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Sex-scandal memorabilia sell like hotcakes

From 'bobblefoots' to steamy tell-all books

A minor industry is popping up — or bobbling — in the United States around the spate of sex scandals gripping the government. Most recently, a Minnesota minor-league baseball team, the St Paul Saints, held a promotion where it gave away 2,500 bobblefoots — sculptures depicting a bathroom stall with a tapping right foot sticking out from under the stall divider.

The Saints insist the bobblefoots are meant to commemorate National Tap Dance Day but the kitschy tsotchkes are an obvious allusion to Idaho Republican senator Larry Craig’s arrest last summer for soliciting sex in a men’s room at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport. Whatever the real meaning of the bobblefoots, St Paul fans went crazy for them. Some lined up at 10am for the 7pm giveaway just to make sure they got one. Some lucky fans are now hawking the bobblefoots on Ebay for up to $200.

And don’t forget the talking Larry Craig doll that came out last fall at the height of the scandal.

For his part Craig is preparing his own sex-scandal merch to hawk to the lucrative market of people who love a good sex scandal. Craig recently announced he is writing a steamy tell-all book about his career in Washington, which will include a chapter on his solicitation arrest.

“There will be a bit of what’s happened in the last year and the way it evolved,” Craig told the Associated Press. “I think that’s important for Idaho and those outside Idaho who are interested to know.”

Senator Craig isn’t the only one plying the sex-scandal merch trade. In 2006 former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey published a tell-all memoir, The Confession, about his scandal-prone administration and his resignation following revelations of an affair he had with his Israeli-born homeland security advisor, who went on to sue him for sexual harassment. The Confession also details McGreevey’s many encounters with other men in bookstores and at rest stops.

McGreevey’s wife, Dina Matos-McGreevey, got into the tell-all memoir business too, but her book didn’t sell nearly as well. Matos-McGreevey recently insisted in divorce court that her ex-husband would have been worth more if only he had capitalized more on his scandal in the months following his resignation.

As North America slides into a recession it’s nice to know that some industries are still thriving.