I have recently become just the tiniest bit obsessed with Craig’s List. I mean – it’s not like I wasn’t aware of Craig’s List before. I once purchased a double jog stroller from a Craig’s List seller. It was a steal for $75 and lasted a full month before the weight of my giant five year old son finally caused a wheel to break off.
I also used Craig’s List to unload a humongous French Provincial armoire I acquired through one of my Mom’s decorating clients. We used it as a TV cabinet in the kids’ playroom for years; but I had to get rid of it when they and their toys were old enough to be banished to the basement and the “playroom” could be transformed back into a dining room. Since it had suffered a bit of damage (doors broken by hanging toddlers) and weighed approximately five million pounds, I figured my best bet for speedy removal was to list it as “FREE.”
For the first time though, I’m actively stalking furniture listings in hopes of finding some sorely needed dining room chairs. There is nothing interesting about this. I only mention it as the reason why I’ve been checking Craig’s List so frequently that I’ve now added the “FREE” category to my daily search. While I don’t expect to find dining room chairs there, I can’t help but be curious about what useful stuff may pop up. Because people really do list things I may want at some point: free packing boxes, free firewood, free armchairs and couches, free office chairs (okay – maybe not those, but if I wanted to furnish an office, SCORE!), free mulch, free bricks from 1900…
But for every useful free item on Craig’s list, there are about 20 completely bizarre listings. And I have now spent an inordinate of time looking through these and thinking about WHO would actually list this shit!
Here are some of my favorites:
FREE RANDOM CRAP
I was on the fence about that coaster holder…but since it’s a “nice one” it may be worth the drive. SO MANY awesome things in just one plastic laundry basket (which isn’t actually in the list – but I’m thinking I could possibly get them to throw it in for a couple bucks).
The weirdness of this is kind of mesmerizing. Admittedly a free stapler (with “staplers”!) is never a bad thing. But honestly, who on earth is going to pick up a laundry basket full of random crap like Koozies and 3D glasses? And more to the point – do you really want THAT person coming to your house?
[Confession: am marginally intrigued by the “Asian good luck amulet.”]
THE BOTTOM HALF OF AN OFFICE CHAIR
Are they really holding out hope that this office chair bottom will go to a good home? I mean, I checked pictures of all the other stuff they were giving away and there were definitely a lot of useful items that people might want. But the bottom of an office chair? You’d think that once they were left with a piece of a broken chair, they’d know that the party’s over and take down the listing…
Maybe this one of those Toy Story situations, where the seller is imagining that the office chair bottom has feelings and can’t bear to throw away something with so much potential to bring joy to another office chair user. Somewhere, there is an owner of a lonely office chair top – and with a little luck or divine inspiration, they just might check the “FREE” category on Craig’s List. YOU NEVER KNOW!
OLD SHIRT WITH ARM PIT STAINS
You know that donation bag where you toss clothing that you don’t wear anymore? The one that gives you minor pangs of guilt because if you don’t want to wear a shirt with a mustard stain, it feels kind of elitist to assume that someone with less money would be less deserving of a stain-free shirt…? The bag you keep forgetting to drop off at Good Will or that clothing donation box at the Safeway? Apparently, this woman doesn’t have one of those.
In fact – not only does she think her nine year old white button down with “arm pit stains” is good enough for someone in need of a free shirt, SHE thinks that the buyer will be thrilled to provide their phone number and set an appointment time for pickup. But please understand, she’s not going to sit around waiting for you. If you don’t show up at the agreed upon time, she’ll just leave the shirt outside with a big “FREE” sign on it “meaning anyone else can take it.”
I’m sorry – did she forget to mention that this shirt has some kind of magical power like a cloak of invisibility or possibly the Asian good luck amulet from that other listing – something to warrant all of her effort? She took SEVEN pictures for this!
I can’t even imagine what it is like to make travel plans with this person…
LARRY’S OLD PORN
Okay – it’s kind of funny. But REALLY Larry? You want people phoning you about your adult videos? Have you considered what KIND of people will want to discuss what you have on offer? I mean the “wife” mention gives us a hint that it’s of the hetero male variety; and the fact that you married someone who can’t stand to have adult videos in the house would make one assume that you aren’t into anything too deviant. I’m sure you imagine that you’ll be passing the porn torch to some nice frat boy. But you have now offered your personal phone number to pretty much anyone who 1. peruses the Craig’s List “FREE” section, and 2. would be willing to meet up with a stranger for some free porn videos. This just doesn’t seem like a promising combo. But hey – you did avoid all of that spam. So there’s that.
You do have to give him credit for not adding more trash (pun INtended) to his environmental footprint. And it’s not like he could donate those videos to the library or call Freecycle…
Do I think these listings are ridiculous and and a huge waste of time? Of course not! Well, maybe the shirt one – but other than that… There JUST MAY BE someone out there in search of a new base for their perfectly good chair seat. And who couldn’t use a little good luck? A potential buyer may think an “Asian” amulet is just the ticket. Even Larry with his porn nostalgia – there is absolutely a demand for adult videos of all kinds. I took a chance on Craig’s List when I didn’t want to move a heavy piece of furniture. So who am I to judge?
And on that note, I’ll leave you with this: If for any reason you want to go for a fancier parmesan cheese presentation at home, there’s a guy in Derwood who’s got your back.