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Want to Own a Tiny Piece of the Governor?

Times Staff Writer

The online auction house EBay briefly listed a sale item Friday that -- depending on the future of cloning -- could spawn thousands of little action heroes-turned-governors.

A cough drop that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger allegedly was sucking at a recent police memorial was retrieved out of a garbage can and offered for sale for a starting bid of $500 under the heading “Schwarzenegger’s DNA.”

“Own a piece of DNA from the man himself,” the listing read.

That violates EBay’s rules against selling body parts, the auction company said, so the listing was removed until the anonymous seller could reclassify it as a “collectible.” Other than that, they said, the used cough drop can be sold.

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“There is a policy against human body parts or remains,” said EBay spokesman Hani Durzi. “So you cannot market something as someone’s DNA. This could be considered by someone as a collectible, but it has to be sold that way.”

The item listed the cough drop as a “mint,” but the governor’s office says Schwarzenegger routinely sucks on throat lozenges and not breath mints. The listing included two photos of a yellowing, half-sucked cough drop set against a black backdrop, and a sales pitch with a few grammatical and spelling errors:

“Like many people who collect items from international stars this is a must have. I’ve heard of people going through trash cans of the stars trying to find items such as this, but who’s to say it came from the star itself. Witnessing this was amazing and this is why I’m offering this to the fans and collectors of memorabilia to the stars and no one is bigger than Arnold Schwarzenegger!!!”

The EBay listing showed photographs of Schwarzenegger attending a May 7 event in Sacramento honoring slain police officers, where the seller said the “mint” was retrieved.

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The seller, listed under the name “AMF814,” was anonymous and indicated that he or she lived in Clovis, a Central Valley town near Fresno. An e-mail requesting comment was not returned. Durzi said EBay was trying to contact the seller.

The governor’s office said selling a used cough drop was close to the weirdest thing they’d seen in a long time, but they took it with a chuckle.

“I can’t believe you and I are going to have this conversation,” communications director Rob Stutzman said when asked for comment, before bursting out laughing and deciding to leave it at that.


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