Like the Timex Social Club, I spend a lot of time lamenting the rumors that surround me every day. How do they get started? And where do they get crazy? In Truthmongerer, I’ll try to suss out the kernels of truth in the rumors that are taking up airspace in gossip columns, blogs, and our tips inbox.
THE RUMOR: Kiss bass player/reality-show star/future conqueror of Canada Gene Simmons sold a kidney stone that he passed on eBay… for $15,000. But don’t worry, it went to charity!
TRUTH THRESHOLD: 37%.
LIKELY TRUTHS: Simmons was utterly deadpan when he admitted his donation on this morning’s Today. He has suffered from urinary-mineral buildup in the past; kidney stones are the reason why he missed a meet and greet in Indiana, according to his Web site. And if anyone was going to make a cottage industry out of hawking his own waste products, Gene would be at the top of the list.
LIKELY FALSEHOODS: Curiously, the aforementioned apology is the only mention of anything kidney-related on his site; meanwhile, the only completed eBay listing of recent vintage involving a kidney stone topped out at 99 cents. Maybe he was being discreet, but c’mon, this is Gene Simmons we’re talking about here. The only way I can see this being legit is if this 2006 auction for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, which asks potential bidders if they want “a piece of a rock legend,” was written by someone super-literal.
Video of his admission is below, for those of you who want to figure out whether his claim is as straight-up real as KISS Burger.
Gene Simmons on Family Jewels [Today]