The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 14, April 7, 2019, Article 31


Last week's issue came out a day before April Fool's Day. Under the subject line of "SOME of us wait until the proper day to publish these ...", Ken Barr offered the following, noting: "WOW, what a shame! A dedicated collector loses her life due to a dropped Internet connection ... This was just posted in the news.announce.strange-events newsgroup a few minutes ago." -Editor

BUGTUSSLE TRIBUNE, Bugtussle, Texas, April 1, 2019 (API)
by Noomie Nooze

Police are investigating the unusual death of Bugtussle resident Penny Doller, 57, who passed away earlier today while trying to complete an order on-line.

According to her husband, Zylber Doller, 59, his wife was excited about ordering the new Apollo 11 collector quarter fork being issued by the United States Mint starting at noon Eastern time today. "She got up early," Zylber told this reporter, "made herself a hearty breakfast, with several cups of coffee, and went on-line to get ready to order her special quarter fork. She had all the previous collector forks, from Apollo 1 through Apollo 10, mounted in a collector case next to her computer. The case had slots for the remaining forks, Apollo 11 through Apollo 17, which were to be issued over the next few years. She enjoyed all the Apollo missions, but claimed to be especially enamored of Apollo 11, since she said she dated Neil Armstrong in high school. He graduated high school in 1947, though, and she wasn't born until 1962, so we knew she wuz pulling our leg."

But a problem occurred, shortly before the ordering period started, Zylber related. "She was logged into the Mint website, verified that her credit card information and shipping address were current, and was continually hitting the Refresh button, waiting for the website to change from Not Yet Available to Ready For Ordering. At about two seconds before the hour, I heard a tremendous screech coming from the computer room, and rushed in to see what had happened. I suspected that a ne'er-do-well had climbed in the winder and was attacking her, based on the noise, but that was not the case."

Instead, Penny screamed that the Internet connection had dropped and her computer had gone off-line. "She desperately was pounding away on the keyboard, trying to get back on-line, and using some language that frankly caused me some embarrassment. I hadn't heard some of those words since our honeymoon." When she finally got back on-line, and onto the Mint's website again, all of the 1,776 Apollo 11 commemorative quarter forks being issued were totally sold out. "At that point, Penny went nuts," Zylber continued, "continued cussin' a blue streak, and grabbed one of the commemorative coin forks out of her cabinet. I think it was the Apollo VI one, but I'm not sure. In any event, she plunged it into her neck, and blood started spurting everywhere. I called 9-1-1, but by the time the ambulance arrived, she was gone. I really miss her." he concluded, wiping a tear from his eye.

Bugtussle Police homicide detective Quentin D. Bowers was reluctant to discuss the case. "We're investigating,", he assured the assembled media, "and will have a more detailed statement sometime in the future." He did admit that they had taken a commemorative quarter fork into evidence, and that it was indeed the Apollo VI example. The Bugtussle Coroner, Johns Hopkins Garrett, was more forthcoming later in the day, noting that the fork had perforated Mrs. Doller's carotid artery in a direct line, with every tine of the fork opening a hole in the artery. "Quite unusual", Garrett noted, "it's almost like she had medical training." Zylber, a retired surgeon, noted that he had "seen it before" in some cases of suicide he was familiar with.

Wichita County Power and Gas lineman M. Glen Cambel, who was working nearby when the incident occurred, stated that when he heard the scream, he looked over at the Doller house and thought he saw someone jiggling a wire at the junction box while looking at his watch. He thought that was an odd coincidence.

United States Mint Director Factotum B. Burrocrat, in a written statement, lamented the loss of such a dedicated collector of U. S. Mint products. He promised that an Apollo 11 commemorative coin fork would be delivered to the grieving widower before Mrs. Doller's funeral so that it could be placed in her coffin. "I'll just take one from the 1,770 pieces that the Homeboy Shopping Network ordered", he added, "They probably won't even notice."

Funeral details are pending, and may be delayed while Doller attends a week-long "grief camp" in the Bahamas with his secretary Bambi Vavoom, 23.

Wayne Homren, Editor

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