The Museum of Hoaxes
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September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
The damp spot that hoaxed a city, 1912
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
Sober Sue, the woman who never smiled, 1907
The Nobody For President Campaign, 1940 to Present
The worms inside your face
Taco Bells buys the Liberty Bell, 1996
Eccentric's last prank, 66 years after his death, 1900
Wedding Dress Guy
image My last shred of faith that there is anything real remaining on the internet has now gone. Wedding dress guy has turned out to be a hoax. Like seemingly everyone else on the internet, I recently checked out his eBay auction of his ex-wife's wedding dress. I read through his rant about his ex-wife and enjoyed his remarks, such as his statement that he was selling the dress "to get enough money for maybe a couple of Mariners tickets and some beer." I also laughed at the pictures of him posing in the white dress. I didn't suspect that the story was a fake (I should have known better!), which of course it is, as Nicole Brodeur uncovered in this Seattle Times article. Wedding Dress Guy is named Larry Star. He mentioned a sister in the story, but she doesn't exist. He mentioned that he had no kids with his ex-wife, but he does. I guess this is another case of how you can sell anything on eBay, as long as you weave a good story around it. And the dress did sell: for $3,850. For that price, the buyer gets a used wedding dress and a phony story. It's amazing what some people will spend their money on.
Categories: eBay, Sex/Romance
Posted by The Curator on Fri Apr 30, 2004
Comments (55)
Steve: Thanks for saying that. Yes, you got it exactly right. I, too, wasn't being negative about the issue when I said it fit the definition of "hoax." It just does.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jun 02, 2004  at  07:17 PM
Cranky Media Guy, perhaps if you could look beyond your own misguided perceptions, you'd see that Katie is right. She aptly hit the nail squarely on the head, when she said that this case cannot be called a hoax. That you are so offended that she so soundly put you in your place doesn't negate the fact that she indeed did, and that she is indeed correct. Rather then trying to find reason to be so put-out, you should consider that perhaps you aren't right here. It doesn't hurt to step beyond your ego every once in awhile and admit that you're as fallible as the rest of humanity, and that you might not always be right.

That he embellished his personal information in the auction doesn't make the whole sale a hoax. He presented the item as it stood, even going so far as to mention how he thought it looked like a shower-curtain. He certainly didn't exaggerate the quality of the dress, which was the focal point of the auction. If he'd presented it as something other then it was, then you'd have a case.

If sales were influenced by his personal story, well then that's incidental and rather arbitrary. It's not as if he's selling his life, such as it were. And that's really all there is to this discussion, at least the way I see it. Though I'll be the first to admit that I've never been the brightest of fellows.

Oh, and Cranky Media Guy, please don't be offended by what I said. I'm just calling it as I percieve it, and do not mean to anger you with my remarks. Thanks.
Posted by Bob Terwilliger  on  Thu Jun 24, 2004  at  12:37 PM
Bob, I hope this is THE last time I will be forced to address this (non)issue. Even if you think I was uncivil to Katie (which, if I was, was entirely in response to her snotty remarks about me), that wouldn't change the facts here. Every person who has disagreed with me about this issue has brought up the same points, which I have repeatedly addressed. The bottom line is, the Wedding Dress Guy eBay auction meets the dictionary definition of "hoax." I have supplied several definitions of the word below, each of which supports my position. As I've said before, at this point you aren't arguing with ME, you're arguing with the dictionary--actually several of them. If, for some reason, you think the dictionaries are wrong, I suggest you contact them. Until the published definitions change, however, I'll stick with them.
Posted by Bob  on  Fri Jun 25, 2004  at  06:07 AM
Bob,

You just cannot take anyone else's opinion, and even the fact they are right, isn't it?

Have you ever thought of that fact, that it's YOU who misreads the dictionaries, and the definitions of the word HOAX? As of right now, you are the one bending the truth, and turn around other contributors statements and opinions. Even your very own one...
Maybe you reread your very own opener?? How does it start? Let me remind you...... "My last shred of faith that there is anything real remaining on the Internet has now gone. Wedding dress guy has turned out to be a hoax." With this opener, you were the one giving the meaning hoax a bad name. You did not bother to soften it up, after your lacking on substantial and valid points. Further down the road you said a hoax does not need to be negative. Well, I sure read the dictionary different. A hoax is something willingly and purposely falsified, with bad intention. This very case is at the very most only a prank. It fits perfectly in the same category as all those funny fake phone calls. No one would call them hoaxes. Well, probably you do?
I for myself found Katies, and Bobs posts very thoroughly, and well put.
Posted by Charly  on  Fri Jun 25, 2004  at  06:22 PM
Bob, none of the statements you attribute to me were actually MADE by me. They were made by Alex, who owns this website. It isn't ME who can't read, apparantly. As for "misreading" the dictionaries, would you please show me where I'm doing that? I've give example definitions from THREE of them below; please show me where I am "misreading" them. The definitions are plain enough. Sorry, I'm not the one being stubborn here.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Jun 25, 2004  at  07:48 PM
Dear Cranky, Bob, Alex, or whoever smile. I was actually not going to bother with this anymore, but will add my 2 cents one more time. Why are you soooo defensive? Did we hit a soft spot there? What floors me the most are the silly (putting it mildly) examples you use to compare and keep bringing up for trying to justify this as a hoax. You have changed your story several times now and just cannot handle anyone else
Posted by Katie  in  USA  on  Fri Jun 25, 2004  at  09:09 PM
I have to agree with Katie here.

You are stubborn to the point of annoyance. And while it's good to have strong convictions, there comes a point where you have to bite the bullet and admit you were wrong. And you are. There's absolutely no shame in admitting it. Noone's going to think badly of you if you do. wink

Look man, the dress was represented as nothing more then what it was. His story about the circumstances behind how he came to sell the dress on E-Bay may have been embellished (ok, a few points were complete bullshit..), but that's arbitrary. He didn't misrepresent the dress itself, which to reiterate (as you either didn't understand the first time, or simply ignored it), was the focal point of the auction! People could clearly see what they were getting when they bid on the dress! Had he passed it off as the Shroud of Turrin or something as proposterous as that, then yeah, you'd have a case. But he didn't, and you don't. It's really that simple. There's no need to hash this out further. REALLY.
Posted by Bob Terwilliger  on  Fri Jun 25, 2004  at  11:04 PM
I think the real problem with this disagreement you guys are having regarding whether or not this was a hoax is that you both see things very differently. You have all made your points very well. As a person who tends to see both sides of an issue, I don't know which of you to fall in behind. I am not emotional about this at all, and emotions seem to be clouding some thinking here. I did see the auction, but now can't remember what the original verbiage was. If what he said in his initial post was all true, then I personally would consider the auction itself to not be a hoax, even if everything he later added was. However, had I bid on the dress after he added his false comments, I probably would've felt "hoaxed", or at least a fool. Had a big company bid on it and won, I wonder if it would've considered it to be? Certainly the big shots would've worried over whether it made the company look foolish. I wonder if a prospective buyer had emailed Larry and asked if his story were really true, what he would've said? Not that that has any bearing on whether it was a hoax or not. This is why there are grey areas in law, and why meanings get changed, and new words made up. The definitions in very old dictionaries do not always match current definitions. Maybe the definition of hoax will be changed one day due to very arguements like these. In any case, IMHO, in the strictest sense of the definitions, this was indeed a hoax. Loosely defined, it was simply a prank.
Posted by Dianne  on  Sat Jun 26, 2004  at  05:09 AM
Katie, et al: While I have no doubt that you sincerely believe what you say, you are simply wrong in this instance. Opinion, no matter how sincere, does NOT make fact. You may believe the Earth is flat with every fiber of your being but my photos of the round planet disprove that. By the way, Katie, that is called an "analogy." You might want to look that up in the dictionary. Oh, I forgot, you don't believe in them. The bottom line here is that dictionaries are the definitive experts on word meaning. I have provided several examples of dictionary definitions of the word "hoax." Not one person who disagrees with me has been able to dispute those definitions. Rather, you are all insisting on your own, conjured-up definitions. That's your right, of course, however you have NO right to assume that anyone will agree with you. I'm certainly no fan of Rush Limbaugh's but I agree with him when he says, "Words have meanings." They do and we find those meanings in the dictionary. Katie, I don't know why you seem to have the need to try to insult me, but you haven't succeeded in winning this debate. I have presented you with facts in the form of dictionary definitions; you have provided nothing but an (incorrect) opinion. It is not ME who is being stubborn here. It is you. I don't doubt that you're a nice person in many respects. You just happen to be wrong about this particular issue.
Posted by Bob  on  Sat Jun 26, 2004  at  06:41 AM
No Bob, for all your fancy exposition, you are the one that's wrong.

Now, I normally wouldn't continue to has out a matter such as this, but I've never met someone so completely arrogant in my life! That you are so completely wrong hasn't gotten through to you, simply because your ego won't let you entertain the notion.

You've been soundly put in your place over this matter time and again, and yet you still stubbornly defend your broken, misguided stance. I wish I had the bravado you do. Or maybe it's best I don't. raspberry

Look man, the concepts put forth to you are easy to understand, if your ego will allow you to.

If we take your definitions of a hoax into account, it only applies to the dress itself, as it was the item up for bid on E-Bay.
The circumstances behind his aquisition of the dress as well as his life story, are incidental and irrelivent, as he presented the dress as it was. The consumer knew the condition and quality of the product that he or she would be getting when he or she bid on it. The item itself was not misrepresented, and as such, the auction was not a hoax.
Posted by Bob Terwilliger  on  Sat Jun 26, 2004  at  06:27 PM
I will say one last thing, oh condencending one. Please pay attention to what's being said to you here. Katie refuted your analogies, as they didn't exactly pertain to this dicussion as such. As for our opinons, "however sincere", the same can be said about you and yours.
As for this discussion, we've presented to you facts beyond refute, and you refer back to the dictionary, and offer thinly vieled insults to the legitimacy of our arguments, rather the formulating any of your own that actually go to further your point. You make wide misinterpretations, and at the same time make narrow minded interpretations. I have to say that, while stimulating, this has also been one of the most frustrating discussion I've ever taken place in. And for that, I thank you. That said, be more open-minded in the future. Nothing you've said here even hints that you've attempted to entertain any notion differing from yours in the slightests. I at least will admit to trying to see it from your standpoint....raspberry
Posted by Bob Terwilliger  on  Sat Jun 26, 2004  at  06:34 PM
Thank you Bob T., very well put! This discussion is obviously not getting anywhere. Bob has made up his mind, no matter what. Its kind of funny, my comments are perceived as insulting, when the same can be said for you Bob. You are taking this rather personal. I was simply outspoken using your own claims as to being an expert, and using your own examples. They did not come from me. Did I ever say I dont believe in dictionaries? You need to stop putting words in my mouth and stick to the facts, but as we have already seen, that
Posted by Katie  on  Sat Jun 26, 2004  at  09:31 PM
This is really quite simple. Like most people, when I want to find out the meaning of a word, I turn to the dictionary. It is the accepted authority on word meaning. Since those of you who disagree with me have cited NO outside authority, what you have is merely your OPINION. Unfortunately, your OPINION is contradicted by what the authorities say. If you were right and I was wrong, wouldn't it be reasonable to expect that the authoritative sources would agree with you? Katie has suggested that I might be misreading the dictionary. Here (yet again) are some dictionary definitions of the word "hoax." Please show me where I am misreading any of them re the Wedding Dress Guy auction. "An act intended to deceive or trick.
Something that has been established or accepted by fraudulent means." "v : To deceive by a story or a trick, for sport or mischief; to impose upon sportively." "n : deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage [syn: fraud, fraudulence, dupery, put-on] v : play a joke on or subject to a hoax." Please not that the oft-brought-up topic of humor is directly addressed in these definitions (as in the notion that the Wedding Dress auction can't possibly be a hoax as it was humorous). As for the issue of "deception," WDG has admitted that he made up the story. That is, by definition, deception. Katie, I find it funny that you say that I have NO idea what kind of person you are (even though what I said was complimentary), then in the next breath, you say that a "person like you" would never get close enough to you to know. Sounds like you're making some assumptions of your own there. Of course, I never said that I WANTED to "get close to" you. I'm sincerely confused as to why you would think I had any interest in that. My interest here is solely to debate the "hoaxiness" (to coin a word) of the Wedding Dress Guy auction. If you're truly choosing to discontinue debating with me, that is, of course, your perogative. I stopped posting to this thread a few weeks back. Then, suddenly, it was revived (much to my surprise) by someone else (I forget who) so I responded. From MY point of view, in the absence of any actual FACTS that refute what I have been saying all along, this hasn't really been a "debate" for at least a month now. As I've said before, when OPINION is in conflict with FACT, FACT wins every time.
Posted by Bob  on  Sun Jun 27, 2004  at  05:42 AM
Bob, I think everyone has noticed how confused you are lol. Again you are putting words in my mouth. I cant seem to get away from these postings, lol. I never claimed or stated you WANTED to get close to me, I simply said you never would to begin with as in your so called compliment you said your sure I am a nice person in many respects blabla. Bob, I am done with this, I wont go over and over the same points anymore. I have made myself clear and that
Posted by Katie  on  Sun Jun 27, 2004  at  10:24 PM
This has been a waste of time and emotion on many of your parts. Step back and I'm sure you will be able to see what has happened. The Wedding Dress Guy was having fun. He took some photos of a dress he wanted to sell, came up with a story, and tried to sell it. His story caught ebay by storm and a bidding way ensued. The story was fabricated for the sole purpose of entertaining those who would read it (according to its author). This is a pretty simple and accurate summation of events I'm sure everyone would agree with. The sentence before last settles the argument: the Wedding Dress Guy created the story for the purpose of humorous entertainment, which by definition is a hoax regardless of whether or not he received any kind of monetary compensation. The determining factor is the original author's intent. Since his intent was to fabricate a story to "make people laugh," his action constitutes a hoax pure and simple. This argument has gone on far too long. It seems people have gotten emotional and have been defending the Wedding Dress Guy against a perceived attack against being called a hoaxster as if that were an insult. In reality, it is a compliment and shows that he accomplished perfectly what he set out to accomplish. Well done. Let's us just thank the Lord he wasn't selling lingerie!
Posted by Milicent  on  Mon Aug 02, 2004  at  06:41 AM
Thank you, Milicent. You've very nicely summed up what I was saying all along: that the Wedding Dress Guy auction meets the dictionary definition of "hoax." Thank you again for your input.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Mon Aug 02, 2004  at  07:33 AM
tongue laugh he's my hero! Him and the Kool-aid man! wink
Posted by Neko  in  Canada  on  Thu Dec 16, 2004  at  12:24 PM
The dress was real, his wife was real, and Larry Star is for sure REAL - so the story around had a little comedy added - everyone including you got a laugh, now he is still reaping the benefits of being creative. Yes, he was on the Today show and many others. He now has a book, a website, merchandise and his band is even more popular because of it. Maybe you are just jealous, not that you didn't think of it but because he looks better in the dress you dream about.
Posted by J Downey  in  Sea, Washington  on  Tue Jun 28, 2005  at  06:32 PM
nice to see ordanary people instead of anorexic models modeling a dress
Posted by Eva  in  New York  on  Fri Mar 24, 2006  at  09:26 PM
Never would buy the worn wedding dress! Same should be сшито only for you, it bears spirit of pleasure of your family
Posted by Kat  on  Wed Jun 18, 2008  at  01:46 PM
I've just noticed that this comments are quite old, but i thot i drop my two cents anyways. I thought blogging was suppose to help us relax and unwind, lets not take all this issues to heart two much.
Posted by wedding photography london  in  london  on  Wed Jul 16, 2008  at  07:42 PM
rofl That dude is quite something.
Posted by Kelly  in  USA  on  Tue Dec 15, 2009  at  09:29 PM
I new this hoax all along! People should spend more time on useful things!
Posted by nyc bride guide  on  Sat Dec 26, 2009  at  10:51 PM
That is horrible. I can't believe he was able to sell the dress for that much money especially since its such a scam. you really have to watch yourself on the internet.
Posted by Carico  in  USA  on  Tue Jan 19, 2010  at  10:51 AM
Yes what a laugh , but stay tuned there is always something around the corner that's even stranger , remember bubble boy and his cooky family , i have no doubt that soon you will be able to buy their story in book form on Ebay
Posted by roddy  on  Mon Nov 29, 2010  at  05:35 AM
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