How Craigslist almost sent me to jail

I love craigslist. This is certainly not a secret to anyone that knows me. Over the years I have bought and sold cars, computers, TV’s, bikes, furniture, phones, I have probably made over 100 transactions using this site. I understand that there are dangers involved, scam artists and what not, and yes, there have been a couple murders, but I think I am pretty good at sifting through the nonsense to find CL gold.
The gold for me today was a 2005 Audi A4. I have been looking at purchasing a car for far too long, and while I wasn’t looking specifically for this car, I found it when I typed “must sell” in the search bar. This particular individual was moving, and taking the car was not an option. Great! So I made an offer of what I was willing to pay, and because he had to sell the car by the weekend, he was happy to meet me.
We met in the middle of the day, on a public street, where he showed up with an adorable bulldog puppy. He seemed nice enough. I gave the car a look over, he had paperwork showing the recent smog and maintenance. I hopped into the drivers seat and fired her up, this Audi was pretty immaculate.
I shut off the engine, opened the door, took 2 steps out, and a car came screeching to a halt in front of me, another undercover careened in from the side. Four very serious detectives pop out from their respective vehicles.
“Is there anyone else in the car?” yelled an officer, hand on his weapon.
“uhhh, no” I stammered.
Since I stepped out of the drivers side I was the initial focus. I was frisked, pockets emptied, cuffed, and put on the curb. The first question I received from an officer was.
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
“I’m not sure” I said
“You’re not sure?!” He responded testily
“Well, at this point I imagine this car is stolen, but I am just here in response to a Craigslist ad.”
So here is the story.
Dude buys the car 3 days ago on Craigslist with a fake check. Dude then tries to resell car to unsuspecting idiot customer (me), using the same photos the previous owner used to sell his car, and posted the ad on the same site (Craigslist). He made fraudulent paperwork, will likely serve time seeing as how he confessed to everything, and he was going to get under $7000 for it all.
The guy was young, mid twenties. As he was cuffed in the back seat of the police car his girlfriend came down to get the dog. She looked baffled and shocked, legitimately, when she heard what was going on.
Let me say for the record that I did not have cash on me and was planning on taking the car in for an inspection prior to purchase.
I would say that with 100 transactions, this makes Craigslist a 99% success story for me. However, when I came home I sold a Cuisinart sandwich press off CL, so that percentage is on the rise.

I just don’t get it

At one point in my life I was quite possibly the world’s least intimidating bouncer. I worked at a small bar in Chicago, and over the course of 2 years I think I broke up 3 fights and threw out 4 or 5 gentlemen. As far as doorman jobs go, it was pretty cushy. However, one night, one time, I had to kick out a young lady. This was that night.
It was a typical cold Chicago winter evening, and the bar was about a quarter full. Just another uneventful night on the job, until a very drunken, terrible woman, stumbled over and asked me to kiss her. I courteously escorted her back to her friends and sat her down in the booth. Because I did not take her up on the offer her response was, “Oh, you’re gay.”
I walked back to the door and edged onto my stool. She followed.
Since she had established the fact that anyone not wanting to hook up with her must not be attracted to women, she decided to tell me what she thought about my homosexual lifestyle. She didn’t think highly of it. I am straight, but I found myself defending gay rights and getting pretty heated about her incessant shittiness. Finally I realized that this argument was pointless to have with a drunken empty head, so I stopped. She did not. After a few more minutes of her rant I decided she did not need to be here anymore. So I gingerly grabbed her arm, opened the door, and ushered her onto the sidewalk. I told her it was time to go home, and that I would get the people she came with. I locked the door, walked back 15 feet to her friends table, let them know she was out front and would not be let back in the bar, and returned to unlock the door 20 seconds later at most. She was enraged. Her friends were literally holding her back, people were screaming, it was a scene and eventually the police were called.
This scenario is a microcosm for so many of our gay rights conversations.
This woman had her opinion, fine, there was certainly no need to mock me for my perceived lifestyle, but when she did, it ruined my night, it ruined hers, and it ruined her friends. No one wins.
We put up so many petty fights, but denying gay rights is absurd. What can possibly be gained from not allowing civil unions? The sanctity of marriage and its 55% success rate? We all have our own items to worry about, things to do. Concerning yourselves with people’s choices that make no difference to you is not only harmful to them, it’s harmful to you and those surrounding. Spend your energy on something positive, don’t be an empty head.

Destiny

The sun peered into a tiny slice of space between the curtain and the wall, which happened to be exactly where my eyes were resting inside my head on top of my pillow. I was destined to wake up. So I did. I slowly gathered myself up and shuffled into the bathroom, mouthwashed, observed my sleep creased face, and meandered into the kitchen. I poured a bowl of cereal and opened the fridge to find that there was no milk present. I was destined to eat my cereal dry. So I would. I turned on the news and collapsed on the couch crunching away on my dry grains. Half halfheartedly I tried to find the remote to change the channel, but couldn’t. A knock at the door made my head turn, but I had the presence of mind to decide that I was too lethargic to look for my remote, so standing up to answer the door is completely out of the question. So I didn’t. 7 minutes into my day and I have made decisions that on any other day could have put me in a multitude of places: Still in bed, at the store, watching something different, seeing who/what is behind my front door. Destiny has put me on the couch watching this specific program at this specific time. So I sit.

Spotted Austin and the Popsicle Loving Dragon

There was a young boy, Austin his name, and wherever Austin went, there was a Popsicle in his hand. He loved every type of Popsicle ever made: red, green, purple, yellow, blue, orange, rainbow, little or big. He liked Popsicles with ice cream in them, he liked them without. He ate popsicles in the middle of winter, and in the middle of summer. They were his favorite food.
As you know, Popsicles are cold, and when they get warm they drip. This can create quite a mess. Austin almost always had a Popsicle in hand and because of this, he was spotted with every kind of Popsicle flavor imaginable. All sorts of colored spots and smears covered his arms. Austin would scrub and wash, but no matter how hard he cleaned, more spots would always come. Spotted Austin the popsicle loving child was quite a sight.
Because Austin was all kinds of spotted, some of the other boys and girls at school would make fun of him, but he was a strong boy and tried his best to never let anyone bother him. Austin always knew that being different is a great thing. Sometimes though, it hurt a little. When Austin was sad there was only one place in the world that he wanted to go. Out in his backyard Austin had dug a magnificent tunnel. In this tunnel Austin was king, no one would poke any fun at him or his spotted arms. Here Austin had a friend, his bestest, greatest friend in the world, Medina. Medina was a dragon. A real life fire-breathing dragon.
Austin had a very vivid imagination and when he would tell the children at school about his dear friend Medina, no one believed him.
“Stop your silliness!” The teachers would say.
One day after school Austin was hanging out with his pal Medina, and he accidentally dropped his popsicle on the ground.
“Oh corncobs!” Austin grumbled.
Medina looked at the dirty Popsicle and asked, “Austin, what is a Popsicle?”
“Popsicles are the best thing in the world!” Austin exclaimed.
Medina’s eyes lit up as Austin described a Popsicle, what it tastes like, what it feels like, how cold it is, sizes, shapes, textures, flavors…….Austin had a lot to say about Popsicles.
“Can I try it?” Medina asked excitedly.
“You are a dragon. Dragon’s don’t like Popsicles!” Little Austin said inconsiderately.
Medina got very sad; she thought that Austin just did not want to share his tasty frozen treat with his dragon friend. Austin immediately regretted his answer.
“I am sorry Medina. Here, try this!”
Austin withdrew his backup popsicle, unwrapped it, and handed the delicious creamsicle to Medina’s outstretched claw. Medina was bursting with happiness, but as she brought the Popsicle towards her mouth, it started to melt, and by the time Medina was ready to take a bite, there was nothing but a stick. Medina looked at it sadly, then looked at Austin, who was sad just seeing his friend sad. Austin knew this was a very serious problem.
Dragon’s breathe fire. This is a fact of nature. Medina’s fire breathing mouth made it seemingly impossible for her to taste the delicious treat. Her big eyes formed teardrops.
“I will never eat your favorite food.” Medina said as she lowered her head down to the ground.
“Yes you will!” Shouted Austin, and he dashed out of the tunnel,”YES YOU WILL!!!”.
Austin did not know exactly what to do, but he knew one thing, Medina was going to share in his favorite food, Medina was going to taste a Popsicle. Austin ran into his house and gathered all the different frozen snacks from the freezer. He thought that maybe, just maybe, one of these types of Popsicles would be able to withstand the fiery mouth of Medina. Austin scurried back to Medina’s side, laid all of the different varities in front of Medina, and began testing. First they tried a big grape Popsicle, and it melted, next it was a raspberry ice creamsicle, and it melted too. One by one they tried all of the various flavors and types of these delicious treats, and one by one they all melted. Medina and Austin were left with nothing but a colorful puddle, and a pile of Popsicle sticks. Medina was very upset.
“Maybe dragons aren’t supposed to eat popsicles, all we have is a big mess.”, she said
“That is nonsense!” replied Austin “We are never going to give up!!! All we need is a good plan. I’ll be back Medina!” , and with that Austin took off like a bolt back to the house.
Now one thing must be remembered and remembered always. Austin was a boy who never gave up. When the other boys and girls would laugh at his spotted arms, Austin didn’t lose heart. If he wanted to get rid of the spots he could stop eating his Popsicles, but there was no way he was going let those plain unspotted kids laugh him out of his favorite food. No. Austin was a fighter. He didn’t fight with his fists, but with his mind. He was good at solving problems, and this was an awfully big problem.
Austin changed into his pajamas, grabbed his notebook, pencil, and 3 popsicles before laying down on the kitchen floor to devise the greatest Popsicle eating plan of all time. Notes, drawings, and paper were flying around the room, as were Austin’s fabulous ideas. He worked until late at night, and fell asleep right there on the tiles.
The next day was a Saturday. Austin woke up, ran to the freezer, grabbed a blue and white giganticicle, and darted for the cave. It was time to put his plan into action. Austin’s feet could not have moved any faster, and when he arrived by his dragon friends side, Medina was still sleeping. Austin couldn’t wait.
“Get up you sleepy dragon! WAKE UP!” Austin yelled.
Dragons do not like to be awakened from a good sleep. Medina looked at Austin grumpily, and saw him standing there with a popsicle held high over his head.
“Try this one.” Austin said.
Medina reluctantly leaned toward Austin’s outstretched hand, and as her mouth got close, the popsicle started to drip all over Austin, and his pajamas.
“I can’t do it Austin, dragons are not meant to eat your favorite food. My enormous fire filled mouth will never allow it. I thank you for trying, but please, let me go back to sleep.” Medina closed her eyes and laid her head back on the ground.
“Medina” said Austin quietly “When you tried my popsicle were you excited?”.
Medina looked at him.
“Of course I was excited, you say Popsicles are the best, all I want to do is try one. I don’t want to melt any more deliciousness.”
“Hmmmmm”. Growled Austin, his brain rollicking. “Well, you can melt this one. It’s really gross. It tastes like burnt dirt and smashed bugs.”
Medina looked up. “I don’t want that thing” She said.
“Then I will stand here and sing and keep you up all morning. I’m not leaving until you try.” Said Austin.
Medina wanted to go back to sleep, and Austin is not known to be a great singer.
“If I try it you will leave me to slumber?” Medina asked.
“Yup” Austin replied.
“Bring it here” Medina said reluctantly.
She closed her eyes. The thought of smashed bugs and burnt dirt put a terrible scowl on Medina’s face. If she did it quickly, maybe it wouldn’t taste as bad. Medina brought the popsicle straight up towards her mouth, slowly she brought it closer, closer….Medina plugged her nose with her other claw…. closer, and…… she put the whole popsicle right into her fire mouth!
Medina’s eyes opened wide, her smile went from ear to ear, and flames of excitement shot out of her nose!
“This treat is terrific, better than terrific! I love love love it!!!!” She screamed as she flapped her wings propelling her head into the ceiling of the cave.
“This is the best thing I have ever eaten! Why would you say this is terrible?! It tastes nothing like smashed up bugs! How did you do it Austin? What did you do?”
Austin smiled.
“You were too excited to control your fire mouth Medina.” the wise Austin said. “Sometimes when I get really happy, sad, or really excited, I lose control. If I told you the Popsicle tasted like terrible things, there is nothing to get excited about.”
“Austin, you are a genius my friend!”
Austin and Medina spent the rest of the weekend eating popsicles, telling stories, and thinking of other marvelous plans. It was the best weekend ever.
Monday morning it was back to school, and Austin was beaming. It was show and share day, and he had a lot to share. He told the class his story. The dilemma, how he solved the Popsicle problem, and in the end, how he spent the entire weekend eating popsicles with his dragon friend Medina.
When Austin finished, the kids started laughing and teasing Austin.
“You don’t have a dragon friend!” One of the kids from the back of the classroom yelled “Dragons don’t even exist!”
A big grin came across Austin’s face because he had one more item to show and share. Austin slowly raised his spotted arm and pointed out through the classroom window. There in the courtyard, leaning against a giant Oak tree, sat Austin’s best friend Medina. Medina had 2 delicious marshmallow ice swirl popsicles, one in each claw. All the kids ran over to the window and stared in silence at the giant dragon, their mouths were agape in disbelief.
“There she is, there is my best friend Medina!” Austin stated proudly as he waved out the window.
Medina smiled a big happy Popsicle face smile, and waved back to the classroom, with her newly spotted arm.