I fancy this pre-feature I’ve created and am going to use it liberally (i.e. whenever I feel like it). There’s really too much (non couch-related) borderline craziness on Craigslist to let it escape uncelebrated. I enjoy the humor that can push up through the cracks of radically imprecise syntax (or just plain drunken redaction). Our featurette is an example of one or the other (I give equal weight to either theory). (Also, I am launching National Put Things In Parentheses Day, today.):
The post hook (title) reads: for cat/ swimming mask
This is immediately riveting to me. A swimming mask for cats! This is either the work of a classifieds jokester, a sadist, or a genius. Or a taste tester for a new brand of ethanol. I see (à la Alice in Twilight) a hot new fad that sweeps the nation. I imagine a sort of pet owner’s rush to Petcos around the country, waiting outside the 4am doors, shoulders rounded, feet small-stepping side to side, hands gripping Starbucks. Then a media blitz about the sudden high level of beach-going cats and the new citizens groups that have been petitioning city halls in coastal cities nationwide: “Negative Action: No Cats Allowed” (sponsored conjointly by the AKC and the NRA), “WTF Are These Brown Lumps in the Sand? They Don’t Look Like Tar” (run by the National Sand Castlers Council), and “Cats in the Water – That Ain’t Right” (backed by the humane society). I must click.
The text simply reads: plus litter and swimming mask
OK, now they’ve got me hooked on the line. I want to call so bad. Is there a cat on offer here? Is there a cat pole, cat litter, and a cat swimming mask, but no cat? And if so, what have you DONE with the cat?! Have you recently taken possession of a family-size freezer? (just kidding, jeez). Wow, so few words, and so many nutty scenarios my mind can conjure! Anyway onto today’s main feature.
Again, an example of how a few choice words can really pack a meaningful punch. In this ad I think we can make some strong assumptions about the psychology of the owner’s relationship with his mother:
Post hook: scrap metal or porch swing thinger – driveway alert!
Text: My mother thought I could revamp this porch swing. I don’t have that kind of time. Plus, we can’t find a couple parts for it (connectors that hook the sides with S-hooks). So….
I have to stop drinking milk when I’m writing these posts. I put my keyboard at risk as the milk comes spraying out my nose. I can’t help it. I get SUCH a kick out of people’s formulations. He doesn’t have “that” kind of time. What was his mother thinking?! I’m pretty sure she’ll be passively-aggressively pissed for decades of extended-family Christmas dinners to come when she finds out he got rid of it. “Well, we would have something to sit on outside by the fire and enjoy the hot cocoa I always make for all of my grandchildren including his 4 if Mr. I’m Too Busy To Get Off My Fanny hadn’t given away that swing thinger. Could have been really beautiful with just a little work. I went to the trouble of getting it from Mr. and Mrs. Pennington’s daughter after they died. Went all the way to Carson. Had to use up that favor I had on account with my gardener’s son Jose to use his truck to go get it. Which means your father had to dig up the bed on the side of the house by himself. Course his lumbago flared up after that. Probably the worst he’s ever had. That thing was worth a fortune too. But you know, the day of the Lord isn’t for doing favors for your family anymore. It’s for Rams games. I shouldn’t complain though. (Ha haa!) My Kenny’s always marched to his own drum. That’s what his kindergarten teacher Miss Jones used to say, “Little thorns grow up to be big thorns!”. I remember when he was 4, never wanted to go back downstairs and bring me the cream and sugar he’d always forget. Half the time he’d spill something off the tray, and usually when we had just put new sheets (ha haa!). Course Randy, he always remembered. Oh honey, now don’t go getting all emotional. I love you just like your brother, I’m just sayin’, it would’ve been nice if you would’ve refinished that swing thinger. But you know. What’s it the young people say? No big deal.”
At this point Kenny is toying with the idea of plunging his butter knife someplace important or excusing himself to the kitchen sink to take a pee. (So…)