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Published July 18, 2011
Craigslist. To the best of my knowledge the only website where one could conceivably get a new apartment, a new car, and also gonorrhea all in the same sitting. In case your internet connection has been out for the past 15 years and you’re not aware of Craigslist, it’s this bizarre virtual catch-all of sorts where one can sell, purchase, or even trade a myriad of different goods and/or services. To the untrained eye, Craigslist is a rudimentary tool for e-commerce. No adds. No pop-ups. Easy shopping. Yet if you delve a little deeper, Craigslist is just about as creepy and strange as a website gets. But what about porn, you ask? Can’t be weirder than porn, could it? You see porn doesn’t disguise what it is. Porn pulls no punches. Porn is porn, a blatant masturbatory tool for the lonely and horny. It identifies itself immediately, and for that, porn, you’ve earned my respect. However with Craigslist, much like with the Transformers, there’s more than meets the eye.

MISSED CONNECTIONS

There are very few things on the internet that I enjoy more than the “missed connections” section of Craigslist. This is a section which was apparently designed specifically for people who live in a fantasy world, most of which I assume are women who own multiple sweatsuits and even more cats. A missed connection is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a chance for someone to virtually send out a love letter to a stranger they saw somewhere, someone they fell in love with at first sight but never actually spoke to. Here’s an example of what a missed connections post might look like:

“I saw you in Long John Silver’s. You were wearing a Papa Roach shirt and eating popcorn shrimp. I was wearing a B.U.M Equipment sweatshirt and noshing on some baja fish tacos. We briefly made eye contact. I was about to introduce myself, but then, on account of the aforementioned fish tacos, I had to use the restroom. When I came out you were nowhere to be found. Are you out there?”

Missed connections posts are the epitome of sad and pathetic. Life is NOT a romantic comedy. Gerard Butler is not going to magically read this, seek you out, and then come sweep you off of your feet. No chance. Zero. Nil. None. The only possible outcome is for one of the Long John Silver’s employees to stumble across this, email you and pretend to be this guy, and then send you a picture of his own fish stick.  Sorry, lady, but Katherine Heigl you are not. Go feed Fluffy.

THE BARTER SYSTEM?

Yes, unbeknownst to most, in 2011 the barter system is alive and well. It exists on Craigslist. Under the “for sale” section, low and behold, there’s a subsection for bartering. Bartering? Really? How archaic is that? What is this, the 1600’s? Ye olde internet? Are you looking to trade your cobbling mallet for someone else’s smelting iron? Last time I checked my name wasn’t Bill, nor was it Ted, and I had no excellent adventure back in time. Who thinks to themselves, “Hmm, you know, I’d really like a new bicycle. Let me hop online.  Maybe I can trade my waffle iron for one.” In this day and age the only acceptable bartering is done in the grade school cafeteria, for example, “I’ll give you my gushers for your dunk-a-roo’s”. Don’t barter goods online. Get a goddamn job and go to the mall like everyone else. You’re not a fucking pirate.

CASUAL ENCOUNTERS

What’s in a name? Everything. A “casual encounter” is Craigslist for an anonymous one-night stand. Yes, even after a psychotic, convicted killer was actually given the murdering handle of “The Craigslist Killer”, this section continues to exist. The justification for this section is that it’s meant for people to “hook up”, but in all actuality 90% of the posts are advertisements for prostitutes. And the remaining ten percent are probably, well, huge fans of The Craigslist Killer. Check it out for yourself. It’s like a fucking brothel! How this section hasn’t been yanked is beyond me. And let’s be honest folks, these have to be bottom of the barrel prostitutes. While I don’t know from experience (I promise!), I’d venture to guess these aren’t your top of the line women of the night. I’m willing to bet these gals are less Julia Roberts in Pretty Women and more Charleze Theron in Monster. I wouldn’t nail one of these chicks with Craigs dick and Tom from Myspace pushing. You partake in this particular section of Craigslist and it’s a pretty safe bet that sooner rather than later you’ll be casually encountering some genital warts.

Sure, Craigslist isn’t entirely freaky. Last summer I did sell my Nintendo Wii on there. Now did the buyer go home and use the remote to bludgeon to death a casual encounters prostitute? Who knows. Maybe he went and traded it to another Craigslister for some magic beans. Far be it for me to say. All I know is that ol’ Craig is, to say the least, a pretty weird dude.

Cheers,

Peter Hoare

Twitter.com/PeterHoare

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