June 14, 2019

what it is like to sell a computer

Last night, I sold a computer.  It was The Kid's old gaming machine.  The listing had languished on Craigslist for over six months, so I lowered the price to fire sale territory and immediately got a hit.

She said she would come to my house at 7:00.  She arrived at 6:40.

At 8:15, we were still standing in my driveway, talking.

That is not true.  She was talking.  I was listening.  I was barefoot.

I'm Southern.  There was nothing I could do.  I was helplessly bound by my upbringing and at the mercy of the lady's oxygen levels and eventual need for sleep.  Neither of those saved me, though.  The Kid came home from his dad's house and she was forced to back her truck out of the driveway.  Thankfully, she had the grace to end the conversation at that point.  Her husband had called a few minutes before to ask if she was dead in a ditch somewhere; even so, I had little difficulty envisioning her driving back up to finish what she was saying.

I learned much.  I know things now.

I know about all of her medical problems and that she carries her medications around with her in a large, clear purse, to make the point.  She frequently sends photos of the clear medicine purse to her insurance company because she is trying to convince them that she needs a surgery and they will not pay for it.

She and her husband work for some real estate investor people who deal with repossessed homes.  They go in and get stuff left behind after the owners or tenants or squatters have been kicked out.  They pack things up in boxes.  Sometimes they help themselves to nicer items.  Now they have four hand mixers and three Kindles that actually still work.  They have a Sunbeam stand mixer from the 1950s, back when they made things to last.  They are lucky because the hallway in their six-hundred square-foot singlewide is lined with closets.

I know about every dog she has ever owned, beginning in her girlhood, and how each dog suffered and died.  One of her Rottweilers killed ducks because its previous owners used to give it toy ducks from PetSmart.  Another Rottweiler was named Hank when they rescued him from the shelter, but they named him Chewy instead because, she explained, "You can't name a dog Hank that ain't got balls."  Chewy is afraid of cats.  She had a Shih Tzu that had a stroke and bit its own tail off.  She carried the dog and the tail to the vet.

I know that her son once spiked a laptop like a football onto a concrete paver and the laptop still worked.

I even know that her brother-in-law is terrified of midget clowns and will go to the circus with them and wait outside.

Midget clowns.

I sold the computer.

11 comments:

  1. At least her sex life wasn't involved. That's never any fun to listen to. Just saying...Mona

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    1. Oh dear god ... the horrors. That's worse than midget clowns. Which I did not think was a thing that was possible.

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  2. Whenever I get cornered by a person like that, I'm always exasperated that they won't leave, but there's another part of me, the voyeuristic writer side, which enjoys absorbing this impromptu character study, fascinated that somebody would just spill their guts on the suburban sidewalk in front of a stranger...
    Did you feel like that, or were you just 100% exhausted?

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    1. Both, I think ... I knew I should make up a social lie and dash away, and it was fully in my power to do so, but I could smell blog-fodder, too. I think it was Hank-Chewy that made me stay.

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  3. That isn't 'just' Southern Upbringing, Irish upbringing traps one as well. As Mona said, at least her sex life / lack in her husband or every other male in her life / gynaecological issues weren't involved or, and this only occurred to me now - sex with midget clowns.

    Or the horrors of her thinking you know exactly who she's talking about and she winks or elbows you to let you know that some sort of secret information is coming your way - and it's usually what Shirley said to 'our' cousin's daughter when the black plague was around and why we Do Not Talk to that side of the family.

    I'm a straight talker, usually, but I cannot be rude to folk like that because my Grandmother's voice is speaking to me and saying 'pity her, she may not have anyone to talk to and it's your good deed for the day'. As you know, I'm as much interested in 'my good deed of the day' and impressing any gods with 'em - but there's no way I pissing off my grandmother - that woman would decide to haunt me and switch the kettle on at 4pm every day to remind me she's haunting me - for being rude to a stranger.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my Nana, but she sure had some strange ideas about being polite. She used to listen to the Mormons who'd visit her to try and change her mind about religion, and she'd drag whoever was in the house to the front door (if she hadn't invited them in for tea) to introduce us to 'em too. My mother is stuck with a Gentleman and his daughter who, to this day, still call on her to see how she is.

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    1. 4pm 'cause that's when she had her reviving cup of tea and how else would we know is was specifically her that was haunting us otherwise? Can't explain this one - except she did do this to my mother - we changed the kettle twice, it still went off at 4pm every day until my mother said loudly - "Mam, stop it, you'll boil the kettle dry and I'll have to buy another one"

      This is a true story.

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    2. After meeting your mum, I can say, simply, that I do believe this story. :)

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  4. Okay, since Carol brought it up, remind me when I see you to tell you the story about midget clown porn. Mona

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    1. But...but...Mona, that sounds like a GOOD story!!

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    2. Mona: P.J. just said quietly and ominously, "Be careful what you ask for." Carol: SHUT THE FUCK *UP*! Don't encourage her!

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    3. Lille sweetheart, my mother pokes at wasp nests just to see what happens. I'm very much her daughter, asking me to not encourage someone with a midget clown porn story is like asking me to not breathe - I can't help it, It's genetics. heeee! heeee!

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