Like all good-hearted people, I believe it’s better to re-use things than to throw them away. That’s why I’m a member of the Montgomery Freecycle network. From time to time, if I have something that might be of interest to others, I’ll list it. This is how we gave away the boxes we used to move here (to a very interesting couple shipping off from the “big city” of Montgomery to the serious country of super-rural North Alabama. She told me she was “sick of the traffic.” Statements like that help me understand why people down here say things like “Well, bless your heart.”).
I get the daily Freecycle emails. They summarize the available offers, tell you what’s already been picked up, and what it is that people are looking for. Sometimes the emails are fairly routine – someone in Dalraida wants a washing machine or a dishwasher or packing peanuts, someone in Prattville has extra wood or peaches or glass jars, and someone in Capitol Heights has size 3 girl’s shoes to get rid of, serious inquiries only.
It’s a little mobile bazaar, messages detailing the trail of exchanged goods as they meet up with happy new owners (“Pick up behind Coliseum;” “Will leave on porch;” “Thanks to all who responded. Blender has been claimed.”). Some days a parsimonious title is enough to figure out a post’s back story (“WANTED: Humane/Live Catch Trap (Raccoon Size”). Other days the title raises more questions than it answers (“Offer: adult Bumble Bee Halloween costume size XXL on Maxwell” – the best part about that offer being the TAKEN message the next day: “If I would have had 10 of em it wouldn’t have been enough to give one to everybody who responded…”).
Sometimes the cascade of post titles seems to make a little poem about life in Montgomery. Last fall someone in Deer Creek listed for pick-up “Fake Eggs,” “Book Random Acts of Badness,” and “handmade rabbit dolls.” This listing caught my eye in the fall:
OFFER: Promise Keeper T-shirt for child (behind Coliseum): One white t-shirt for a child that says “My Daddy is a Promise Keeper”. Never worn but had several years, so it doesn’t look brand new.
Recently, someone (“Ray”) in East Montgomery has been trying to add a little spice to the listings. It’s a nice mix of “take my wife, please” type humor combined with the wittiness of the best of the Amazon product review humorists. I can’t reprint all his good material here, and can’t link to the Freecycle group posts because non-members can’t read them. So just a few choice nuggets:
- OFFER: Trash can, plastic: E Mgm. Just in time. You’ve been wondering what to do with all those idiotic, stupid, overhyped, redundant, and just plain annoying posts from some crazy guy with too much time on hands. Well, here it is. Listen carefully and pay attention as you won’t be able to read this again:Rubbermaid Wastebasket
Poubelle | Cesto de basura (Yeh, this baby is the international model.)
Solid plastic, Made in USA.
53 qt | 50.1 L
To ensure your junk stays put this model has the easy-open, kid-safe removable lid. Simply push down on the finely crafted tab that reads PUSH (wonder how they’ll figure it out in France & Spain?) and the top gently springs open. Yes, gently, this isn’t one of those that slaps you up under the chin. This brand new item was only used by a little old school teacher in his classroom on weekdays, no wild usage for weekend parties. I almost forgot, color: golden haze beige, an extremely neutral color, it has never taken sides either way. No phone calls, please. I will not call you. If your email is really sweet I may throw in a few pieces of trash and have Billy add some also. Hold the acclamations, I’m just trying to keep stuff out of the dump.
- OFFER: Child/pet barrier gate: E Mgm. Guys, just in time for Mother’s day! This multi-modal, fully integrated, automatic gate comes in a lovely beige color of solid wood with designer plastic accents in white. It will add that finishing touch, as its symmetrical pattern of triangles and diamonds will complement the decor of every room in your house.?? What more could any woman ask for? While she’s in the kitchen finding fulfillment as a woman preparing dinner, you can put this barrier up to keep the kids out of her way. (How sweet, score two brownie points.) And it’s low enough that she can still EASILY step over it as she refills your snack tray or brings you another soda. (Hey, it’s freecycle, no alcohol allowed.) On the other hand, you could use this finely crafted piece to keep the ankle biters from interfering with YOUR concentration during the big game as you entirely occupy the sofa in the spread-out manner it was designed to be used for. Sounds like a win-win to me.
BEWARE: This gate has some stiff warnings:
“To prevent serious injury or death, securely install gate.”
“To prevent sudden slaps upside the head don’t talk about your loving wife as your servant.”
“Install the locking mechanism on the side away from the child.”
“Install the locking mechanism on the side away from your wife so she can’t use it to whomp you upside your egotistical head.”
“This gate will not prevent all accidents, such as those caused by hot cheese sauce poured in your macho lap if you follow the idiotic advice from the offender of this post.”
“Use only on openings between 26″ and 42″ wide, such as my mouth before my wife lets me pull my foot from it.” (Yes dear, I’ll remove these comments before I post.)
Don’t delay, write today. Peace of mind is an email away. I’m in County Downs, look for the leaky dog house with my mattress inside. And if you read this far you’re just as warped as I am.
- OFFER: Shapely legs, thin, black; E Mgm. Yes, you read that right: firm, shapely, lemon black table legs. (Yes, these may be better looking than your wife’s gams, but I can’t help that.) This offer is for one SET of legs. That’s right, you get both pieces. Compare that to my competition who only offers you one leg, then pulls the bait and switch to get you to buy the other one at double the price. Details: table legs, black, metal. 30″ high at the tallest point (the top); 23″ wide at the wide point (the base). These legs fold into the bottom of the table for storage. (I would put them on the bottom. Based on some of the responses I get, some of you wouldn’t know where to put them.) You know, they have those folding angle braces that always close on your fingers. Based on closed-field cryptography and MRI imaging these legs appear to be made from the same 13th century black metal as the already posted Italian door. The fine brush strokes of a Renaissance master are also apparent in the silky smooth finish of the satin black paint. These legs were painted with love and care. I won’t call you. Courtesy trumps speed. I appreciate please and thank you (and short stories, e.g., your wife wants to slap me for all my chauvinistic wisecracks. Don’t worry, my wife does that enough. Ouch! yes dear! no dear! no, I didn’t mean it that way!).
Thank you, Ray, for making my morning email read so much more enjoyable. And thanks everyone gamely exchanging Whatnots, coupons, childrens’ clothing, and furniture on Freecycle.