ONCE AND FUTURE KING?

ONCE AND FUTURE KING?

| November 14, 2002
For those who have not yet heard the news, Memphian Tom Morgan, hoping to augment his retirement fund, is selling a jar full of dyed black hair,claiming that it was once attached to Elvis "The King of Rock and Roll" Presley. As of Tuesday, November 6th, and after only seven bids, the hair was going for an astounding $17,717 and the Chicago Tribune has estimated that it could sell for up to $100,000. The online auction house Matroner.com describes the item as "an enormous pile of clippings (approximately the size of a baseball)" and explains that saving hair as a keepsake is a time-honored tradition that reached its apogee in Victorian times. The auction listing goes on to read, "While today it is a very specialized field, the saving of hair from the heads of celebrities and famous historical figures has in recent years become increasingly popular, perhaps in part as result of a greater public understanding of DNA [italics mine] which has accompanied modern advances in DNA research. For many, the knowledge that one holds not just a strand of hair from their favorite celebrity but also their inherent genetic makeup as well (being the foundation of the very essence of who that person is or was) allows an associaton much more personal than that of a simple autograph." As a final, if somewhat ominous, enticement, the listing claims, "[This] extraordinary quantity [of hair] offers an unlimited potential for marketing possibilities....The buyer is limited only by his or her imagination." And, of course, his or her access to laboratory suitable for human cloning.

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