The First Time Salesman

I’ve never been poor. However, since I’ve lived in places that weren’t my childhood bedroom, my financial situation has always been “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind a few more bucks.” I’ve never missed a rent payment, or been in any kind of real debt, which is extremely fortunate for someone in their twenties. Usually, people spring into adulthood already owing tens of thousands of dollars. It’s like someone dug a big pit under you in the “GO” space on the Monopoly board, and the whole world is looking down, impatiently. “Just fucking roll the dice already.”

I just posted, for the very first time, items for sale on Craigslist. That might seem like a small thing, and, oh, it really is. But let me explain.

Anyone who knows me in real life knows my dedication to being awfully annoying about movies. Oh, you mentioned a little known French film director from the 50’s? Well then, if you don’t mind, how about sticking around to hear me gasp and spit about it for forty minutes. It’s not like you had anything BETTER to do. You’re the one who brought it up around me in the first place. You were basically asking for trouble, moron.

The first items were the pieces of my relatively small Criterion Collection collection. They were mostly horror films, and mostly foreign. I’d been creating this collection, slowly, since I was a Sophomore in college and first decided to find out what the hell a “Roman Polanski’s Repulsion” was. Is it hard to put them on the internet with the hopes that, somewhere, someone in the same city that I live in is as much of a fan of impenetrable Japanese thrillers as I am? A little bit. The aforementioned Repulsion was the first non-American horror film that I ever really gave a chance to. Godzilla was a film that I’ve adored since childhood. I’ve shown more people Letters Never Sent than I can count on one hand (and if you know how many friends I have, you can assume that the last two people were bums who exchanged getting out of the cold for a bit for the pleasure of viewing a Soviet masterpiece. And I haven’t been able to shut up about Vengeance Is Mine. Really, it’s great. Everyone you know will be confused by it, but, man, it’s so damn cool.

The second item was my 3DS, and a copy of Pokemon Y. For years, I’ve been trying to turn myself into a “gamer” (I feel weird writing the word “gamer,” like a person should only be able to say it while chugging Mountain Dew and being fourteen), because video games felt like a popular medium that was entirely alien to me. As an internet humor writer, I try to cover all the bases that I can, because who knows when I’ll see a job posting looking for someone to write funny tech articles. That sounds perfect for me to cram my knowledge and style into, pretending to like the subject enough to wait for the PayPal invoice to come through. And the 3DS, with its simplicity and lack of games that made me frustrated, got me the closest to be a …gamer… that I’ve ever been. But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I feel better about giving this one up than the others. The 3DS eventually just served as a reminder of rash purchasing decisions, sitting on my desk and watching me ignore it and the abundant weeds that grew in my Animal Crossing: New Leaf town. (Sorry, residents of DANVILLE. May your next political leader be even slightly interested in making you all happy and picking up your stupid seashells.)

I’ve never put anything on Craigslist before, so, while I gaze sadly at Brian De Palma’s masterpiece Blow Out, I can take this as a learning experience if I ever run my own business, one that just sells Criterion Collection movies and a single video game.

Business Tip 1: Make your price lower than every other price on the page. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling. If someone’s PS4 is $300, make sure that the kidney you’re giving up is a sweet $220.

Business Tip 2: Take pictures. Why would you ever post something without adding a picture? Not adding a picture just translates every single word on the page into “Lies and murder.”

It’s an odd feeling to give up the things that I really like in order to buy the things that I need. If it goes alright, this stuff will maybe pay for an electric bill, or buy my girlfriend a dinner at a nice restaurant. Or maybe they won’t be sold, and I’ll win some kind of lottery that you secretly qualify for whenever you fill the world’s quota for “Top 10 Lists To Be Quickly Laughed At, Digested, And Forgotten About.” Either way, I’m optimistic. And I’m a salesman, too. With that on my resume, I’ll never be in this position again.


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