A Craig’s List Adventure

I had only a few goals as I rolled in to work this morning: study for my upcoming midterm, get all my time-points done for work, and go grocery shopping. I still badly needed coffee since I was dragging my half asleep self to Starbucks every morning and ordering venti coffees.  All that changed as I sipped said coffee and browsed Craig’s list ads for appliances. I was on the hunt for a portable dishwasher, a much sought after commodity in a land filled with old pseudo-renovated houses. For months now I’ve made offers too little too late, and my eyes lit up when I saw one in good shape for the low price of $50. I saw the ad was recently posted, so I didn’t even think, just grabbed the phone.

Before I knew it, I had committed to purchasing an appliance that was over an hour away and needed transportation my small car could not provide. My Honda Civic was spacious, but not appliance worthy, so somehow I had to get my hands on a truck or SUV. Enter the Zipcar. Although I had never used it, I’d seen ads all over and knew it was popular in Boston. The only problem: the pickup location was over an hour south of the city, and I had to find a truck available both in this time window and within walking distance from my work. Miraculously, one was available, and leaving my own car parked at work, I got road trip worthy snacks and set out on my journey.

I’d driven that direction before to go to the Outlet stores in Wrentham, Mass, and if you drive for an hour or so south you hit the Mass/Rhode Island border. As the rocky cliffs along the freeway began to have graffiti  American flags plastered on them, I felt like I was in the boonies for sure, and became a little fearful as I proceeded to get lost. I was somewhere in the small town of Bellingham, where I was supposed to have arrived half an hour earlier. It was a town dominated by vacant office buildings spaced incredibly awkwardly between one chain store and another, all with huge spaces in between containing nothing but grass. There seemed to be no organization to the town, just a rambling road down which various stores scattered themselves along the edges.  It had the effect of making me feel aimless, until suddenly I missed my turn and found myself across state lines and into Rhode Island. I promptly made a U-turn, which has become my only foray into this state: lasting all of one minute. Finally, I pulled up to a house which was one of the few that was not (I do not kid) a log cabin. Two men in plaid shirts and baseball caps lounged outside the garage, and since I was a half hour late, I wondered how long they had been waiting. The whole cash transaction was quick, and they loaded the massive dishwasher in the hatchback with ease.

For the long ride I had endured to get there, the deal seemed laughably quick and easy. On the way back I stopped in a Walgreen’s for some refueling, but I didn’t delay because it was eerily empty and yet ridiculously large. Baskets in the isles full of loose women’s underwear advertised “4 for $10!” and I practically ran out of there.

But now I had a problem. The zipcar was due back in a little over an hour, and I still had an hour’s drive ahead of me, not to mention that I had to unload the dishwasher twenty minutes away from the drop off spot. A late vehicle incurred a $50 fee, which would almost negate the cheap price I paid for the dishwasher. By the time I got  back in to Boston I had barely ten minutes to get the car back, so I had no choice. I dropped the appliance right on the sidewalk, outside a friend’s house who lived close to the car’s drop off spot. We simply left it there while we returned the car, exactly on time. Safe! But the dishwasher was still sitting on the curb, how to get it to my house? Luckily, a co-worker who lived nearby and also had an SUV, agreed to help me transport it, and by 8pm I had it my kitchen, safe and sound. Now all I have to do is figure out where to put it and how to make it run! And hopefully, it really does work, especially after all the lugging around it endured. Success?

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