Tag: craigslist

Big Willie, Little Willie

I live in a clean and picturesque city, many years removed from the filth and soot my dad experienced during his short stay here in the 1940’s.  Consider for a moment that my 1930’s house came with a BUILT-IN GARBAGE INCINERATOR.  I suppose clean air did not exist in Pittsburgh until fairly recently.

Once day month I tore down the incinerator, leaving me with a thousand or so bricks.  After Larry David finished feeding at the free brick troth, I was forced to re-list the remaining stash on Craigslist.  Big Willie answered the call.  BW’s wife had sent him to pick up the bricks.  BW was retired.  He talked a lot about his friends and how they weren’t happy with the way the country was going, and that they were gonna DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.  “My friends are on the internet all day.  Man, the stuff they send me is incredible.  Every day they email a bunch of jokes and inspirational stories to me.  They must spend HOURS finding that stuff just to send to me.”  I didn’t have the heart to explain the whole viral email thing to him.

Suddenly he stopped loading bricks.  “Oh man, I gotta piss”, he announced.  Ordinarily, letting a Craigslist Character walk through my house to use the facilities is something I frown upon.  But this guy seemed harmless enough.  Just as I was about to offer the use of the upstairs bathroom, BW whipped out LW and relieved himself then and there into a plastic milk jug, one he had brought specifically for that purpose.

So there’s that.

Larry David’s castle

If you want to meet a Craigslist Character, give something away for free.  It doesn’t matter what you are offering.  The more useless the item, the bigger the character you will net.

One day I offered some free bricks.  Not good ones.  Actually they had little possible use.  A single freeze/thaw cycle would have reduced them to pixie dust.  But like I said they were free.

Looking and sounding like a poor man’s Larry David, I knew instantly that I was in the presence of a Craigslist Character.  He was the youngest of 13 Jewish children.  Keep in mind that a true Craigslist Character will always tell you their life’s story.  Larry David had just turned 55, and had recently purchased his 1st house.  “It’s a castle, turret and all.  And I only paid $30,000 for it”, Larry beamed.  Such is the real estate market in Pittsburgh.  During the brick loading, he raved endlessly about the structure.  “You just HAVE to see the place”, he pleaded.

Against my better judgement, I agreed to see Larry’s so-called castle.  Operating under the assumption that Larry was a mass murderer, my plan was to stay between Larry and an exit door at all times.  But as Mike Tyson once famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”  In my case, the punch came in the form of an overwhelming stench of rotting flesh.  As my brain began to spin, Larry reassured me, “Oh, don’t mind the smell, when I bought the place out of foreclosure, there were 10 dead cats lying about.”

In the end I toured the whole place.  I even tempted fate by checking out the basement and the inside of the turret.  Your imagination won’t be too far off as to what wonders I saw in Larry David’s castle.

Perhaps tomorrow I will tell you about another Craigslist Character.  Here’s a Google street view of Larry David’s castle:

How I joined the CCC

So yeah, I bought a jogging stroller on Craigslist.  I do not jog, as my body is not set up for that kind of thing.  But as a minimalist, the stripped down nature of a jogging stroller speaks to my soul.  Alas I’m no fool, at least not the kind willing to part with $150-$500 for this type of gadgetry.

Thus I spent a week subscribing to various RSS feed parameters/filters tuned to the Craigslist jogging stroller market.  The going rate fell in the $45 – $75 range.  One night, hours before the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, DING, the feed went off, alerting me to a fab $10 jogging stroller.  Such a deal!  I haven’t bought much stuff on Craigslist, but I sure have sold a lot of crap.  And let me tell you, it’s a 1st come/1st serve market.  My fear of losing out on the jogging stroller bargain of a lifetime motivated me to drive 90 minutes in a squall.  Also, I should mention that I paid for the stroller in change, further solidifying my membership in the Craigslist Characters Club.  Have you ever dealt with a CCC member?  Perhaps tomorrow I will tell you about some of the Craigslist characters I’ve met.  They’re all weirdos.