That's all I could think as I stood in my driveway holding a crisp $10 bill, watching the man I'd only met 5 minutes ago drive away in his black and bright yellow Range Rover. Well, that and, "What an odd paint job." I had sealed our brief friendship with a parting gift of a disintegrating doormat he asked if he could take along. Even crazier was the fact I had spontaneously decided to sell my rock only an hour earlier.
Welcome to the wild and wacky world of Craigslist, where all kinds of folks buy, sell, and barter just about anything under the sun--even rocks. In this particular case it wasn't really a "rock" rock, but a hollow artificial one, kind of like half an eggshell on steroids, that covers irrigation pipes emerging from front yards all over Las Vegas. Still-----------.
Craigslist and I had been casual acquaintances for several years, but with the upcoming move we've been hanging out much more frequently in recent weeks. As our relationship has blossomed I've been introduced to an alternate universe I never knew existed. Sure, the Craigslist world is partially populated with normal folks who legitimately want something you're selling, show up when they say they will, give you money, and happily leave with their new possession.
But then there's those other people---------. For those of you who don't know how this service works, you anonymously post an item for sale and responses come to your email address to protect your privacy. That's where the weirdness starts.
First, your spam box immediately gets loaded up with these crazy emails saying something like, "I see you're selling your George Foreman grill. You don't need to part with your valued possessions in these difficult economic times. I've found a better way that I'd like to share with you." How do you spell "MLM?" Oh, yeah, M-L-M.
The real fun comes from real people responding in really funny ways. Here are a few examples:
Sent at 3 AM: "I LOVE this desk!!" Response: "Great! When would you like to come by?" Reply: silence. OK, so you're up in the middle of the night prowling Craigslist--to review and make comments on things you have no intention of actually buying?? Go to bed, get up tomorrow and get a life---please!
I've got a super-heavy stainless steel grill for sale. "I want your grill. Will you deliver?" Response: "Uh----no."
A $10 waffle maker. "Times are hard. Will you take $5?' Response: "If times are that hard you don't need to be eating waffles."
Sometimes the exchanges remind me of unsuccessful pickup attempts at a bar. "I WANT YOUR CHAIR!! WILL COME GET IT TODAY!!" Reply: "I'm here. Call me @ --------- and I'll give you your directions." Nothing. Followup: "Hey, are you coming to get the chair??" Nothing again. Gosh, we seemed to be hitting it off so well. I even gave her my number. Was I too forward? Maybe we should have taken it slower-----.
One woman drove all the way from the other side of town to buy a $10 desk lamp. First, why would you do that? Does your time have no value at all? She shows up in a big BMW SUV, then announces that she really doesn't like the finish--she thought it was more pewter-y looking. I'm like, "You mean to tell me you're coming way out here and going home with nothing? Give me the money and make it work." She left with the lamp. Geez-----------.
My favorite Vegas story involves a couple who came by over the weekend and really wanted our outdoor furniture. They just didn't want to pay the asking price, which though expensive was more than fair. He worked me over hard but left empty-handed when I wouldn't budge. So I was surprised to get a call from him the following Monday saying he was coming to pick it up after all. As we were loading his truck he said, "In case you're wondering why we're doing this, I won $500 playing cards at the casino last night." Only here--------.
I think it's about time for Craigslist and I to break up. It's been great and we've had some laughs together, but in this case I'm not using that famous excuse that we "need to see other people." No, I've decided I need to see a lot less people!