Craigslist — demonstrating why the planet is going to heck

© 2019 Peter Free


01 July 2019



To my son — who would have had a birthday today


And laughed with me.


We shared a taste for the absurd.


The more cartoon-painful, the better.



Yes, most of us are idiots — Craigslist proves it


When I'm suffering from a surfeit of (usually unexpressed) optimism, I go to Craigslist for a dose of what my wife thinks of as riff-raff reality.



For example


Recently, I have been looking for a cheap used bike. Mine being in undelivered storage, as a result of our most recent PCS.


I ventured onto Craigslist, here in "northern" California. Only to find a wealth of obviously dreaming folk.


Almost all wanting big bundles of money for two-wheelers that would bring $10 to $20 — at the most — at mob-milling, fabulously well-attended garage sales on this planetary ball 'round the sun.



"Unrealistic" is the word


What struck me, was how many dozens of similar-looking, mostly long-obsolete, bikes there were in each category.


Virtually all of them grossly overpriced. Many exceeding the cost of a new equivalent from Walmart or Amazon.


Does no one price-compare — before trying to sell his and her pieces of unused "trash"?


A few sellers dressed their offering up by calling it "vintage" — as if mechanical technology gains value in having become very evidently obsolete.



Even more laughable


The serious portion of the pictured two-wheelers were either rusty, hideously dirty, had obviously broken or non-functioning parts, or lay incomplete. Or all combined.


A few were even covered in (metaphorically appropriate) leaf-decorated cobwebs.


Putting your best feet forward, are y'all?



And then, there are the accompanying non-descriptions


Almost no one bothers to tell Craigslist-goers, whether the bike, implement or object — depending on the Craigslist category — still works, even a little bit.


Or how old, what brand (or model), and what size it is.


And so on. For virtually every reasonable question someone might (exceedingly obviously) want to ask.



It is as if


Craigslist requires us to leave our brains — or whatever that squishy-mushy thing in our heads is — at the door.



The moral? — Crewed like this, there is no hope at all . . .


. . . for the planet we know. Or think we know.


And there, friends, goes the characteristic smile on my face.


Happy birthday Ryan. Your laughter still lingers, when (cartoon dog) Brian gets killed in some thoroughly unusual way on Family Guy.


Do loving cynics have only each other?