Shamelessly Rip-Off anyone for clever sayings: Just ONE bit of evidence is reproduced here. It was taken, verbatim, from a note to Gary Moss:
Thanks for your corrections, I think. There is no one I know that slathers on the red ink like you. Some of your suggestions were so choice I plagiarized them partially or in their entirety for sections. If you have any red ink left over from that barrel you applied to my last article, feel free to use it up on this version which I think is fairly clean, foolish hope though it might be.
About_Mineral_Collecting. Doc (rev.#8)
Besides the admission of bald-faced theft of intellectual property, Rock closes with “YOB” – A valediction lifted from the letters of several, long time friends, who were fated to see THEIR closing line used in the letters Rock subsequently sent THEM.
Here’s another charming memory from the troops.
All ‘toadies’ (another stolen term) learned that if they were interested in buying a specimen from the JTI inventory, they had better hide the identity of the chosen specimen by mixing it in with other specimens, before asking Rock for prices.
Otherwise, Rock would immediately focus his attention on the chosen item and with a demonic chuckle say “That’s a pretty good one! I think I’ll keep it!” Sometimes this resulted in Rock running off with ten or more specimens in an excess of enthusiasm for this routine.
The fact that he owned the specimens but had already ‘high-graded’ the lot, coupled with the fact that, theoretically he could do whatever he wanted with them, muddled, but did not remove the sense of having wasted one’s time in a futile search for something nice, only to have it ‘appropriated’. Usually this was accompanied by chortles of glee. It didn’t matter if the specimens were already priced – he still took devilish delight in snaking the good ones.
Rock was a big fan of the ‘delayed pay-off’ joke.
One time when Rock was expecting some European houseguests, he had one of the help take a made-to-order rubber stamp and, using a ladder, stamp every orange hanging on his orange tree with “Sunkist.”
Later, when the guests had arrived and settled in, Rock would casually take them for a stroll around the garden and, just as casually – pick an orange or two and hand it to them. When asked about the “Sunkist” markings Rock would aver that HIS orange tree was a “special” cultivar that normally, only Sunkist had access to, for their products. The guests went away and spread the story of the “special” Sunkist orange tree that Currier had.
Then there was the plastic head of an old crone that Rock had fastened to the wall next to the guest bathroom toilet. If the “sitting” audience made the mistake of pulling a string connected to the head – it would let out a shrieking cackle and then spit water on the unfortunate victim.
Oh no… We’re not finished yet.
One day, Rock had noticed a polished Amethyst slice that had the overall form of a Wulfenite crystal: a crystal an inch and a half or so across. Taking a matrix, gossan plate covered with tiny Pyromorphite crystals, Rock gouged a trough into the Pyro plate, where the Amethyst slice would just fit, albeit somewhat precariously. Then he would go trolling at shows for a victim: Museum curators were especially favored.
Approaching the unsuspecting ‘mark’, Rock would ask if they had heard or seen the new Purple Wulfenites yet. When their interest was fully piqued, Rock would extend the bogus matrix specimen and just as they reached for it, Rock would tip it slightly forward, resulting in the “Wulfenite” falling off of the “matrix” and initiating a mad and desperate attempt to catch the errant crystal. This scam was successful numerous times before the ‘catcher’ failed the eye-hand co-ordination test and the “Purple Wulfenite” breathed its last on a concrete floor.