Mike Rowe has spent years doing the most unpleasant jobs imaginable: owl vomit collector, cow bladder cleaner, bone black plant worker. In that time, he's picked up plenty of items — some mundane, some decidedly not — that he's now auctioning on eBay to support his charity, the mikeroweWorks Foundation. The organization helps steer people away from four-year degrees and into less prestigious but often more important and fulfilling careers in trade fields.
Oh, by the way, C.R.A.P. stands for "Collectibles Rare and Precious" — it's not actually ... y'know. Here are a few of the best pieces of C.R.A.P.:
From the San Francisco Zoo: polar bear refuse.
There are a lot of things you could have Mike Rowe sign that would demonstrate your love for the man: T-shirts, posters — you could even have him sign your arm and turn it into a tattoo. But there's probably nothing more appropriate, nothing that resonates with a career of giving dignity to the overlooked and underappreciated, like a big ol' pile of bear dookie.
From World Wide Window Cleaning: hair-eating SRT descender.
Speaking of underappreciated: Documentary camera crews have the worst job in the world. They have to follow adventurous fools all over the world, doing everything they do, only with a 50-pound, vision-obscuring camera on their shoulder. Poor Troy Paff nearly ended up looking like Professor X after an incident filming the high-rise window washing episode. Fortunately, that pain was turned into a charitable gift. And possibly a future of more conservative hairstyles.
From Babcock Ranch: horse ... um, fluid.
A bottle of ... well, what you'd expect horse breeders to have a bottle of. It was purchased by a worker at New York City's Wards Island Wastewater Treatment Plant — because it's not like their office is going to smell any worse.
From the "Dirty Jobs Down Under" promo: silk boxers.
Somebody paid over $1,000 for these. One thousand American dollars. Do you know how much horse fluid that buys? We have no idea, and we're not about to Google it to find out. Point being, the next time your spouse tells you that you shouldn't have blown $300 on a new pair of shoes or a plasma-screen TV for the bathroom, let them know it could have been so much worse. More than three times worse.
There have been a number of other auctions — mostly for shirts and hats from Rowe's episodes as a cactus farmer, an olive oil maker, and even from working at the La Brea Tar Pits. Which means that somebody out there owns a shirt that smells like somebody is retarring their roof. Which means that their house smells like somebody is retarring their roof. And will continue to smell that way until they take the shirt to a dump, burn it, burn the house to the ground, and move to another state.
The current auction hearkens back to Rowe's days as a host for QVC. In 1992, he hawked "Katsak," a $25 bag to entertain your cat. The video on YouTube has nearly a million hits and is as much a piece of vintage Americana as a Norman Rockwell picture. Well, '90s Americana anyway. The sack he's auctioning in the present isn't vintage, but hey, it's for charity.
He also sells a poster that illustrates the idea behind his foundation called "Work Smart and Hard." If you're looking to help, it's probably a better choice than handling owl vomit.
Check out photos from "Dirty Jobs":