I sure don't like seeing that thing because OFFICIATING MONK ON INTERMENT still makes me want to push someone out a window. I can't help it. Not that it's any of my business who said what as they lowered his bones into the ground.
Someone might also point out that it would cost you about $35 to drive over to the flower shop at Green Hills, point at that card in the book, give them the text and order 100 of these. Just putting that out there.
As to the subject line of the thread, it would have a long way to go to be the most overpriced item ever. Even if you valued it at fifty cents.
I bought Aaron's book right around when it came out. I swear these were for sale back then at the same price. This was '99-00. I know it is not one item but still.
Some or all of those broadsides were up for auction at the Runfola Sale (aka The Sailors on Leave Sale) back in June 2011. Just winging it off the top of my head, I swear a copy of True Story had an opening bid around $1300 and could not have sold for more than low $2000 with 20% kick to the house.
Wasn't Ross "I INVENTED POETRY!"Runfola's True Story chewed by mice or something? I do recall that one went for a low price in the past few years, but it was pretty rusty. To use a newly coined book collecting term.
As far as that set on Abe, that may have come from our dear friend who came in here years ago and "offered" the set for $50,000 while saying in the same breath that he expected to get $42,500. Maybe he took considerably less. If he didn't, and that's a different set, it just goes to show that they aren't worth the value that has been placed on them. It's true that there are very few of them, but I don't think this is true:
Publisher John Martin remembers giving many of the broadsides to random visitors in a time when Bukowski was virtually unknown.
Why would Martin (or anyone) give away an extremely limited item that he placed a very high price tag on to "random visitors"? I'm sure he did give a few away, but that is written to make it sound like he tossed them around like napkins, and I would doubt that was ever true as far as those early broadsides were concerned.
Along similar lines, I would assume that most people who paid $375 (in 2014 dollars) for the set took good care of them and kept them together. Only a collector would pay that for five broadsides, so the idea that "few survived" etc., I always find a little hyperbolic.
Rare? Yes. Desirable? Yes. Worth what people always seem to ask for them? It would seem not. The most overpriced item ever? Maybe. ;)