Chalk this up under the category of "And people will buy it..."
Reader Ken drew my attention to a post on the Knuckledraggin blog profiling a photo of three small birch logs decoratively tied up with string and selling for ... drum roll, please ... $19.95. Oh, and these logs were photographed at a Crate and Barrel store.
I didn't want to reproduce the photo without permission, so I went to the Crate and Barrel website and sure enough, it's selling three "slender" birch logs for $19.95.
The item description reads: "Trio of slender birch logs lends a rustic, woodsy touch to the hearth or porch. Natural jute cord keeps logs tidy and loops to form a carrying handle."
Reader Ken wrote: "I did a quick calculation, on a scrap of paper since I don’t have a calculator, which this time of the morning may be slightly in error, using the price as marked for this what I estimate to be 3 pieces of 2”X 12” birch and it comes out to about $25,536.00 per cord. Delivery is probably extra. Now this is a market I would try to find if I had a logging operation."
$25,536.00 per cord ... !!!
Oh, and in case anyone's interested, Crate and Barrel is also selling additional items.
Set of three "tall birch branches" for $29.95. Item description: "The warm white color and papery bark of natural birch branches adds a rustic, outdoorsy look to wintertime décor, blending equally well with classic and contemporary interiors. Bunch of three branches, gathered in the U.S., comes wrapped in jute and can be used for years to come."
Set of three "short birch branches" with a "clearance price" of $12.97 (item description is the same as for Tall Birch Branches).
You can also purchase moss-covered birch branches ("Kissed with moss, our natural birch branches bring a bit of the forest to a large vase or botanical arrangement") for a clearance price of $9.97.
And people will buy it. To be fair, Crate and Barrel presumably wouldn't carry these products if no one was buying them (hence the "clearance prices"). It just astounds me that anyone has that kind of money to waste.