I have now made three purchases through Craigslist. The Craigslist Free section was a different story. I have watched the Free section on a daily basis for a long time. The problem with the Free section is that people post their free stuff the day after they wanted it gone. The rest of it falls into the “curb alert” category making every freebie a race with the garbage collectors. Plus there are all these rules with curb alerts — it’s at the curb but don’t call me, don’t email me, don’t knock on my door, just come get the stuff and you’d better not make a mess in front of my house. It’s enough to make you wonder if the homeowner is peeking at you from behind the curtain with gun in hand lest you dare to break one of the rules. Envisioning a gun pointed at me, as I dealt with Momma’s long illness, death, and Poppie’s recent surgery was enough to discourage me from seeking a Craigslist freebie.
This past week, however, an advance notice of a Curb Alert appeared on Sunday. Someone was offering free bamboo. My Envy Meter started banging off the charts. I have long wanted one of those veggie gardens with bamboo trellises that you see in garden magazines. Envy was all it took to nudge me from a Craigslist lurker to garbage truck racer and, as you know, envy is at the root of all trouble.
To make the 22.5 mile trip to the House Of Bamboo on Monday, I fired up the “Terminator”. My car is named Terminator because it was previously owned and that owner may have used it for nefarious purposes.
I slowed down in front of the House of Bamboo but there was no bamboo at the curb. I slunk around the curve just out of sight like some criminal doing a drive-by and consulted my print-out of the Craigslist ad. Ughhhh. I had overlooked two very important words – Tuesday morning. Rubbish! I was about to waste 45 miles worth of gas for nothing!
On the way back through town, I stopped at Evie’s office to get the quilt rack in my trunk transferred to her car. I’m hoping her boss doesn’t know how often I call her and whisper, “Pssst, meet me at the curb.” We are forever swapping and trading at her office because we live on opposite sides of town.
I parked behind her car and upon opening the trunk, it occurred to me that I had saved myself a lot of embarrassment at the House of Bamboo. With that quilt rack taking up all the room in my trunk, where would I have put the bamboo? I kept this thought to myself because Evie already thinks I’m an idiot. Why prove it?
On Tuesday, I took Poppie to a post-op doctor’s appointment. Already half-way back to the House of Bamboo, I could now justify the gasoline for a return trip. Besides, I really wanted that bamboo. I couldn’t find the Craigslist ad in my purse but I was pretty sure I could find the house again. For someone with no memory, I could actually remember the house number. Not the street name but I had that house number down cold.
Across the St. John’s Bridge I went, making that hairpin turn onto University Boulevard North, a right turn, a zig, a zag, another right turn and voila, the bamboo was there at the curb. Big bamboo with a diameter of 1.5 inches. I told Poppie to stay in the car because he was only 5 days out of surgery. I unfastened the back seat and started stuffing bamboo in the trunk, all the way to the radio. Mrs. Bamboo came out to help load and seemed concerned that I would mess up my car. The House of Bamboo was in a swanky neighborhood and it seemed like a good idea not to freak her out. Thus, she didn’t need to know my car’s previous owner had apparently hauled dead bodies around in the trunk. I was already freaked out, myself, that someone was probably in her house peeping through the curtains ready to fire off a gun. Or, horror of horrors, fire up a chainsaw. She mentioned that Mr. Bamboo hacks the bamboo down with a chainsaw. Nuh-uh, my lips were zipped. It was not on my agenda to find myself in my own trunk headed for the river.
Right behind the gunman ready to crank his chainsaw, I was worried about snakes. Based on the Craigslist ad, the bamboo had been cut down over the weekend and stored somewhere until being placed at the curb on Tuesday. Snakes slithering out of those hollow bamboo poles was ripe with possibility. As we shoved the bamboo in my trunk, I came up with a plan for dealing with the snakes. If one of them slithered out once we were on the road, I was gonna fling the car door open and bail! Poppie, the snake and the bamboo could duke it out on their own.
First Bamboo Project