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33K for Disco E

The glittering “Disco E” was the highlight of Day 2 of the current Enron auction:

The glitziest of Enron’s signs, the “disco E,” was sold for $33,000 at auction Wednesday to a man who declined to give his name and immediately drove off in a Ferrari.

“It’s a Christmas present for the person who has everything,” he told reporters while hurrying through the Hotel Inter-Continental lobby to the sleek gray car.

The Ferrari’s Texas license plate number, F57CRG, is registered to a Richard Bowman. He could not be located for comment.

An online library search found that a man named Richard Bowman used to be chief executive officer of Tri-Union Development in Friendswood. Tri-Union Vice President Jeffrey Janik said the company’s ex-CEO drove a Ferrari and lived in Tanglewood.

Those last two paragraphs represent more investigative reporting by the Chron on Enron-related matters than they did in all of 2001.

Today is the last day of this auction. If you’re going to buy anything, don’t make this mistake:

At a September auction, Microcache Computers paid $44,000 for a lighted E. It is now in a shrine-like setting in Microcache’s Gulf Freeway store.

Fred Massey bought an identical E Tuesday for $10,500. He said he intended to turn it into a glass-covered coffee table and give it to his wife as a Christmas present.

Massey tried to keep his purchase secret by identifying himself with the name of one of his friends. The effort blew up when the friend called the Chronicle to say that he wasn’t the buyer. Massey then gave his real name to reporters.

For all his trouble, Massey no longer wants his vowel. His wife, it turns out, doesn’t want the E — she told him it would be too big for the living room.

Is there a married man who doesn’t feel this guy’s pain? Doesn’t he know that Rule Number One for Christmas shopping is “Always Get An Itemized List Of Exactly What She Wants From Your Wife”? What an amateur.

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