Why I love craigslist (and The BF)

ugly rug So about three years ago I bought this couch: Big. Red. Room-dominating. Expensive as hell. (What can I say? I was going through a phase about shedding my infernal cheapness. And fuckery. So you see.)

Anyway, it was/is a magnificent couch in its way, but it had no business being in my smallish, mid-century apartment. And as my lifestyle changed, acting replaced by design and its attendant computer sprawl, random fuckery replaced by The BF, it actually became sort of a nuisance as well as an anachronism.

After an unsuccessful attempt to dump the behemoth on my sister's boyfriend (not literally, he's nice!), I turned to the master of fuckery, er, craigslist, The BF.

In the two years I've known him, The BF has successfully converted a staggering array of used, half-used and unused items to cold, hard cash via eBay and craigslist. Within ten days, he had moved The Behemoth to his place (no mean feat, given the crazy number of stairs involved), put it on wheels (don't ask), and sold it for cash money (from the buyer) and a Taylor's steak dinner (from me).

Part of The BF's high success rate with selling is patience. Selling used goods, like undertaking large-scale home improvement projects or raising children, requires a tolerance for tedium I lack in spades. Not only is The BF not afraid of tearing down an interior wall or making babies or selling used crap, he does it all with panache. Such photos! Such an exquisite sense for pricing! And mainly, such a gift with item descriptions.

Here, for example, is his most recent listing:

Ugly Rug Cheap! 5x8 Pottery Barn Rug All wool - $20

That's right, you can have this incredibly ugly rug for only twenty bucks! It's all wool, I don't even want to think about how much we paid for it originally, but it can be yours for only $20 if you call before I take it down to Goodwill or Out of the Closet.

It's 5x8, check out the picture of the label, it really is a pottery barn carpet and was decent at one time. It does have some stains which may or may not come out - I don't want to find out. Personally, I've never liked this rug but my wife thought it was OK for the back room, but that's another story. Now we have another rug and you can have this one for your project room, or garage, or whatever.

From my own experience, I know what a treasure trove of fascinating characters craigslist can be. (I found mine via the fuckery pages, but whatever.) And you don't have to go to Rants & Raves or Best Of to find them: they'll come to you, if you say the magic words. Which The BF knows by heart, it would seem. Hence, the following exchange, reprinted exactly as it transpired (email addresses and CL legalese redacted):

From: xxxxxxx@aol.com To: sale-243280408@craigslist.org Sent: Sun, 3 Dec 2006 7:03 PM Subject: Ugly Rug Cheap! 5x8 Pottery Barn Rug All wool - $20

you are funny


On Dec 3, 2006, at 7:09 PM, THE_BF@xxxxxx.com wrote:

too bad I can't make a living at it.


-----Original Message----- From: xxxxxxx@aol.com To: THE_BF@xxxxxx.com Sent: Sun, 3 Dec 2006 7:17 PM Subject: Re: Ugly Rug Cheap! 5x8 Pottery Barn Rug All wool - $20

have you tried organizing it in that way and going for it?


On Dec 3, 2006, at 10:00 PM, THE_BF@xxxxxx.com wrote:

are you my subconscious? why are you e-mailing me instead of appearing as the virgin mary like you usually do?


-----Original Message----- From: xxxxxxx@aol.com To: THE_BF@xxxxxx.com Sent: Sun, 3 Dec:51 PM Subject: Re: Ugly Rug Cheap! 5x8 Pottery Barn Rug All wool - $20

I am a virtual virgin reaching to you at Christmas I am the ghost of christmas 40 years from now when you didn't go for your dreams BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT IT WAS TOO LATE OR SOME OTHER FRIGGING EXCUSE BECAUSE YOU ARE SCARED



On Dec 4, 2006, at 12:44 AM, THE_BF@xxxxxx.com wrote:

so I guess this means you don't want my rug?


-----Original Message----- From: xxxxxxx@aol.com To: THE_BF@xxxxxx.com Sent: Mon, 4 Dec 2006 8:24 AM Subject: Re: Ugly Rug Cheap! 5x8 Pottery Barn Rug All wool - $20

never did was taken in by the truthful/meaness of the word 'ugly' had to read it


On Dec 4, 2006, at 9:43 AM, THE_BF@xxxxxx.com wrote:

Thanks for writing! I'm not being sarcastic. At least I don't think I'm being sarcastic. It's hard to tell.

You are right, of course - it's very common to not do something out of fear, and easy to make excuses. At the end of the day, however, the only regrets I have are those of omission, not commission. I've never said "gee, i wish I hadn't done that" but I've often said "gee, I wish I had done this when I had the chance".

You're sure you don't want the rug?


-----Original Message----- From: xxxxxxx@aol.com To: THE_BF@xxxxxx.com Sent: Mon, 4 Dec 2006 9:52 AM Subject: Re: Ugly Rug Cheap! 5x8 Pottery Barn Rug All wool - $20

give the rug to a poor person- some woman out of a shelter with kids who's living with blankets on the floor- someone who can't even afford to buy something at goodwill at the end of the day i do say "I wish I hadn't done that" so lucky for you I have made some supremely bad choices that i now pay for dearly- the humor I see in your paragraph was the kind that the writers on Everybody Loves Raymond' used over and over again- after all- the whole show was a one trick pony- the stupid no nothing husband and the brilliant wife- alot of humor is that- your one observation about the rug and the room and the wife were enough for a two part sitcom you know that it's the work either you do it or you don't either you want it or you don't nobody who makes it is weak

When I think of leaving L.A. these days, it's only for a place that has a reasonably active craigslist. I mean, where else can you sell your shit, have a philosophical discussion and be insulted all in the same email exchange?

xxx c

P.S. The rug is still for sale.