Lessons Learned From Craigslist
Humorous dos, don’ts and “but why?”s
Illustrations by Eric Schock
I’ve always kept Craigslist, the online home of fodder for a Lifetime movie, in the category of “things I don’t need but want to browse through anyway.” God knows, scrolling through the ads is an exhausting reminder of why mastering phonics and spelling should advance to the top of every human’s “to do” list, but once I’ve mentally corrected the spelling and syntax of all the listings, I do appreciate the subtext of life truths that abound on the site.
Life Truth #1: If you’re thinking of getting a dog, you should know that dachshunds have Houdini-
like escaping abilities, but no homing skills. Most of the lost dogs on Craigslist are dachshunds that answer to the name “Lucky.”
Life Truth #2: If you’ve ever made eye contact, however fleeting, with another person at Walmart or Hobby Lobby before continuing your shopping, it is certain that you will be identified as a “Missed Connection” on Craigslist and that the bemoaning of this missed connection will be accompanied by a poorly spelled poem or haiku.
Life Truth #2.5: If you place an ad on Craigslist in hopes of reuniting with a missed connection, try to have a better headline than “Thick girl at Newcastle casino” or “The preggo lil redhead” or “If you still remember that rainy Tuesday in 1972 … ”
Life Truth #3: If your life is stressful, there’s good news – hundreds of people in the Craigslist world want to give you a free, full-body massage. They’ll often need you to “host” them, and their ads will contain the keywords “send pix so I no ur reel.”
Life Truth #4: If you’ve lost anything, you probably lost it at Walmart, and a kind soul has picked it up and posted an ad about it on Craigslist, often with a poorly spelled poem or haiku. Proceed with caution: Not all “found” ads are legit. One ad boasts a found Fitbit at Walmart. Beware the improbable.
Life Truth #5: If you are lonely and seeking company in the arms of a stranger, Craigslist is your one-stop shop. Don’t worry about whether you’ll be attractive enough. Most strangers make it a point to reassure potential dates with details such as “Thick girls are OK” or “I’m not really picky.” For good measure, however, they’ll always include the request “send pix so I no ur reel.”
Life Truth #6: If, on the other hand, you are that stranger whose company is being sought by the lonely, you should resist the temptation to post your photo inside the ad. You are much better looking in the reader’s imagination, although the reader who seeks company on Craigslist has probably never been accused of being picky anyway.
Life Truth #7: El Reno has a disproportionately high number of lonely people.
Life Truth #8: In these modern times, most of you can still join up with a harem, according to Craigslist. I was instantly disqualified when I read the disclaimer that came with one harem solicitation ad: “No back-talkers.”
For the more nostalgic gal in search of a one-woman/one-man relationship, Craigslist still boasts a proliferation of ads from gentlemen seeking the “barefoot and pregnant wife type.” So … good luck with that.
Life Truth #9: In life beyond Craigslist, nothing is really “free.” In the Craigslist world, however, free items require little more than a pickup for hauling off the advertised item, such as the “Sled of Death” that maimed the faces of three teenage boys, or the not-so-gently used “Human-sized Steel Cage” that requires the strength of three weightlifters (or one angry dominatrix) to heave it into a truck bed.
Life Truth #10: Caramel is the best. My favorite ad appeared in the “Free Stuff” category: “20 tins of holiday popcorn (minus caramel corn). You know damn well what happened to all that caramel corn.”