Yeah, I think that Chi Chi Rodriguez may have given the Buk book to a friend as a joke. The Chi Chi auto looks OK, but the fact that the "g"s are the same makes me wonder about that one too. Plus the inscription is odd. I do believe the story that they got them at a church function. No one that would try to forge a book to make money would do one this bad. It is SO bad that it is laughable. The fault of the seller is 1) for not at least checking the signature by doing a Google search and looking at known examples and 2) not pulling the auction when they were notified just how ridiculous this "signature" is.
I worry that someone that may have just heard of Buk may buy this and think that it is real.
Okay, here goes for whatever it may be worth.
At a Mid-Atlantic Booksellers Association trade book show in Atlantic City, NJ a few years back, one of the publishers I represented was doing a reprint of an old Gertrude Stein title. As a promotional item they did a very colorful and large graphic poster of the book to be handed out at the show. For what I thought was the fun of it, I took a Sharpie felt pen and began writing "Good Luck!" and signing "Gertie" on the posters for the booksellers before handing them out. Of course, GS had been dead for many years. Well, I could not believe the uproar from a few booksellers who claimed they were having a fraud committed upon them. The great majority of booksellers, being in the know, thought it riotously funny and a great gimmick. It certainly brought attention to the book. The story of the "Gertie" posters was retold with good humor many times at future booksellers trade shows. I still think that publisher owes me a bonus for marketing savvy beyond all expectations.
Have any of these posters shown up on ebay as autographed? It is funny that some people want so badly to have something autographed that they overlook the impossibility of the signature. Some people on this board will probably remember 1999 editions of Bukowski books showing up signed and the hard time that we had getting the ebay sellers who bought these at a yard sale to agree that it was utterly impossible that Bukowski could have signed a book five years after he died. I can see one of these posters showing up on ebay the same way.
You would think that someone who bought something that they thought was special would do the 5 minutes of research before listing these, but they do not.
Did you find that booksellers, as a group, don't have your sense of humor? I can see myself doing something like this and then being surprised that there are people who are upset....
As a group booksellers are wonderful well mannered people and heavy party goers with highly developed and intelligent senses of humor. As with all groups, there are always a few grumps, naysayers and sphincters that are largely ignored.
I have never heard of or seen one of those "Gertie" posters for sale. But if you do, you now have a provenance to go with it when you purchase one. *S*
Larry Robins of Robins Bookstore in Philadelphia put one in his front window at the time just for the fun of it all. That was once a wonderful urban bookshop, but it was destroyed like so many others by the national chains of bookstores. It is one of the reasons I left the business in 2002. The times were changing.