Sippican Cottage

Torn From the Virtual Pages of the Maine Craigslist, April Edition

The Maine Craigslist isn’t a collection of items for sale. It’s a happening. A cultural phenomenon. It is an encyclopedia of hopes and dreams. It’s Maine, so the hopes and dreams don’t cover a lot of ground. It’s understandable. The ground isn’t entirely frozen any more, so it’s harder to cover a lot of ground this time of year. It’s kinda squishy, and will capture the odd Bean boot if you move too quickly.

Maine’s a big place, geographically speaking. It’s about the size of Ireland. It’s entirely bereft of blarney, however. Mainers are incapable of projecting the false front of bonhomie that blarney requires. They are bereft of whimsy. This Maine Craigslist Cultural Encyclopedia is a great example of the heartfelt sincerity of the place. There is nothing ironic in the Maine Craigslist. Or more accurately, there is nothing deliberately ironic. It’s refreshing to live in a place where you are what you is, as they say.

So please — no mockery. These people are in dead earnest, and deserve, if not respect, at least a hand in front of your mouth while you giggle.

It’s a Kim size mattress. Kim’s pretty big by the looks of it. Not washing with a rag on a stick big. More like shopping at Marden’s on a hoverround big.

Maine people are kind to one another. It’s nice to see plain affection stated publicly once in a while. It refreshes the senses. It’s nice to know that somewhere in Arundel, Kim’s beloved wanted the whole world to know that she’s older, but still comfy. Hallmark’s got nothing on that guy, I tell you what.

Don’t you hate it when your boyfriend has eczema, and you don’t, and you wear out the pleather couch unevenly?

People seem to think Stephen King is a good writer. I don’t. I don’t even think he’s a writer. He just lives in Maine, looks out the window from time to time, and writes it down. That’s not writing. That’s typing.

This Craiglist poster must be “from away,” as Mainers so charmingly refer to anybody that wasn’t born in Maine. What gives it away, you ask? The description. That’s no way to appeal to a Maine connoisseur. An Augusta aesthete. An Edgecomb epicure. A Bowdoinham bon vivant. That unique selling proposition isn’t going to fly with a local. You’ve gotta put in some features and benefits if you want to sell a thing like that in Maine. He tried to pull it out at the end by lying and calling himself “Skip” to sound like a normal person, but any true Mainer can see through a flatlander ruse like that in an Umbagog heartbeat. He shoulda tried something like:

Louise Nevelson sculpture for sale. Wood with black paint. Will burn pretty fair in a stove during shoulder season. Black paint ignites well. BONUS! You’ll be able to salvage a perfectly good doorknob from the ashes. No swaps.

And I believe I’m Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg. As the immortal bard, Steve Perry, once wrote, “Don’t stop believing.” And I am dead certain that this guy had Journey blasting the whole time he was painting this.

Torn From the Virtual Pages of the Maine Craigslist

The Maine Craigslist is a hoot. It mostly features stuff for sale that the owner would be hard pressed to give away. In general, the prices look slightly higher to my eye than if the article in question was new. More than a few things look like something you’d have to pay folding money to get hauled away, so the owner is selling them instead.

Maybe Craigslist is like that everywhere. How would I know? We mostly give away things when we don’t use them anymore. It’s not because we’re wealthy. Just the opposite. Poor people, by definition, can’t be cheapskates. There’s nothing to part with, so there’s nothing to part with grudgingly.

Of course I featured the Most Maineiest Maine Thing in the Maine Craigslist already. It was a tank.I don’t need a tank, so I’m out of the running. Don’t get me wrong; I want a tank. I just don’t need a tank. But I bet someone did. There’s a butt for every seat, as they say.

This is in Craigslist today:

That’s a 1959 Rambler American. When I was little, my parents toted us around in a Rambler American station wagon, and I have a soft spot for it. I want that more than I want a tank.

There’s lots of reasons I want it. It’s only 5 grand. I don’t have five large, but it’s not IPO-type money or anything. The number hangs around in my mind in the future cardfile, not the hereafter microfiche.

I can fix that car. It doesn’t need fixing right now, but if the ballast resistor blows, I know where to look for it. You can sit right in the engine compartment and work on the engine. In the winter you can leave it running while you bang on it. That’s cozy.

It’s blissfully free of encumbering devices like seat belts. Fine with me I don’t want to linger. Most of all, I want it more than a tank because there’s more steel in a ’59 Rambler than in a tank, so it has higher scrap value in the long run.  

Tag: Maine Craigslist

Find Stuff: