I dunno - some people come up with the strangest ideas to make money. In this case, an Australian man is selling the word "the" - that's the three letters t-h-e - on e-Bay and would you believe that someone out there on planet earth, has bid $10,131 to own it.
At first I dismissed the idea as ridiculous. I mean, who would buy a word given the amount of words available to use at no charge in the English language alone. Then lights accompanied by bells and whistles along with a "hello Eleanor!" started going off in my brain.
As a playwright who is continually submitting my plays to various theatres in the hope of production, this idea possibly could work for me. Instead of one word, I would put a page from one of my plays on e-Bay or write a one-page play based on suggestions from bidders, and wait for the bids to roll in. Depending on the response, perhaps I'd even consider offering more than one page.
The seller, one "sweatyman" (not the best choice of user-names IMHO but then who am I) writes in his e-Bay description of the word "the": "Ideal for any situation, this fun-loving item fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, wallet, or purse."
Should I decide to pursue my idea, the creation of an enticing blurb would be necessary to get the bidding going. Something to the effect:
"A playwright who has penned many a play, would like to share the witty wordage of a one page play to be written by a. playwright. The contents of the page will be written based on the idea submitted by the winning bidder. Be a hit at parties and let your guests be actors."
Testimonials by satisfied customers could be used to underline this novel idea. Something to the effect:
"I bought a one-page play based on the word, 'divorce' and acted it out in front of my ex-wife/husband/whoever. Boy - were they surprised!"
"I just want to thank a. playwright for the opportunity to bid on my one-page play, "cats." The one page play which featured my cats, Fluffy, Tiger and Buster, who did what cats usually do, which is nothing. It was a great afternoon."
All that's left to do is to decide how much to open the bidding at. A dollar seems like a fair price for a page of witty and entertaining dialogue. This could be the start of something big. Then again, maybe not.