I rarely use Craigslist, particularly the version of it that is focused on this wacky little city of Redding that I live in. There are a lot of weirdos in the world, and many of them gravitate towards community services and resources such as Craigslist. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to expect that if you spend time on the site then you’re going to have a higher frequency of encounters with the types of people you would never choose to have anything to do with in real life.
That said, every once in a while I will find a need to purchase something off Craigslist, despite my preference not to use the site. There are times when eBay “Buy It Now” prices are too unreasonable and the classified ads in the local newspaper are not exhaustive enough, and this is when I find myself saying “Well hello again, Craigslist!” with a sarcastic grin on my face. This happened two months ago when I decided to buy a vintage piece of music equipment called a Marshall JCM800 amplifier. I actually didn’t find the version of the amplifier that I wanted, but instead found and purchased two guitars—Ol’ Betsies 04 and 05 —from gentlemen in Hercules and Burney, respectively. Both experiences were quite pleasant, so I found myself wondering if maybe Craigslist isn’t as bad as it used to be.
My optimism was short-lived, however, as today I was reminded about one of the special types of “weird” that exists in Redding.
While looking for a place to post an ad for my baseball team, one of the first headlines I found was “Bigfoot Reports Wanted.” Aha! This is the Craigslist I remember so well! The entire ad read as follows:
If you have seen anything that you believe might be a Sasquatch or Bigfoot,or if you have heard strange noises or had a strange experience. I would love to hear your story. Please email to bigfoot-reports at hotmail dot com.
Will be kept confidential
Hey… now that you mention it, I have heard strange noises before! I have also had two or three totally fucking strange experiences in my life! How is it that I never considered Bigfoot was behind it all??!
Oh yeah… that’s because Bigfoot doesn’t exist! People who believe in Bigfoot are at least silly, and possibly crazy. If we can map our galaxy without leaving the solar system and order pizza from our cell phones while hiking trails in the wilderness, surely we would have found Bigfoot by now and put him in a zoo where he belongs.
(Somewhat of a tangent here, but they should put questions like “Do you believe in Bigfoot?” on voter registration forms alongside questions like “Who was the second President of the USA?” When a person answers the former “yes” after getting the latter wrong, he or she is automatically disqualified from participating in all elections for at least four years.)
Also, I love the faux-official email address firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m now imagining some other irrational and slightly irritated guy in Oregon posting his own Bigfoot Craigslist ad with the email address email@example.com (because the email address firstname.lastname@example.org was already taken by this asshole in California). Then there would of course be the even more irritated Washington counterpart having to settle with email@example.com because the two better email addresses were taken already by the assholes in California and Washington, and so on, and so forth.
As an old pal from Texas used to remind me, Northern California is Bigfoot country, and wherever Sasquatch is expected to be, people with tinfoil hats can’t be too far away!