A few years ago I was in a Z Gallerie, you know, looking at the bric-a-brac; fondling a knickknack; comparing tchotchke prices. And, not looking where I was going, I accidentally kicked a ceramic pot into a display cabinet and it shattered into a bunch of tiny little pieces.
Well, the Gallerie cops busted me right then and there, and with their strict You Break It, You Bought It policy, I was the proud own of a bag of pottery shards.
Okay, that didn't really happen to me, but imagine how embarrassing that would be.
Now, imagine that you're visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and you stop to admire Pablo Picasso's "The Artist." And while you staring deeply into the brush strokes, you lose your balance and tear a hole in the painting.
And the painting is appraised at $130 million.
That actually happened, and now that particular painting, although it can be repaired, is appraised as a damaged piece for $65 million. Appraiser Gerard van Weyenbergh says, "It's a 50 percent loss of the value -- at least. When an artwork comes up in auction, that's the first thing people want to know -- were there any repaints or restorations.
At least they didn't make her pay for it.
I know how that feels.