buyer beware

Out here in the sticks one of the best ways to buy and sell things, keep up with local happenings and sometimes watch people show their asses, is the town ListServ.  I subscribe to the one for the tiny town I live in, and the one for the even tinier town I work in. The one for the town I live in is generally pretty quiet, but the one for Work Town is very active. There are lots of posts about community happenings, people looking for help with various things, businesses advertising their goods / services, townie drama, and my personal favorite – things for sale.

It’s not that I particularly buy much from the ListServ, even. It’s more that the For Sale ads are often entertainingly odd.

Like, the guy who is giving away a whole bunch of dowels. I can see needing maybe A dowel, maybe even two….but what would you DO with dozens of dowels? Build a yurt, maybe? I don’t know if dowels even figure in to yurt construction, I’m just spit-balling.

Or, the person trying to unload six gallons of unused battery acid. What? Just…why? Why does a normal person in a tiny town in rural New Hampshire need six fucking gallons of BATTERY ACID, unless they’re going to like…I don’t even know. Build a big battery, I guess? OR DISSOLVE A WHOLE BUNCH OF BODY PARTS. I’m just saying.

This morning as I was going through the accumulated ListServ from the night before, one of the headlines particularly caught my eye:

“Chairlift for Sale”.

I grew up skiing and I am therefore pretty fucking familiar with chairlifts. As such, the idea of someone selling a chairlift was both puzzling and fascinating to me. How would you even go about it? Is it the whole shebang with the cables, the giant poles, the huge motorized whirly-gig at each end that spins the chairs around and sends them back up / down the hill? Don’t those things cost like, hundreds of thousands of dollars? Would the buyer have to come disassemble it and transport it themselves?  So many questions. I shook my head and went on to the next headline.

Then, something occurred to me. What if it was just the CHAIR part of the chairlift they were selling? That would be a lot more manageable in terms of transport, and it would probably make a pretty baller porch swing or garden bench with a little paint and some strategic welding (which I have NO access to or aptitude for, it should be noted in retrospect. These things never occur to me at the time, though).

Interest now piqued for realsies, I went back to the ad to see how much the chairlift-cum-garden-bench was going to cost me, because I was pretty sure I needed it.

(Also worth noting, by the way: I have no garden, nor do I have any significant amount of lawn of my own. We rent, and we live in kind of rural version of an apartment complex where there are a bunch of fields and lawns around us, but we don’t actually OWN any of them.I would have literally nowhere to put any kind of bench, chair-lift or otherwise.)

So I’m reading along…

“Two outdoor elite straight rail stairlifts for sale”


Stairlifts?! Those aren’t fucking CHAIRLIFTS. WTF, person who wrote the ad. The headline CLEARLY said”Chairlifts For Sale”, not “Stairlifts For Sale”. I went back and checked three times because even though I know I’m crazy and I’m mostly at peace with that, I feel like I still have fairly reasonable reading comprehension skills.

I mean, granted, I could have actually read the ad itself, realized what it was being sold, saved myself the excitement over planning a chairlift garden bench for my non-existent garden and the SUBSEQUENT DEBILITATING DISAPPOINTMENT OF WATCHING THAT DREAM GO DOWN THE DRAIN…but on the same token, YOU could have been more clear in your headline, ad-writer.

Way more clear.

Also, just in case anyone’s sitting there rolling their eyes and thinking “whatever, crazypants…chairlift benches aren’t even a THING”, here is Actual Internet Evidence that you are wrong:

You probably have to pay more for the Majestic Dog option. Picture courtesy of Fire On Demand, who actually MAKE these babies, along with super cool fire pits. This is not a sponsored ad placement, by the way. I just really liked this picture and wanted to give credit where it was due.

So there.

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