The Appraisal

Posted: December 25, 2013 in Non-Music, Storytime
Tags: , , , ,

To counter the Ewww and Gross reactions from my last post, I want to tell you the story of two young guys’ ambition to decorate their dorm room with something special. Al and Dan became best friends in their freshman year of college at the University of New Hampshire. It was an early (and somewhat uneducated) decision that they would be roommates during their sophomore year. During the summer between the two years, Dan visited Al’s home town of Littleton, ME, just north of the larger city of Houlton, known for being the last stop on Interstate 95 before Canada, as well as producing the Houlton Pioneer Times newspaper.

On Dan’s visit during the 4th of July, which would become a tradition between the two, Houlton hosted Midnight Madness, which was an event during which all the stores in the downtown area were open at midnight and offering amazing deals. Dan thought it was quite fun to walk up and down the humble downtown stores and revisit a little bit of the “old” life that was slowly being overtaken by large department stores and malls (the internet as we know and use it today was still a decade away).

Dan and Al walked up and down Main Street, hoping to find a useful bargain or two, but what they didn’t expect was to find themselves in the antique store, staring at a piece of art that would live in infamy for generations to come. It eventually became known as The Appraisal, but it started out as “the cool thing they wanted to buy for their shared dorm room.” It was selling for $15, but the proprietor said that it had been appraised at $50, and that the silver on the piece was “real” silver, so what a deal! There was some seemingly Asian writing on the right, and a silver tiger was crawling downward, really pissed off at something …

Real silver?!? Who can argue with that? At $15, this was a steal. I mean, the plastic frame it came in was worth $15 alone! Even though $15 was a budget stretch, they shelled out for it, and suddenly Dan and Al were the proud owners of The Appraisal.

Everyone laughed at their story back at the dorm. They even asked a Vietnamese guy what the writing said, and he said it meant “You are idiots for buying this thing.” Didn’t matter – they liked it and thought they got a good deal. And so it hung there for two years. When Dan and Al were no longer roommates, The Appraisal split its time between their residences, both in the dorm, into post-college apartments, and even into houses – every time one or the other moved to a new place, The Appraisal was there to greet them.

It’s been in Dan’s possession since 2007, as shipping costs between California and New Hampshire are too much to keep the fun going. Dan bought a nice “silver” frame for it, and it currently hangs in Dan and Liz’s rented house, and it will soon hang in their first home, but everyone should know that this is a cherished piece of fine art that too many others passed up on that fateful night of Midnight Madness, and because of that oversight, Dan and Al scored big, and history ensued.


  1. Al says:

    DUDE….that’s my label… That label alone is laughable, and priceless.


  2. Priya says:

    Well, looks like Tiger paintings in China has more meaning. has similar paintings and a link for their belief at the very end.

    It sure will bring good luck to your first home 🙂

  3. Epiphora says:

    I wish it would bring some luck in *finding* our first home 😉

  4. Corrina says:

    A classic!

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