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Bizarro Encounter with Craigslist Seller

In a city infamous for its weird and crazy people, it was inevitable that we would run into one of them during our first few weeks here. And this encounter came courtesy of Craigslist.

In my on-going search for the cheap, I asked Diesel to come with me and fetch a bookcase somewhere on the West Side. Up to that point, it had been your usual Craigslist transaction: some e-mailing, one or two calls.

On the way there, however, I get a call from an unknown number. “It’s Sean,” the voice says, as if that would ring a bell somehow. “Sean, the bookcase guy. So are you almost here?” I told him we were only two blocks away. Sean continued: “So listen, on the way here can you get me a biali?”


Was I buying a shelf from this guy or did I unknowingly sign up to become an indentured servant and was on my way to join the masses of exploited illegal immigrants?

And as if this shameless request didn’t at all seem unreasonable, he proceeded to explain to me what a biali was. “Oh, but if they don’t have a biali, you should get me the everything bagel. I just got up, you know.”

Mind you, it was 2:30 pm. And no, I could care less that he had just woken up.

We climbed up to the third floor and this artist/hippie type opened the door. He showed us the bookcase, which had been painted over (something he conveniently failed to mention in the ad), and we carried the thing down.

Next came another challenge, which was to hail a cab that would let us transport the 6 ft. tall bookshelf. We tried four SUV’s and two vans and got denied each time. Diesel sat down on a bench and started mumbling something under his breath. Uh-oh, that was NOT a good sign. Then he uttered some rule he had just made up that we would not pick up any furniture that wasn’t in the LES. Double uh-oh. He wanted to kill somebody and looking around, I only saw me. No other prospective victims of his wrath and no witnesses to recount or corroborate my sad tale of spousal abuse.

I called the shameless hippie to see if I could return the bookshelf. He hesitated and said I could surely call a car service that would take us back. I dialed the number he gave me and found out they would charge me $35 – $45. That was way more than I had paid for the bookshelf, and I was not about to turn my arduous quest of frugality into a loss. And goddammit, he made me buy him a damn biali AND painted the shelf. I called the hippie again and reluctantly, he let us return the shelf.

Glad it worked out. On our merry way back, Diesel ran into a client of his, one of the only five people we know in this city. Good thing he was all happy and cheery again at this point.


One Response

  1. HAHAHAHAHA! I am dying here, laughing so hard. Too funny, tell another!!

    I am as addicted to your new blog as I am to The Hills Live Aftershow. This totally tops the visual of you two carrying your ‘lightly used’ mattress through the streets of the LES.

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