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The Time a Fan Tried to Sell Paul McCartney’s Germs

Ken Ishii, Getty Images
Ken Ishii, Getty Images

In April 2003, one enterprising Paul McCartney fan decided to take a sad bout with the flu and make it better by offering the ultimate eBay rarity: some of the former Beatle‘s germs.

Londoner Ian Mears posted the auction after claiming to have spent time with – and then caught the flu from – McCartney just before the star had to cancel a concert due to illness.

“I believe this is the same strain of flu and effectively his virus,” Mears told the Daily Star. “I had no cold on the Saturday, then on Sunday I spent most of the afternoon with Paul, and by Tuesday I too had a cold.”

There were those who were willing to cough up some cold hard cash for McCartney-infected mucus. A handful of bids actually arrived before the auction was removed by eBay. The highest at the time amounted to $1.83 – nothing to sneeze at.

How, you may be asking, did Mears intend to pass along these germs, had the sale gone through? The old-fashioned way, of course: “The highest bidder will receive a resealable bag that I will cough into,” said Mears. “Or if preferred, they can have a plastic container full of mucus.”

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