The L.A. Times and others reported that a woman auctioned off a particularly valuable but small piece of California real estate yesterday. Elsie Poncher sold the crypt where her husband is currently interred, which happens to be directly above the final resting place of Marilyn Monroe.

Bidding started at $500,000 and closed today around noon EDT for $4,602,100. Sadly for Ms. Poncher, the highest bidder backed out after the auction closed.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the winning bidder communicated his about face in a email in which he wrote, "I am awfully sorry but I need to cancel this because of the paying problem."

Yes, of course. The 'paying problem.' We've heard of that before. It's similar to the "lying problem."

$4.6 million seemed a bit high to us anyway. We could understand paying that much if you wanted to be placed in the same crypt as Marilyn, but above her? There’s probably at least a few inches of metal and concrete separating you and your love goddess. You’d be spending eternity so close yet so far. Pure torture.

Not to mention the fact that Hugh Hefner is supposed to be buried right next to her, which means you’re probably going to have to endure frequent visits from a stream of buxom, platinum blonde, aging centerfold/bad reality show stars. 

But you know who really gets the raw deal here if and when the crypt sells? Ms. Poncher’s husband.

Richard F. Poncher was such a fan of Marilyn’s that he went out of his way to secure the crypt above hers (he bought the plot from Joe DiMaggio when he was in the middle of divorcing the diva in 1954). Furthermore, it is said that at his funeral in 1986, a group of his friends waited for everyone to leave and then turned his body over, so that for all eternity he would be lying face down on top of his idol.

Elsie Poncher confirmed the essence of the legend in the LA Times.

“She said that when her husband was dying, he made a request. ‘He said, ’If I croak, if you don’t put me upside down over Marilyn, I’ll haunt you the rest of my life.’  Right after the funeral, Elsie said, she conveyed her husband’s wish to the funeral director. ‘I was standing right there, and he turned him over,’ she said.”

Elsie Poncher decided to sell the crypt to pay off a $1.6 million mortgage on her Beverly Hills home. After the sale, she’ll move her husband to the crypt next to his current resting place (which he also bought from DiMaggio) and when the time comes she’ll be cremated.

It’s easy to understand why she doesn’t want to be buried with her husband under the circumstances. Not only would she have to play second fiddle to Marilyn, but Richard is bound to be plenty ticked off about being moved and who wants to spend eternity arguing? Although we understand his beef. He paid for eternity. So far he only got 23 years.

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