You know you’re really on to something when your neighbors start Facebooking you links to terrible couches on Craigslist. What does it mean? This: I’m not just imagining it — this is Important, Fascinating Stuff. Others get it. Why? Because, ultimately, icky couches are a point of entry into understanding our culture and, indeed, ourselves (I am sporting tweed and smoking a pipe with my legs crossed right now, can you tell? And yes, please quote me generously, anywhere, if you want to. And no, I do not do drugs, or drink before noon). Buddhist philosophy says that if you study a grain of sand you will know the universe. If you like Western references better, William Blake said it nicely:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
I think this totally applies to couches on Craigslist. From a couch on Craigslist you may extrapolate outward toward, feel instinctively, the entire universe (or possibly just your living room). What does this have to do with today’s crug in particular? Nothing. Just waxing philosophic. It’s misting this morning, and mist does that to me. Well, actually I started on this little bent because my neighbor, I’ll call her “Michele” (i.e. her real name), sent me a link to a nice juicy one. I loved this neighbor even before I found out she too has a fascination with grody couches on Craigslist, and now that I know we share the same twisted taste in pasttimes I really feel a cosmic connection. (Don’t worry, Michele, I mean “Michele”, I won’t invent excuses to come hang out all the time. “Do you have a cup of Round Up?”…;-) ) She is in fact the reason that I started this blog. She posted some links on her FB page about how freaked out you could get by some of the couches you come across when you’re looking to acquire a couch off of Craigslist. This rang so true (and so funny) to me, because in case you were getting the idea that I am just some snobby wanker (wankress?) sitting on my Roche Bobois who likes to pick apart people (and couches) less fortunate than myself, I am not. I actually have an intimate relationship with the free, the re-used, the recycled, and the hand-me-downed. Because when I moved into my present home I came with a pair of underwear and a tooth brush (and the day’s editions of the Economist and People magazines), and the rest I basically acquired from Craigslist, majoratively from the “Free” section. I’ve strolled the halls of Craigslist, and I’ve seen how bad/good-bad it can get. My entire house could be described as a Craigslist showroom (or an organized garage space), with a few other name brands like Salvation Army, Aunt Claire’s Extra Dishes, and Dad’s Old Rocker-Recliner. Yes, I do one day hope to have a Roche Bobois to sit my snobby bum on, but just so you know, even though my bum likes luxury my heart loves the truth. And the truth is sometimes so hysterical it makes my beverages shoot out my nose. So with no further ado, ladies and gentlemen (use your best game show host voice), our guest Michele’s/”Michele’s”→
The title: Love seat sized couch
The text: FREE Couch. No cushions. We were using big decoration type pillows for the seat part. Frame in great shape. Moving and have no room for it. You can pick them up in the evenings after 6pm
One of my next posts is going to be entitled Critical Thinking for Crugslist. It will include talking points about how to discern what is really going on in a post, so that a buyer/hauler-awayer might best serve his/her own needs. I’ll apply just a taster of it here with this ad. The first caveat is: the title must at least resemble in some form or way the product it is pointing to, i.e. love seats don’t get to be 22 feet long. The second rule of thumb is: BEWARE OF CAPITALIZATION, IT DOESN’T MEAN IT’S GREAT, IT MEANS THE AD-POSTER IS DESPERATE TO GET SOMETHING OUT OF HIS/HER MIDST. (AND THE PHOTO WILL NO DOUBT CONFIRM THIS). Rule #3: sometimes sellers will add extraneous filler that points out something that’s already totally obvious in the picture (like that they are using big crugly decoration type pillows for cushions) to get you to think that their product is better than it is (remember your junior high essays? Same thing.) But if you are reading this blog (and not calling the cops on me) I know you already know this. Rule #4: beware the seller that talks about the frame of the couch, they’re trying to appeal to your Sense of Quality. Harking to your Sense of Aesthetics will help you trump this evil ruse. Rule #5: don’t let them get you with that we’ll-have-to-send-it-to-the-pound-if-you-won’t-take-it crap. They brought it with them when they moved in, why can’t they take it with them when they move out??? Rule #6: sellers who ARE EAGER to get rid of REALLY HIGH QUALITY furniture (for free) do NOT get to tell you when you can pick it up. And lastly Rule #7: ask yourself “what does it mean?” when a seller inadvertently inserts a plural when talking about a singular product — will you go to pick up a couch and come home with a couch, a load of broken concrete, a jade plant, some miscellaneous computer wiring, and their 16 year old son?
That’s it. I can’t give away all my critical thinking skills today before I monetize my blog by adding thousands of bogus ad-links in one fell swoop. So stay tuned tomorrow for the next exciting crug. (Thanks again to “Michele” for providing today’s fodder.)