What They Said, What They Mean: Craigslist Comedy Goldmine! from Nathan Key


Nathan Key was the very first guest-blogger on this blog and was also one of my very first friends in grade school.  He taught me the words to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and for that, I will always be thankful.

Coming through in the clutch to help me out during my “I can’t blog right now, please leave a message” thesis-finishing hiatus, good Nathan (why yes, he is related to Francis Scott Key, but I’m not sure about F. Scott Fitzgerald) sent this to me today.  In my head, the title should be sung to Doofenshmirtz’s Theme.

Francis Scott Key

You don't even know who I am.

Craigslist Comedy Goldmine!
by Nathan Key
special to The Daily Cocca since 1985. Dude, didn’t we try to launch two different ‘zines back in the day? One actually made it to press. I need scans.

You never know where you’re going to find a comedy goldmine. A few weeks ago, I found one when reading through “free on craigslist.” It began when I encountered the following post (which has since been removed):


—In my backyard, I discovered that some bees have taken residence in one of my old trucks. This hive HAS TO GO! I don’t want to kill them, but I’m highly allergic and so if there are any beekeepers who want to come get them, please call me immediately before I contact the exterminators.—

This post intrigued me, but it also caused me to ask some questions. Like:

  1. How many beekeepers are actually browsing through craigslist?
  2. Is picking up stray hives a beekeeper’s preferred method of bee collection?
  3. Is this really an act of compassion for the lives of small flying insects or is this someone simply trying to avoid paying the exterminator?

I make no assumptions, but based on some of the other posts I began to discover, I’m guessing the latter. For example, this next ad:

Free OAK Firewood – You cut & carry

“Huge Oak tree fell and has been cut up, but some branches may need cut smaller to haul off. Bring chainsaw, truck and manpower. Tree piles are in back yard so there will be some transport needed to front street. Plenty of wood there for your time. The photo is just to give you an idea of the overall quantity as it shows “before” the tree was professionally cut into more manageable pieces. Much smaller pieces now as the entire trunk has been cut up. Email for address and more info.”

Chris apologizes for the quality of this picture. He's using Windows. He told you times were rough. You should see his beard.

Chris apologizes for the quality of this picture. He's using Windows. He told you times were rough. You should see his beard.

Let’s face it; while the ‘Free Bees’ post could have been a concerned, environmentally considerate individual who was really looking out for the bees’ best interest, the firewood post is merely a thrifty individual who is trying to pitch his problem as an opportunity. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and if the man who treasures firewood…

…in Orlando, in the middle of 80 degree weather…

…is willing to come out to my house and cut up my fallen tree, saving me the effort of removing the tree myself or paying someone to haul it off- why not test the waters and see if there are any takers?

This is exactly what FREE on Craigslist is all about- it’s trying to scam other people into taking your trash out for you so that you don’t have to haul it to the curb. Here are some of my favorite examples, right here in the Central Florida Area. I’ll post the original ad in its original form and then let you know what I think their real story is.

What they said: Free Mulch “Hi, I have a truck full load of tree mulch. You can have as little or as much as you want. You need to be willing to clean it a little. It has some tree limbs that didn’t shred well.”

What they mean: I cut down tree limbs and ran them through the chipper- but I don’t want it sitting on my lawn anymore. Would you like it on your lawn?

What they said: “Free blue [sic] vinal sleeper sofa and loveseat. Has some rips as you see in the picture. Pick up and take away asap and it’s yours.”

What they mean: I missed spring cleanup / large trash removal day and I don’t really want to hire someone to pick these up and take them to the local dump. If you have a pickup truck, please help me?

What they said: “I have 3 large palm trees in my front yard that I would like removed. They are free to anyone that can remove/haul them away. Licensed and Insured individuals only please. I will post pictures of them later today. Please contact me if you have any further questions. Thank you for your interest.”

What they mean: I got a quote from the tree removal service and I couldn’t afford it. Are there any professionals in the area who would like to donate their time and energy to helping us get rid of these plants?

What they said: “Two long sleeved under armor style shirts, and two Publix shirts. The stretchy ones are a fairly small size, Publix shirts are medium.”

What they mean: I quit my job and I’m not returning my uniform. Anyone want to help me stick it to the man?

What they said: “Yard sale leftovers: books mostly for 8-12 yrs, cd games for computer (kids games 5-10yrs), puzzels, knick knacks, and more, more, more. come and get it today!!!”

What they mean: I tried to give this stuff away to people passing by my house and they didn’t even want it- maybe if I put a vague description on the internet you’ll come over and feel bad for driving all this way and not taking it home with you?

Craigslist: where social networking skill can mean the difference between using 5 minutes to take the trash to the curb or spending 20 minutes online, wordsmithing an ad and three days waiting by the phone, hoping that someone else does  it for you.

Editor’s note:  When you put it this way, Nathan, Craigslist sounds awesome. 

Nathan Key is a writer / facilitator who lives in Florida with his wife and their two sons. He is an award winning author, thinker, and communicator who currently spends his days facilitating Professional Selling & Prospecting Skills and researching ethical, political, and spiritual dilemmas.

His main area of expertise include conversations and ideals surrounding personal development, philosophy, political theory, and religion. He enjoyes engage in learning experiences whenever possible and continually aspires to encourage organic growth and development within businesses, churches, and other organizations.

One thought on “What They Said, What They Mean: Craigslist Comedy Goldmine! from Nathan Key

  1. There used to be a website dedicated to stuff like this, but I think the author stopped updating it and it vanished.


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