I read a lot of fiction, and I can tell you this: Truth is stranger than any plot I’ve ever come across.
I recently read two novels that centered around art theft, and learned that famous artworks aren’t stolen for collectors, they’re used as collateral by (mainly Russian and Eastern European) criminals.
Then I read in the New York Times about an FBI raid on an art gallery located in a fancy Upper East Side Hotel. The agents were looking for artworks that had been stolen from collectors and museums.
It turns out the gallery owners ran high-stakes poker games, often including celebrities, who would go home owing millions of dollars. Somehow these painting, which were kept in store units where they were exposed to damp and dust, were used as collateral against these debts. Some of them may never to be seen by the public again.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who wonders why A-list actors sometimes take roles in such shitty big-budget films. Sure, they get a big salary, but don’t these folks have ENOUGH money? You’d think they were at the point in their careers where they cared more about their artistic reputations than that.
Now I have my answer: They need to pay their gambling debts!
Here’s another strange fact that I HAVEN’T read about in any novel: A goat’s head was found buried in Wrigley Field in Chicago (this is really true–it was reported on a NASA website). It was discovered by grounds keepers, who assumed it was put there as a sacrifice in order to bring the Cubs some much-needed luck.
I wonder what it would take to wake up the bats of MY favorite team? I frankly don’t think a goat would be enough to do it!