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Can’t buy me love but it can get me an old tooth

The world is now crazier than anything John Lennon could imagine when he wrote that song.

Imagine the world is crazy.

It’s easy if you try.

In fact, the world is now crazier than anything John Lennon could imagine when he wrote that song.

For example, Lennon probably never imagined that an Alberta dentist would pay $31,200 for his rotten, tartar–infested molar at an auction.

The tooth in question is in such bad condition it can’t be DNA-tested. But its provenance is secure. Lennon gave it to his housekeeper to dispose of. She kept it and gave it to her daughter instead. Now the family has sold it to the Tooth Fairy, a.k.a. Michael Zuk, who plans to enshrine it in his waiting room back in Red Deer, along with other historical artifacts, such as stale-dated copies of National Geographic and Canadian Dental Quarterly.

I write this every week, it seems: I am not making this up.

If there was any doubt that celebrities have become the new saints of the reality-show religion, that has been dispelled by this latest dubious purchase.

Every medieval church worth its steeple harbours a shrivelled nose or finger bone, and although no one can actually prove they’re parts of a saint, these holy bits and pieces still attract pilgrims, who hope some of that venerated mojo rubs off on them.

John Lennon tried to imagine a world without religion. But we just can’t help ourselves. We need to have a higher power — someone to watch over us. It helps to have access to that power, hence the attraction of holy relics. People still believe in the Shroud of Turin, even though it’s most certainly a medieval fraud.

But John Lennon’s rotten tooth? The martyred Beatle once got himself into hot water for declaring that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ. Imagine he was right. Still, it’s no weirder than the shock of Elvis hair that went for $100,000 or Cher’s bra that went to the Hard Rock Cafe, or Britney Spears’ wad of chewed gum that generated a $14,000 bid on eBay. (Also offered: her half-eaten corn dog and egg-salad sandwich. Yuck.)

Clearly, if you’re famous, even for 15 minutes (like Britney), every chunk is priceless. Michael Zuk may have $31,000 less, but he does have an indisputable chunk of the greatest Beatle. Paul McCartney’s probably going, “I wonder how much one of my decayed molars is worth?”

Not as much as John Lennon’s, pal. Imagine the rest of him is in heaven. We take what we can get.

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