Collecting culture thrives on finding objects once cast off as worthless that later become valuable with the patina of time, from "Antiques Roadshow" to the Smithsonian. What we lack is a term for the opposite — the hoarding of stuff valued far beyond any rational sense of worth, which will only fade with time. For example: Spending $77,510 in an eBay auction for a used Cadillac Escalade EXT pickup driven and customized by "Jersey Shore" star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi. That's a lot of gym, tanning and laundry.
Between the smudged photos of Snooki autographing her ride, and the fact that the car was on screen, we can safely assume this is really Snooki's truck. Another piece of evidence: How many other Escalade EXTs have been customized with hot-pink grilles, wheels and badges, then wrapped in black vinyl lizard skin and leopard-print floor mats, a look that makes car enthusiasts want to guzzle the Shore condo's hot tub water?
At the closing price, Snooki's sled fetched some $15,000 over what a plain 2011 Escalade EXT with similar mileage runs (and more than a new 2013) so props to the family friend who gave just a basic description and a smattering of photos to lure 84 bids, with the winning bidder submitting 21 of them. "This is not a vehicle that you can buy everyday, it is an opportunity to own a piece of pop culture history!" the seller said. Maybe the Smithsonian shops online now.