Love for Sale (cash only, must have own truck)

Trolling around craigslist in search of a few laughs is so 2001. And yet: what if we've been trolling in the wrong places all along? Sure, Missed Connections is often a treasure trove of humor, what with its unique combination of the pathetically lovelorn and the perpetually angry. But the real heart of craigslist? One door over at the For Sale section.

What, you don't believe me? Then come along on a little guided tour:

First of all, For Sale is great because you get to see how people live in the "furniture" section. Take this guy: I know not everyone can do like the catalogs and shoot their furniture in front of a picture window overlooking the ocean. But c'mon, man; at least pick up a little.

And what to make of this upholstery decision? I like that the owners explain the chair no longer matches their decor: one can only assume they finally decided to update their living room's Arsenio Hall Set Circa 1994 look.

Then we have people selling things that don't make any sense. I've been staring at this ad for the last five minutes and I still don't get it. Is it some kind of pyramid scheme? A postal employee with sticky fingers? Someone who's just really awful at math?

And while I'm not sure what this guy plans to do with the orphans once he gets to Haiti, I think it's in everyone's best interest if we make a pact right now that we won't help him get there.

Then there's the best section of all, the creamy nougat of the whole craigslist experience, if you will: Barter. If computers had a smell function, you'd need to disable it right now, or you'd be trying to wash the stink of desperation from your clothes for weeks.

There's got to be an interesting story to this one, right? And what's so bad about South Philly?

The barter section is also chock full of deals that couldn't possibly go wrong.

At first I thought this sounded like kind of a raw deal for the girl, but then I saw that he was offering her copies of the pictures. And hey: what if this guy’s like the next Robert Maplethorpe, or, um … some other famous photographer whose name I’d know if I wasn’t culturally retarded? Then it's a freakin' meal ticket. Then again, it could turn out to be this guy. But that's life, right? It's a crazy Tilt-A-Whirl of a world we live in, and sometimes you gotta just pay your nickle and hope the toothless carny remembered to screw the bolts in tight this time.

And, of course, it wouldn't be craigslist without someone asking for a massage. This particular post was just regular-creepy until that last line put its wet little finger in your ear and swished it around.

Finally, I'm glad to see the ad campaign is working.

Well, that's all. For now. Tune in next week, when we'll expose the seamy underbelly of Ebay's used-sock fetishists.

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