Am I speaking Braille?

Why does Craigslist attract so many idiots who want to buy things? I know idiots are people too and they have houses to furnish and hobbies to enjoy just like regular people but what is it about Craigslist that makes them come out of the woodwork in droves and cop a squat all over your ad?

I’ve been pretty successful selling various items on that site, but holy heck, it’s not easy. I’ve learned the hard way that whenever I list an item on Craigslist, I must have my hip waders and pruning shears handy to wade through all the crap and weed out all the whackadoodles.

Case in point: I recently placed an ad on Craigslist for my Rebel. I gave detailed information as to every item included in the sale, posted four photographs and specified the terms of the sale:

  • Canon Digital Rebel XTi body, 10.1 megapixels (excellent condition)
  • 18-55mm kit lens (excellent condition)
  • 50 mm f/1.8 lens (excellent condition)
  • 2 GB memory card (excellent condition)
  • 2 NB-2LH batteries (excellent condition)
  • Battery charger (excellent condition)
  • Manufacturer’s Camera User Guide (excellent condition)
  • Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi / 400D Digital Field Guide by Charlotte K. Lowrie (excellent condition)
  • UV Precision Optical Filter by Promaster 52 mm (excellent condition)
  • Samsonite camera case (excellent condition)
  • Custom made blue/brown paisley camera strap (excellent condition)
  • Original Canon camera strap (excellent condition)
  • EOS Digital Solution CD (excellent condition)
  • EOS Digital Software Instruction Manual (excellent condition)
  • Original box with all literature (excellent condition)

$350. Local buyers only, as I cannot ship. Cash only.


The ad went live at 9:00 a.m. Within thirty minutes, my inbox was deluged with emails from the Lunatic Fringe:


To my inbox: Canon sucks!

From my outbox: Oh, thank God! I was worried.


To my inbox: Will you ship it to Utah?

From my outbox: Only if Utah ups and moves next door to me. It’s a three bedroom, 2Ā½ bath, so it’ll be a tight squeeze.Ā  Let me know how Utah feels about the whole thing and then we’ll talk.


To my inbox: Will you take $20?

From my outbox: I bet the color of the sky in your world is polka dot. Am I right?


To my inbox: Will you take a check? I’m good for it.

From my outbox: Will you take a kick in the gonads? I’m totally good for it.


To my inbox: What exactly are you selling and what condition is it in?

From my outbox: I’m selling my spleen. Comes with a matching kidney and hair dryer. They’re in excellent condition. Was the ad not clear?


To my inbox: Does the camera come with lessons?

From my outbox: Yes, can’t you see them? Right there, on the table? Next to the field guide? Those little blue sparkly things with the pink ribbons. Aren’t they pretty?


To my inbox: What if I get it home and it doesn’t work?

From my inbox: Are you single? Because I’m betting you hear that a lot.


To my inbox: I’ll pay $200 tonight. Cash. Meet me at the Marriott Hotel at 7:00, room 210A. Wear a black leather bra and panties and heels so we match. I’ve got lots of accessories. Bring a friend. Mike.

From my outbox: Sorry, can’t make it tonight. I’m busy providing the vice squad with your IP address.


To my inbox: I’ll take it off your hands for $100. You should be grateful.

From my outbox: I should be thin too. Damn it all to hell.


To my inbox: Wow – how’d you take that photo when the camera is in the photo? That blows my mind!

From my outbox: Dude, did you pay attention to the egg and skillet commercials at all?


To my inbox: I think American Bandstand was a front for the communist regime.

From my outbox: OK, I’ll play. I think it had a great beat and was easy to dance to.


To my inbox: I’m available at 7:04 tonight.

From my outbox: OK, but I’ve got plans at 7:13:48 so you’ll have to be quick about it.


To my inbox: I’ll take it but if I don’t like it, I’m giving it back.

From my outbox: That’s what she said.


To my inbox: Hey! This is my camera! I lost it last week! Who the hell do you think you are?

From my outbox: I’ll take Batshit Crazy for $300, Alex.


To my inbox: You’ve got great taste. We should meet. Are you married? Not that it matters. What’s your name?

From my outbox: It’s Gonorrhea Chlamydia, but most people just call me Herpes for short. What’s yours?


I did wind up selling the camera to a very nice man who stopped by on his way to a softball game. He seemed normal – no drooling or frothing at the mouth, no S&M getup, no bloody body parts hanging out of his pockets, no horns sprouting from his head, no speaking in tongues. He was beyond polite, paid the full amount in cash and even complimented me on the Carpe Diem wall art I’ve got hanging in my kitchen.

And his name was not Mike.



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52 thoughts on “Am I speaking Braille?”

  1. Avatar

    Thank you so much for that! I was laughing out loud. You are right about Craigslist – and people always want the garage sale price!

  2. Avatar

    Oh my GOD that is too funny (and sad too). I’ve only listed two things on craigslist and had pretty good luck. I don’t make a habit of it though.

    Off to read more of your blog!

  3. Avatar

    Dude, I feel your “WTH?” – I’ve been trying to get rid of a few things via CL since we’ve moved in (case in point – the weird, homemade, wooden bookshelf with a hole cut out in the top and a plastic bin inserted with mostly dead plants in it that was left behind by the previous owners of our new digs).

    There seem to be people that spend ALL their time hitting “refresh” on the CL categories and then POUNCING on *anything* they see that is new. So weird.

    Then again, my husband’s uncle, who lives in Florida, called my cell phone yesterday afternoon to tell me that he’d “just been foolin’ around on Craigslist and saw a listing for free drywall up in Irondequoit” and thought we might be interested in it. I was slightly confused by why exactly someone who lives in Florida would be perusing our local ads, but then it hit me: my uncle-in-law is one of those CL people.


  4. Avatar

    Girrrrrrrl, I have SO been there. We’re talking some serious whack-jobs on Craigslist (and yes, probably both in the sexual and non-sexual versions). Fortunately, I have also bought and sold to people who were honest and as nice as can be.

  5. Avatar

    And to think earlier this week, you said over at my place that guys named Mike were hoootttttttt.

    Please always keep a baseball bat behind the front door if you’re going to sell anymore things via Craigslist. I like you just a little and prefer for you to be armed since you have an uncanny ability to call out the Craigslist crazies….



  6. Avatar

    OMG…..totally hysterically funny….CL so scares me for this very reason….I’ve got to remember to use such clever humor when dealing with idiots and not take it all so seriously!

  7. Avatar

    omg! snort. you just make my day w/your blog. you are going on my google reader. lol!!!! so what did you replace your rebel with????

  8. Avatar

    Did you *really* send out those e-mails??? *LOL* I can hear them balls clankin’ from over here…

    And wah. I want a dslr.

    Can’t believe that one about how did you take the photo if the camera’s in it… o.m.g. the vacuity!!

  9. Avatar

    Can I make a request? I’d really like to have a desktop and Ipod app called “The Creative Junkie Random Answer Generator.” That way I can always have your rapier wit at my fingertips to ward off door-to-door solicitors, spammers, phone solicitors and select family members. I’m sure it would be a bestseller. šŸ˜‰

  10. Avatar

    Did I ever tell you about the time my husband bought bunks for our cabin off CL? Called the person (lady) and she said to come by and look at them. He goes to this woman’s house and she brings him upstairs to a kids room to check out the bunks.
    She was home alone!!!
    Now my guy is a prince but he is also 6’3 and big like a lumberjack with a big bushy beard. Could be considered scary. What if he wasn’t such a nice guy. Sometimes the sellers are as dumb as the buyers.

  11. Avatar

    I moved from Texas to Washington and very quickly learned that plain English might as well mean incoherent Vulcan to some people on craigslist.

  12. Avatar

    I have a friend who sells on CL a lot. She got sooo many nut jobs that she stopped letting them come to the house! If it sounded like a serious buyer, she would load up the item and meet them at McDonald’s parking lot during lunch .. .. lots of folks around, less chance of serious whackos!

    BTW – laughed my arse off at your replies! Perfect!

  13. Avatar

    This is hilarious. Exactly what I go through with craigslist, although I have not sold a darn thing. I’m female and get hit on by way to many females. Mind you I am married to a man. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I prefer men and was just trying to sell something not find a lesbian lover. Still have yet to sell a thing.
    I do want to point out that in your first sentence you say craigslist is full of nutty people who want to buy stuff — do they really want to buy or just be idiots like you pointed out.
    Oh — and do you really email the schleps back?

  14. Avatar

    The truth!!! This woman speaks the truth! I think the internet in general gives whacko’s a front to spew over. Thank goodness for normal men on their way to baseball games.

  15. Avatar
    Kris (thyme4me)

    I love your blog and am always quoting you to my husband. I had him sit down and read this post. He cracked up laughing. We think you should write a weekly newspaper column. Like Erma Bombeck! Thanks for the laughs = )

  16. Avatar

    We just sold a couple of things on there and one guy told my husband that he should up his price b/c someone else would just buy it from him and then sell it on CL for even more. Whatever. Do you want the damn thing or not? He did NOT. But someone else did! Deal!

  17. Avatar

    I laughed out loud (quite obnoxiously, I might add… and I may have snorted) at some of your responses. You are hilarious. Glad you got rid of the DSLR-Too-Many-Other-Letters Camera.

  18. Avatar

    What in the world are people thinking? I’ve not had any issues like that with Raleigh’s Craig’s List, so I’m just going to chock it up to your air. At least it was entertaining!

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