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Culture

Man selling his life on eBay believes he is Barry Bonds' home run ball

Ian Usher, the man who is auctioning his life on eBay, believes his story is the same as the story of Barry Bonds' home run ball.

If you're thinking of splitting up with your lover tonight, please give it a little more thought.

Perhaps like you, I was initially touched by the story of Ian Usher, an Englishman living in Perth, Australia.

Mr. Usher appears to have been betrayed by his significant other. So much so that he decided to set up a website and auction the whole of his life on eBay.

When I say the whole of his life, I understand that he wants to keep his spleen, shins and heart, albeit broken into a thousand pieces. However, his house, his sofa and his friends, well, they can all go.

As I write this, the leading bid is some A$390,000.

And all I can say ask of potential buyers is that they gird themselves for strange occurrences.

Mr. Usher appears to be a genuine man. His site is full of interesting information about him, such as his buying and selling of cars and his cycle hire business.

Yet he also has a blog, the latest entry of which you may find disturbing.

Mr. Usher has suddenly discovered the tale of Marc Ecko, a soi-disant clothing enterpreneur, who paid $750,000 for Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run ball in order to bathe in a deluge of goodwill messages.

This is a picture of a man helping his friend move house. Nothing more. sillygwailo

And also in order to see what it feels like to be a deity for a day. Yes, he was the bright spark who held a poll to ask whether the ball should go to the Baseball Hall of Fame with an asterisk scrawled on it.

Shockingly, the asterisk won. And Mr. Ecko cemented his place in the history of sport. As, some have said, a vacant noise.

So now Mr. Usher has convinced himself that he, too, is a record-breaking baseball and is begging Mr. Ecko to buy his life.

As Mr. Usher says on his blog: "The thing that truly amazes me is $750,000, for a baseball!! I have a soccer ball, an Aussie Rules football, and quite a few golfballs here too. I might go out to the sports store and buy a baseball too, assuming they stock them here! Are you reading this, Marc Ecko?"

I fear that eBay might want to call Social Services in on this one.

I am concerned that Mr. Usher, in believing that his life is the equivalent of a baseball, may have stepped a little too far down the psychological gang plank.

What might he expect Mr. Ecko to do with his house, belongings and friends? Might he hope that they would all be asterisked, each being a permanent monument to Mr. Usher's despair?

Might he believe that the famous French writers Goscinny and Uderzo would be disinterred to write a sequel, based on Mr. Usher's life, to their great "Asterix the Gaul", and entitle it "Asterisk the Ball"?

Mr. Usher himself believes that if he is mad, he is suffering only from "inspired madness."

Still trying to conjure the inspired connection between the value of a man's life and that of a famous baseball (of COURSE the baseball is worth more), I can only leave you to go to Mr. Usher's site and perhaps yourselves attempt to reason with him.

Mr. Usher claims he will go to the airport when the auction is over and get on the first plane he sees.

The auction ends this weekend.

We don't have much time.