Celiac Support Association

Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for May 13

Read the transcript to the Friday show http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7871545/The following is an excerpt from the Friday

program May 13, 2005 
Updated: 8:29 a.m

From the trial news to the puppet news. Which has been more riveting this week? And now it belongs to the ages and the high bidder. The puppet auction is over. The results when we return. And also, our top five stories that we liked a whole lot on COUNTDOWN, the top five COUNTDOWN stories of this week this week next. 

OLBERMANN: It is our mission statement: information, truth, illumination. COUNTDOWN aims for public service, and when none of that is possible, it's time for the stick puppets. And somehow, we screwed up in reverse. The three-day extravaganza of charity auctioning on eBay is over, our crack team monitoring all bidding, genuine and phony, separating the wheat from the chaff. Good thing to our charity of choice, the Celiac Support Association, for people whose health and even lives can be endangered by gluten, by wheat. And we got them a lot of dough. Who's paying up? Who's the big fan? Well, it's Goldenpalace.com. No, I'm not kidding. Just because it paid the big money, though, the on-line gambling site, which has no way of legally advertising unless it buys anything it can find that might get it into the news, is not going to get a free ride here with more purchase publicity. We have standards!  No! Hammer price, $15,099.99. That is, for the arithmetically challenged, $2,516.66 per puppet. These puppets, of course, went for that price, he said with an evil glint in his eyes suggesting there might be more for sale.

Their Web site says it will display the Jackson 6 among its other eBay publicity finds, such as the invitation to the wedding of runaway bride Jennifer Wilbanks to her fiance John Mason. They paid 355 bucks for one? I got mine for $90! Hah! A Volkswagen once owned by Pope Benedict XVI. And more to come. Well, that's not all. There's also a chicken breast bearing the likeness of Pope John Paul II. And at the opposite end of the spectrum, a positive pregnancy test, allegedly DNA marked by the pop tart Britney Spears.

Not to be outdone, the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich, and of course, the incredible shrinking machine invented in the year 2241 and somehow found in a 2005 guy's attic, and it doesn't work unless it used to be bigger than that. They may have beaten you to the punch regarding our puppet players, but not to worry. Just like a wide-eyed tourist locked out of a Hard Rock Cafe anywhere in this world, you can still buy the cheesy knock-offs for much less, ranging from this clever forgery, which includes puppets never featured on this show, to the just plain silly, a COUNTDOWN puppet set, so you can pretend to run the show. You know, like I pretend to run the show. It also includes puppets of a few of our favorite guests.

One quick-witted bidder noted that they did not include a puppet of Craig Crawford. But there's also toast. And this ain't the Virgin Mary. Benefiting, perhaps, from our puppet madness, an auction that was on line even before our little experiment. It's supposed to be me. And then there's these jeans. That's supposed to be me on denim, like the Shroud of Turin, only sacrilegious.

But all kidding aside, this was a chance for us to bring a little attention to a disease that probably affects 1 out of every 100 of us, Celiac disease, wheat intolerance and the Celiac Support Association. I've got it, in fact, a marginal case, but enough of one that I've eliminated wheat from my diet. Kids who have it often wind up are unable to assimilate nutrients from all foods, which means they really cannot grow.

The auction started, the CSA tells us it's been getting about 30,000 more hits each day on its Web site than usual, a jump of about 36 percent. So that helps. As will this giant novelty check, which, if we're smart, we'll auction this off next week. We'll make Golden Palace buy its own money back! Thanks to all of you who bid or who just tolerated this nonsense this week. And in thanks, we offer our weekly review of the week in review.

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