Insights on the Strange Diet of a World Record Catfish

•Last year, Britney Spears spit out a piece of gum. It sold on eBay for $500. Last fall, Splash, the 121 ½-pound world-record blue catfish from Texas'Lake Texoma, excreted the bones of a chicken she'd been fed in her tank-- and they sold on eBay for $71. "Don't ask why I bought them,"says Norman Pemberton of Sherman, Texas, whose friends now call him C.B., for Chicken Bones. "I just thought I should."

The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, where Splash resides, had painted the bones gold, framed them, and posted them on eBay to raise funds. After beating 21 bids, Pemberton sent the bones to a local museum. "You won't find them in my house, "he says. "My wife says I have too many deer heads. She does not want chicken bones, too."

But considering some other 2004 eBay offerings, Pemberton could have done worse. An Illinois seller listed a 6-foot chandelier made out of fish scales; someone from Michigan tried to unload seven frozen turkey heads; and another seller reportedly auctioned off the "Meaning of Life"as told to him by a fisherman. It sold for 78 cents.

--COLIN KEARNS