Advice King: What Should I Bring to <i>Antiques Roadshow</i>?

Comedian, musician, host of Chris Crofton's Advice King Podcast and former Nashvillian Chris Crofton asked the Scene for an advice column, so we gave him one. Crowning himself the “Advice King,” Crofton will share his hard-won wisdom with whosoever seeks it. Follow Crofton on Facebook and Twitter, and to submit a question for the Advice King, email bestofbread[at]gmail[dot]com or editor[at]nashvillescene[dot]com.

Dear Advice King,Hello Advice King! Longtime reader, first-time writer! I live in Ohio. Antiques Roadshow is coming to my area soon! Antiques Roadshow is a PBS television show. You bring stuff that you think is valuable to a convention center, and professional appraisers tell you what it’s worth. What should I bring down there? 

—Trevor in Columbus, Ohio

Michael Bloomberg’s candidacy is a prime example of what happens when antitrust laws aren’t enforced. You end up with a billionaire — a “former Republican” billionaire who endorsed George W. Bush at the 2004 Republican convention — buying himself a spot on the presidential debate stage. AND HE’S RUNNING AS A DEMOCRAT. Michael Bloomberg is one of the 10 richest people in the world, and anybody alive in America right now who is experiencing Bloomberg’s relentless, all-encompassing, mind-numbing, Orwellian, self-funded advertising blitz can vouch for that. I farted this morning and a Bloomberg commercial came out. My cat tried to meow but it was a Bloomberg commercial. In related news, my parakeet keeps saying “stop and frisk.”

Under the current campaign finance rules, the more money you have, the more political power you have. And anybody who tries to tell you otherwise is insane or lying. Billionaires are destroying democracy. Antitrust enforcement could help restore it.

I did that thing where I try to answer the question without reading it again. It turns out you DIDN’T ask what happens to democracy when you don’t enforce antitrust laws. Thank goodness! That column would be soooooo boring. Even just a couple of paragraphs would be intolerable.

I appreciate you explaining how Antiques Roadshow works, Trevor. I think most people are familiar with Antiques Roadshow though. Maybe not. What do I know about people? Do any of us really KNOW anything, Trevor? Sorry. I’m drinking coffee at 1 a.m. so please bear with me.

The problem with this question is that I don’t know what you have, so how am I supposed to know what you should bring? Are you rich? Rich people can bring almost anything down to the ol’ Antiques Roadshow and they’ll be “pleasantly surprised” by how much it’s worth. To illustrate this point, here’s a short play I wrote called Rich Guy at Antiques Roadshow.

Rich Guy at Antiques Roadshow

RICH GUY: I brought in a painting that my mom had hanging in the bathroom in the basement. It fell in the toilet at some point so that’s why it has that big stain on it. My great-great grandfather invented the sextant, which was a navigational tool, so I’m wondering if it has something to do with him since it’s a picture of an old boat. I’m trying to decide whether I should throw it away because I already have a ton of other great paintings without stains.

APPRAISER WEARING SPATS: [Visibly quivering] Sir, this was painted by Moby Dick. This was actually painted by the white whale from Herman Melville’s famous book. There are no other known paintings by Moby Dick — or any whale, for that matter. It is worth $680 million, and it was an honor just to stand near it.

RICH GUY: Ho ho ho. What a pleasant surprise. I guess I won’t throw it away then.


And here's a play I wrote about what happens when people who aren’t rich bring stuff to Antiques Roadshow. It’s called Person Who Isn’t Rich at Antiques Roadshow.

Person Who isn’t Rich at Antiques Roadshow

PERSON WHO ISN’T RICH: My Uncle Onion left me this weird old ceramic bottle that says “Pennsylvania” on it. He won it in a card game. It apparently belonged to a soldier from the Revolutionary War. It says the soldier’s name on it. His name was “Jim Beam,” which is funny because Jim Beam is also the name of a famous whiskey that I was drinking just now, when I was waiting in line.

APPRAISER WEARING JODHPURS: [Visibly distraught] This is a decanter made by the Jim Beam whiskey company to commemorate the United States Bicentennial celebration. The Bicentennial was in 1976. This jug is from 1976. It says “Pennsylvania” because that is where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Approximately 250 million of these are known to exist. It is worth between 0 and 2 dollars. May God have mercy on your soul.

PERSON WHO ISN’T RICH: That’s cool. Which line do I get in to collect the money?


Good luck, Trevor!

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