You may have heard this quote, attributed to Andy Warhol:
“In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”
From this evolved the widely used expression, “His/her 15 minutes of fame.”
In August a San Diego woman got her 15 minutes of fame, and it was, indeed, worldwide – the story was picked up by TV stations across the U.S., covered by United Press International (UPI) and appeared on multiple social media platforms.
All for an act of stupidity, which says something interesting about our culture, though I’m not sure what.
It seems the woman and her family were cleaning their house and when her wedding ring somehow ended up in the trash.
Her $30,000 wedding ring.
The stories talk about the ring being “accidentally thrown” and “inadvertently tossed” by someone but are otherwise vague – none of the stories say how or by whom.
None of the stories say where the ring was or when it went missing.
None of the stories say why this incredibly expensive ring wasn’t on the woman’s finger.
Or why, if she took the ring off to clean house, she didn’t put it in a safe place until she was ready to wear it again.
Seriously, what was she thinking? “Well, it’s time to scrub the toilet, so I’ll take my ring off and put it in the wastebasket till I’m finished”?
Or maybe one of the kids, ticked off at being told to put down their phone and run the vacuum, thought, “Oh, look, there’s Mom’s wedding ring. Wow! The vacuum just sucked it right up!”
The story gets vaguer. At some point someone, somehow, realized the ring had been thrown away. More bad news: The trash had been collected, apparently on the same day someone realized the ring had been tossed.
So the family called the city, and city workers tracked down which truck had picked up their trash and where it dumped its load at the landfill site.
At this point we’re still missing in the who, what, where, when, why and how.
But this story has a happy ending.
Thanks to the city workers, who started searching through the mountain of garbage:
They found the ring.
In four minutes.
Amazing, but true.
Something else was missing in all the extensive coverage: The woman’s hand with the recovered ring is shown, but not her face, nor is she identified.
Which was probably a good idea.
You don’t want mobs of people dumpster-diving your trash to find what else someone “inadvertently tossed.”