, except of course where BBC miniseries and their stars--about most of whom I can recite their ages, their spouses, and their most well-known roles.) So when I picked it up and saw the cover with the little porcelain doggies, I got excited, thinking maybe it was an actual auction catalog.*
But then I got it home and saw the blurbs on back from Dave Eggers and Amy Sedaris, so now I'm guessing it's some kind of clever humor book that I'm entirely missing the point of. It's laid out perfectly, just like an auction catalog, with lot numbers, short descriptions, and price estimates, only the artifacts here are the remains of a couple's relationship:
"LOT 1224: Two Aprons. One red-and-white striped cotton, label reads 'Daniel Boulud Kitchens.' One vintage flower print, no label. Laid into pocket of latter is a note on the back of a shopping list handwritten from Morris to Doolan. Reads in full: 'Dear one, Third batch of macaroons definitely the best. X.' 7 x 2 in. Both aprons size small. $5-10." (p. 88.)
So yup, I'm pretty sure that's we have, the story of a couple's break-up (I guess; I haven't looked closely enough to find any evidence of the break-up, most of the blurbs I've seen have been for rather pedestrian couple-type things), in auction catalog form, and now, in real time, I'm going to click over to Powell's and see if that's right...and, yup, here we go: "In Leanne Shaptons marvelously inventive and invented auction catalog, the 325 lots up for auction are what remain from the relationship between Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris (who arent real people, but might as well be)."
I guess it's funny, but it's a bit too far down the rabbit hole for me. Pop culture humor like this usually just ends up making me feel dumber, and if I need that, I'll just go about my daily business--I don't have to read a book for it.
*I am addicted to auction catalogs, and auctions, although the auctions where I live tend to offer primarily bed linens, lawn tractors, and maybe a bit of antique glassware or a few guns thrown in. If you want a totally decadent time sign up for the online catalog service at Bloomsbury Auctions; every now and then I get auction catalogs about rare books and prints and even the catalogs themselves are drool-worthy.