Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Craigs List Psycho - Asbestos Boy


I cleaned my garage recently and have a ton of stuff listed on Craigs List, that I really just have no business holding on to. I just need to get rid of it and reclaim the space in my garage that it is taking up.

I have an old Commodore 128, with disk drive, monitor, and mouse. All still in the original boxes with original manuals and everything.

I always look at things I'm selling on Craigs List, on eBay first, to get an idea of what they are selling for. I then adjust because eBay is a global market, while Craigs List is typically local.

Anyways, I see a couple 128's computer only going for close to $100. Ok, no sweat. I got the drive, monitor and mouse, and all are in original boxes. I should be able to sell it pretty easy if I'm flexible on the price.

So in my ad listing, it asks for price. I put $1. Then in the description, I put "Make me an Offer!"

So I get an email from some guy who asks if the $1 price is what I'm asking.

So I reply and inform him that I'm looking for offers. He replies and says then he's not interested. Ok, no sweat - whatever.

Well I use my Google Voice number when I post things on Craigs List. But on the following Sunday, my direct cell phone number rings. I answer and the caller identifies himself as the guy interested in the 128. "Strange..." I think to myself, as the call didn't come in on my Google Voice number, but whatever.... he offers me $40 for just the computer and drive. I tell him if he can pick it up that day, that he can have it for that price, but he takes everything.

He then asks how long I've had it. I say about 10 years. He asks if I was the original purchaser. I say no, I got it from a buddy. He asks how long the buddy had it. I say "I don't know. Another 10 years maybe." He then asks if my friend was the original purchaser. I tell him as far as I know he was. He asks if they are all in the original boxes. I say they are. He then asks if they are also in the original plastic bags. WTF? I told him I think the monitor is, but not sure about the rest.

He asks if it has been kept in a smoke free environment. I tell him no, that my buddy and I both smoke. He asks if it smells like smoke when you turn it on. I tell him I haven't had it turned on for about 3 years, and then it was only to see if it worked, and that I really didn't notice any smoke smell.

He then tells me to set it up somewhere in the house so he can see it working. I tell him I'll have it set up in the garage. He says a table in the house would be better. I assure him, I'll have it set up in the garage. He then asks if the garage is heated. I say no, but I do have a heater out there I can turn on. He tells me to have it booted up and running a program, and to do it now so it can run a while before he comes over. He says he will be over at 6PM.

Ok, right here I should have known this guy was a fruit loop, but I wanted the damn thing gone.

So he finally arrives and we are making small talk, and I mention that I fix computers for a living. He says he knows. When I replied to his email, I replied from my company email, so he went to my company website, and thats how he got my direct cell number. Ok, this dudes freaking me out.

So he asks how long the computer has been running. I tell him I set it up right after we got off the phone earlier.

He proceeds to pick up the computer and sniff it. He sniffs the keyboard, the top vents, then the bottom vents. Then he feels all the vents. Says hes checking for a heat problem.

Then he picks up and smells the disk drive in the same fashion, then feels it up too.

He then says he will just be reselling the monitor, and do I have a digital camera so he can take pictures of it. I say sure, and give him my phone. He notices something on the monitor and asks for a damp rag. I holler in to my daughter and ask her for a wet paper towel. She brings one. He asks if he can wring it out on my floor. Um, sure I guess.... whatever.... so he does, and cleans the spot off the monitor.

He then proceeds to snap a few pictures, and asks me to email them to him, which I do.

Then he says he has brought a program and asks if he can load it up. Sure I tell him, and he does.

After the game loads, he gets it to the player selection screen, then disconnects the drive.

He asks if I mind him taking it apart to look at the inside. Sure whatever dude - you've already sniffed it and felt it up, why not. So I give him a screwdriver, and he proceeds to dismantle the drive. He looks into it, sniffs it again, and comments that it needs a cleaning.

A cleaning? Are you kidding me? The thing is over 20 years old, and has been in my garage for 10 of those - hell yes it needs a cleaning!

So then he puts the drive back together and asks if he can dismantle the computer itself. Sure, why not. So it requires a star bit. I give him one, but two of the holes are too deep and it wont fit. So he says screw it and gets ready to put it back together. Then asks if I have one of those L shaped things. "An Allen wrench?" I say. "Yes" says he. So I grab one that seems to fit OK and he removes the rest of the screws.

Well, it still won't pop apart. Maybe some tabs or something inside that were holding it. So he says Oh Well, and puts it back together. He then proceeds to unplug everything. So he grabs the monitor box, and pulls out all of the Styrofoam, and plastic. He then empties out the dust bunnies that have gathered in the bottom. Then he proceeds to pack up the monitor. I give him a hand and we get it back in the box.

Then he packs up the drive. Removes everything from the box, and empties the dust bunnies into the trash. Loads the drive into its foam, then into the box. Then he played this little "which books and cables goes in which box" game. Shuffling them all around. I'm like "The monitor book, and the monitor cables go with the monitor. The drive book and cables go with the drive. Everything else goes with the computer."

I don't think he got it for a while because he kept shifting everything around and asking what went where.

Now he's only got the computer to box up. So I know hes going to clean the box, so I step out back to smoke. I can still see him, I just gathered he wasn't a smoker, and didn't want to be a jerk and smoke in the room with him and his new computer.

So sure enough, he takes everything out of the box, and proceeds to dump the dust bunnies into the garbage. Then he asks if I have a lighter.

I look over and can see what appear to be spider nest/egg things in the corner of the box. I ask if he found some spiders, and he says yes, so I throw him my lighter.

I see him pick one of the white things out the box, and proceed to burn it. Look at it, Burn it again, Look at it again, throw it away, grab another, do the same thing. Im wondering what he's doing, so I put out my cigarette, and walk over.

"Does this look like Asbestos to you?" he says.

Whhaaaaaaaaaat??? Are you serious?

I'm like "I dont know what Asbestos looks like."

So then he asks if I think it got in there at my house, or at my buddies house. "I honestly can't say" I tell him. So then he asks what type of insulation I have in my attic. I don't have a clue, but tell him he's more than happy to go check it out. He says he'd like to, so I pull down the attic access in my garage and he climbs up.

Is it the same I ask? Kind of he says.

While he was in the attic, I went to my garage PC and turned on some music. When he comes down from the attic, he asks if I can get Google on that PC. I tell him I can and he asks if he can use it. "Sure" says I.

So I glance over his shoulder, and hes on Wikipedia reading about Asbestos. Then reading about fiberglass insulation. Hes reading for about 15 minutes. During this time, my wife comes outside and sees the attic is open, and the guys on the computer. She gives me a "WTF?!?!" look. I just shake my head.

So he comes off the computer and asks if he can grab a piece of my insulation.

Help yourself dude!

So he goes upstairs and grabs a piece, then proceeds to the trash can and starts trying to burn it. I give him a pair of needle nose pliers to hold it, cause I'm cool like that. So he burns a few pieces, and I ask "Does it burn the same?" he says "Kinda" then throws it away, and heads back to the computer.

I'm talking to my wife, and a few minutes later, he says "I hate to do this to you."

I'm thinking "No Effing Way Dude!"

He says "But I'm gonna have to pass, sorry. That stuff just freaks me out."

I say no problem, open the door, shake his hand and say see ya.

Its now like 8:30.

2.5 hours for a $40 item, and you turn it down because you think it has asbestos in it??? WTF?!?!?

So two days later, I get an email from another person interested in it. He says he'll give me $75.00

I tell him if he can pick it up that day its his. He says he can and will call when he's on his way.

About 30 minutes later, my direct cell phone rings. I answer it and its Asbestos Boy. He apologizes for freaking out, and states he would like to come buy the computer if I still have it. I inform him someone is coming to look at it. He asks what time they will be there. I said they were going to call when they were on the way. I told him if they didn't buy it, I would call him. He asked me to call either way. I agreed.

The other guy shows up. I tell him we can hook it up if he'd like to see it work. He says its not necessary. Hands me $75 takes the computer and rolls out.

I sent Asbestos Boy an email that simply read "The 128 has been sold."