I just had a funny craigslist experience. Not funny haha, more funny curious.
I found an electric chainsaw on craigslist that I was interested in so I emailed the seller and asked about testing it. I got a call back within a few minutes (odd because no one calls anymore, especially for used stuff, and odd that the seller was so prompt in responding to me) and the seller was a nice enough woman who lived in a condo in Victoria but said I could test the saw. I wasn’t sure how to go about doing that in a fucking condo so I asked if she had a deck I could go out on with some scrap wood. In a polite way, she said there was no way she was going to let a strange guy into her apartment to fuck around with a chainsaw. I understood why that was wack to her but didn’t understand how else she expected me to test the damned thing, and why she said I could test it if there was no good way to do so. I was annoyed and also didn’t feel like driving to Victoria for something that may be a wild goose chase so I said I’d think about it and get back to her if I decided to pursue it.
She called me back 10 minutes later but I missed her call. She didn’t leave a message. I called her back, she missed my call, I left a message. She called me back five minutes later and explained she’s selling the saw for her uncle who lives in my area because his wife recently died and he needs help sorting through stuff (an interesting needless detail), and that it might make more sense for him to sell the saw himself since people in the country probably have more use for a saw than city folk do. I said great, if the saw could somehow make its way to my neck of the woods, I’d be all over it.
She passed my info on to her uncle and he called me shortly after. Our conversation was stunted and awkward, like he couldn’t hear me well or something. We eventually sorted out that he would get the saw and bring it back here today. I said ok.
He called me again a few hours later and we had another stunted and awkward phone conversation. That’s three lousy phone conversations in one day, by golly. Basically, he said he had returned with the saw so I got his address and headed to his place. When I got there, he explained that his niece is broke so he’s helping her out by selling a bunch of stuff he doesn’t need anymore and splitting the proceeds with her, 50/50. Then he told me he had moved to Hawaii and left his wife here so he got her this small chainsaw to use while he was away. He didn’t say anything else about his wife, why she stayed here while he went to Hawaii, or why he was back now, but he didn’t seem upset at all and he seemed to talk about his wife as if she was still around. It was really weird.
Of course, I couldn’t care less who was helping who or whatever. I just wanted a fucking electric chainsaw. I tested the thing and it worked fine so I threw $65 in buddy’s face and ran off with it. I just used it on a bunch of firewood and it was a dream, so much nicer than messing around with a gas saw. I’m sick of those things.
But while I was working on the firewood, I got to wondering about the woman and her uncle. I wondered who was actually doing who the favour, and I decided it’s probably a bit of both: the woman probably is broke, and he’s probably happy to help her because his wife died recently and he’s lonely and lost and needs a project to distract him from all the grief. I wish I knew all the details of their macabre story but it’s certainly for the best that I don’t because that would have meant wasting even more time having awkward conversations with two weirdos.
Ah, craigslist. You never disappoint. There’s always something.