Thursday, June 10, 2004

Shipping Not Included

From the Sun-Sentinel:

For a few days, Niles [Illinois] North High School was the biggest bargain on the Internet, a top-notch school for sale–cheap–on eBay.

“It has full athletic facilities and many [classrooms],” the online description read in part.

“Included are several million dollars in slightly used electronic devices … If bid goes over 5 dollars, will add state ranked chess team. Faculty is not included with bid but may be purchased at nominal cost.”

Alas, the “seller” was a member of the senior class and the “auction” was a joke.

“It was an attempt to carry on the tradition of senior pranks without offending anyone or doing anything resulting in vandalism,” said the student, who uses the eBay alias mattfish86. Contacted by e-mail, mattfish86 agreed to a telephone interview on the condition that he not be named.

He said others collaborated on the idea, but mattfish86 did not have complete confidence that everyone would be as amused as they were and did not want to risk any dire consequences.

“I don’t graduate until tomorrow,” he said Tuesday.

The auction ran from Friday night through Monday night, and attracted more than a dozen bids. Some were Niles North teachers playing along with the joke, but other bids apparently were serious, including an offer of more than $14,000, said the student.

Those bids were canceled with an e-mail that said, “Thanks for playing in the 2004 senior prank.”