Friday, May 16, 2008

First Week in Chicago

I've been in Chicago a week already. I'm settled into my room (and the bathroom and the garage) in Happy Time Harry and Stellar's house in a quiet northern suburb. I haven't been doing much of anything productive except catching up on my sleep and cruising Craiglist. Next week I plan on being more active. I may even start exercising again, but that may be a little too ambitious. I should probably just stick to finding a job.

I had an extensive tour of the city proper given by Shayne and Robb. I can't even remember all of the places and neighborhoods we visited, but it was a lot of fun just to walk around and see and hear what the city has to offer.

And I've already visited "The Bean" in Millennium Park, so I'm almost a full-fledged Chicagoan now. All that's left is for me to eat a Chicago dog, enjoy a deep-dish pizza, and develop a love for one of the baseball teams and a hatred for the other. I'm practically in.

Friday, May 09, 2008


It's raining, and I can still taste the beer and cigarettes in my mouth, like one last lingering goodbye kiss.

See you around, Kansas City.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Adventures in Craigslisting, Part 1: Difficult Questions

In a vain attempt to sell my car, I put an ad up on Craigslist. Within minutes I got replies. I was a bit confused, though, when several of the replies were simply phone numbers. A couple were literally just the numbers, but a few tried to spruce up their messages with actual words:

Please call me at [redacted]
I want to try and buy your car u can call me at [redacted] or [redacted]
i'm interested in your car could you give me a call @ [redacted]

These were honest inquiries, mind you. They were emailed to me, not texted, so I can assume that the writers had access to a full, standard QWERTY keyboard. I can also assume, with some reservation, that these messages were not written by elementary school children. These messages came from people of legal driving age (and most likely, old enough to vote), and they could not even form enough of a coherent thought, let alone express that thought with proper English, to ask any relevant question about the car itself or how they could go about obtaining said car.

I decide to give these people the benefit of the doubt, though. I hoped that perhaps they were busy and hurriedly firing off emails, and, despite having utilized the internet to find and contact me regarding my item for sale, they chose to disregard this medium of communication because their questions were so detailed and intricate that they were incapable of being translated into the written word.

This was false hope.

When I called some of these people, the most detailed questions I received from any of them were one, if not all three, of the following:

What color is it?
How many doors does it have?
What was wrong with it?
These seem like reasonable questions when you don't take into account that there were four color pictures -- one, a full-length side-view depicting two doors (so one could assume that there is an equal amount on the other side) -- at the bottom of the Craigslist ad that explained, in detail, that there is a major leak in the coolant system. In short, they only wanted to ask me questions to which adequate answers were already available.

As it turned out, not one of them was interested in buying my car. Just wasting my time and cell phone minutes.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Adventures in Craigslisting, Introduction

a typical Craigslist user

I've been attempting to sell some things on Craigslist recently, due to my impending move out of the state. The experience has been, if not lucrative, at least educational.

This simple act of trying to sell some goods has been vastly different from anything I could have ever imagined. You know in that movie Total Recall when Arnold goes to Mars, and living in the bottom part of the city are all these freaks and mutants, and there's the stripper with three boobs and the guy who has a crazy-talking, gross midget/baby poking out of his stomach? It's been kind of like that.

Craigslist is a great place. You can post your resume and look for jobs. You can buy furniture and electronics and sell your useless junk. You can even find a date. All of this is available, free, to anyone with a computer and an internet connection. The only downside is that the same people that you read about in newspapers because they kill themselves in stupid ways, the same people that necessitate instructions on individually wrapped cheese slices, the same people that Jay Leno interviews on the street who can't name the president -- yeah, those people -- they're on Craigslist, too. And not just some of them, apparently, all of them.

By posting an ad on Craigslist, you are essentially displaying a sign to the world that says, "Yes, I'll talk to you, crazy idiot people!" They come out of the woodwork, clamoring to say whatever stupid thing they have to say and asking whatever inane question their limited intellect can come up with. Half the time I don't even think they want whatever it is you're selling; I think they just have a quota of people to annoy and you put up a big, red target on yourself.

So, selling my junk on Craigslist has been more than just an experience; it has been a test. A test of my faith in humanity. That faith is failing. And I'm pretty sure humanity is doomed.

In several posts to follow I am going to share some of the more interesting inquiries I have gotten from average Craigslist users and my prickish replies along with some completely biased commentary. I do hope you'll enjoy.

  1. Difficult Questions
  2. The Jealous Boyfriend
  3. The Low-Baller
  4. What?
  5. The Sob Story
  6. Captain Obvious
  7. Hard Bargains

Sunday, May 04, 2008

McBastard's Last Week in Town

I've been wrapping up my existence here in Kansas City in preparation for moving to Chicago. I finished everything that needed finishing for my job on Wednesday. I said goodbye to The Magster. I had one last drunken bender with the old gang. Now I'm in the process of selling off some unnecessary possessions that I've been dragging around for years and packing up what I really need. In five days I should be ready to hit the road.

I'm finding that it's not hard to leave Kansas City (a little expensive, but not that difficult), but it is hard to leave the people. I've been trying not to make a big deal of my goodbyes, assuring people that I'm not disappearing, that they'll hear from and probably see me again. I give a wry smile and a shrug as if to say, "No big deal." But I'm sure even these cynical, emotionless eyes will mist up before I leave the city limits.

Circa Now