Monday, June 1, 2009

A Change at Vintage Microwave

Dear Loyal Readers:

We are so very, very good at what we do that someone has asked us to do it for them. So Vintage Microwave is going to fade away, but our work will continue. Stephen and Jessica will be writing at two blogs for the time being. One, essentially identical to VM, is:

Item Not As Described

This site will not only continue our commentary on commerce castaways, but will initially re-use some of the old VM posts (we have to get it started somehow). Bear with us as it gets up to speed.

The other site will provide commentary on unsettling tattoos.

Ugliest Tattoos

Yes, it's an easy target, but we'll make it funny. Vintage Microwave funny.

We hope the new sites will be as fun for us to write as VM has been. We hope "selling out" is as awesome as we've imagined. We hope to see you there.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wall Micro/Oven Combo

Should we infer anything about condition and/or safety from your unwillingness to get any closer to the "micro/oven" to take its picture? Or were you just hoping it wouldn't see you, so you could avoid the awkward discussion about the future of your relationship?

Sony scope Reel to Reel Player Recorder 1960

"My husband says that it might need a belt, as it was slow turning. Very heavy unit, applrimately 35-40 lbs."

I'm pretty sure that the only way you're going to get someone to take a nonworking, 40-pound piece of completely obsolete machinery off your hands these days is to convince them that it should be part of their
owl collection.

Monday, May 25, 2009

moving boxes

"Please call to see if anyone is home."

Why do I get the sense that by "moving boxes," they don't mean "boxes useful for packing up possessions for a change of residence," but rather "boxes that are actually moving"?

If no one is home, it's because the boxes got them.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Old Wicker Furniture

"The rocking chair and settee are very very old."

Very, very old. Like, Civil War old. In fact, I'm pretty sure this furniture fought in the Civil War. I don't know where that hole could have come from other than the Battle of Gettysburg.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I'm kinda speechless. This is early-80's rent-to-own furniture at its apex. I mean nadir. The "gold" trim, the fancifully printed velour-ish fabric - I can't characterize so much as simply describe.

I can't picture this in anyone's house. The only possible setting I can accept is a brief scene in some Aaron Spelling show, let's say Dynasty, set in the waiting room of a small accountancy office. That's the only place this could really exist.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Old Chair

We considered posting a picture or two of something mummified to compare this too, but the pictures of mummies were a little grosser than we like to be. This chair is all the gross we can handle.

Beware its curse: "As for all men who shall sit here . . . there will be judgment . . . an end shall be made for him . . . I shall seize his neck like a bird . . . I shall cast the fear of myself into him."

Consider it done. We're already afraid.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Gerber cerel for infants

"One expired on Sept 08 the other Nov 08. But they still have the cellophane on them."

Sweet, they still have the cellophane on them. Something for the baby to play with after we've fed him long-expired food.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This is one of those free postings that make me appreciate the place of the philosopher in modern society. I'm pretty sure a dissertation - a master's thesis at the very least - could be written on whether and under what conditions this item can be called a chair. Maybe something like, with hat tip to Zizek, "this Deleuzian chair is, of course, not simply outside non-chairness; rather, in the 'stratigraphic' superimposition, in this moment of chairfulness, it is CHAIR ITSELF which we experience, but in contrast, chair as opposed to the evolutionary flow of things WITHIN the chair domain." I'm not sure what that means, but I think it's something like "there's no effing way this counts as a chair."

Friday, May 15, 2009


"Cream color with flowers."

Here at VM, we see a lot of ugly couches. But this is the first one we've come across that looks as though it's actually suffering from some sort of communicable disease.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


"Perfect for boat races!"

Obviously, this will need a part or two (or 334) before it's perfect for anything, but that aside, what about this semi-boat makes it seem especially race-worthy? If anything, it looks like a pretty non-hydrodynamic example of boatdom. Why is it any more perfect for a boat race than, say, this motorcycle frame is for motorcycle races?

Or this trashcan is for trashcan races?

Cast Iron Sink

I admire the effort, and I know this may make me a pessimist, but I really don't think reasoning with it will get you anywhere. You can start with a whisper and end with a shout, but that sink is gonna do whatever the hell it wants.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Look, it's OK. We get it. You got very angry at your dresser, you beat the hell out of it, and now none of the pieces fit together. It's tilted to the side, and the drawers are useless. You're sorry; you wish you hadn't, and that's all well and good, but look - you have to deal with the aftermath yourself. Don't try to enlist the help of strangers to get you out of this mess. You got yourself into it, you get yourself out. Go get an axe. Or maybe some lighter fluid.

Cabover Camper

Honey, let's go camping! By "camping," I mean admitting that we have failed in every possible way, and that we deserve only the worst of everything.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Couch and loveseat

"The cushions need to be sewn in a few spots (on the seams) and it isn't in new or excellent condition (hence it is free) but it sure beats the hard floor!"

Fine, fair enough. Two pieces of furniture not worth the effort of selling, but not ready for the trash. Exactly what the Free Stuff section is good for.

But what is up with that living room? I hope to god that this person is getting some livelier furniture. Because right now all they need is a fishbowl full of free condoms and they'd have the waiting room at Planned Parenthood.

Friday, May 8, 2009

open fridge


As is? Do you promise? Because if I show up for this behemoth and find that bottle of white zin and collection of off-brand energy drinks are gone, my afternoon plans will be shot in the ass.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Half a Surfboard

The other half has been re-purposed as the tombstone for the dead surfer who last used it.

Perhaps you know another recently passed surfer you could honor with this half. Or maybe it would make a good prosthetic whale tongue?

Disney Cars TV

I wouldn't want this thing smiling incessantly at me while I spent my Sunday afternoon on a "Deadwood" marathon, either.

kids recliner

"Mechanics work but upholstery is bad."

Of course the upholstery is bad. Kids will be kids, falling asleep with lit cigarettes in hand.

We have some friends who are pregnant, and we are sorely tempted to haul this to the baby shower, along with some kids' beer and a subsciption to Kids' Playboy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Aeron Chair

"Herman Miller Aeron chair. The hydraulic system that controls seat height is broken; so the chair sinks when you sit in it. The left armrest is also missing. Other than that, it's like any other Aeron chair."

I hate to be self-referential, but this reminds me of this BMW. You know, other than being completely devastated in every pertinent way, it was like any other BMW.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009



The only possible use for this would be playing the role of the field office in Blair Witch 3: The Blair Witch Construction Project. In this installment, the Blair Witch continues to terrorize the Maryland wilderness, this time through the erection of depressing subdivisions.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Adult swing

"The animals are making a nest from part of it. Simple repair to a corner and it's still very good"

Not what I was expecting, based on the title. THANK. GOD.

And yet? Still gross.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Do you want to garden? Use our backyard!

"We are doing nothing with our backyard. If you want to garden, make our backyard your own.[*] Bring your best ideas and your shovel."

*Disclaimer: backyard will be in no way your own.

Well sure, why not? You want a garden, I want to work without compensation, we're a perfect match!

This sounds familiar somehow.

From Tom Sawyer (1876):

Tom contemplated the boy a bit, and said:

“What do you call work?”

“Why, ain’t that work?”

Tom resumed his whitewashing, and answered carelessly:

“Well, maybe it is, and maybe it ain’t. All I know, is, it suits Tom Sawyer.”

“Oh come, now, you don’t mean to let on that you like it?”

The brush continued to move.

“Like it? Well, I don’t see why I oughtn’t to like it. Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?”

That put the thing in a new light. Ben stopped nibbling his apple. Tom swept his brush daintily back and forth – stepped back to note the effect – added a touch here and there – criticised the effect again – Ben watching every move and getting more and more interested, more and more absorbed. Presently he said:

“Say, Tom, let me whitewash a little.”

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dead Horse

"This is a skeleton of a horse I found in the desert. I brought it home for an accent to my cactus garden. We are moving and I cannot take the horse with me. It is missing the head and two legs, but all else is there.Use it for the same purpose as I did, or for an art project..."

An art project, huh? No comment, I don't want to . . . beat a dead horse. Hey-OHH!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Steel Racks

"Each is approximately 24' long by 6' wide by 8' tall. Welded so you will have to transport complete, or could be seperated into 3 smaller pieces with a few cuts. Each weighs approx 1900 pounds."

I'm done talkin', honey; I'm gonna make it happen. We're starting that skyscraper out in back Saturday morning.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

suzuki samari

"NO DRIVE LINES, NO STEERING LINKAGE, JERRY RIGGED LIFT, you will need to tow it! Don't call & ask stupind questions!"

Please forgive me if these are "stupind" questions, but there are just a few things I need to know:

1. What?

2. Why?

3. How do you manage to misspell "samurai," a word that is surely emblazoned somewhere on the vehicle you have obviously spent a great deal of time ruining? In literally the largest type size you will ever see the word "samurai" printed in, ever?

4. Why?

5. What?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I think somewhere in those cushions is a secret message, set forth in cuneiform. This has inspired me to start work on a screenplay similar* to the Da Vinci Code, with this couch filling the role of the Louvre.

*Though not so similar as to raise the danger of litigation.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Antique Mantle

"In my old home, I put it against a wall and put candles all around underneath it to simulate a fireplace - was very lovely."

Thanks for the suggestion, but if it weren't for ideas like that, perhaps you'd still be living in your "old home," and this would still be the "mantle" you claim it is, rather than a charred piece of trash.

Monday, April 27, 2009



Interesting angle, but my dog doesn't really need a loveseat to sleep on. He sleeps in his loft bed, which frees up space in his bedroom for his desk and his Playstation 3.

Saturday, April 25, 2009



I believe that, traditionally, fairies are the ones who are averse to water, and even then, usually only running water. So you're good to go! Your dwarves and your pool can coexist peacefully. Just make sure they wait for 30 minutes after feasting and drinking ale before taking a dip.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Not the first trampoline we've noted, but the first featuring exciting new DeathSlot* technology.

*a registered trademark of ExtremePoline, Inc.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Liquor Carousel

This doesn't look like nearly as much fun as the name suggests.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Very Old Backyard Chairs

"No good for sitting, may be good for background, props for picture or movie set."

Chairs. "No good for sitting." These chairs are adrift, lost, unable to satisfy the most basic element of chair-ness. Chairs like this don't last long. Once they lose sit-ability, they lose interest in life, and die soon thereafter.

Please give these chairs something to do so they can hold on a little longer. Something to give their days meaning. Something like . . . put them in a movie. That sounds good. You do have a movie in production don't you?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sarns Heart Lung Machine

"Pick it up and it is yours. Let me know your intended use - best purpose will win if multiple interested parties."

Dear poster of heart lung machine;

I want to live, and need this so that I may.

I hope this may qualify as a "best purpose."

If that does not appeal to you, I could also use it for an art project that I will bring to Burning Man. Presuming I live, of course.

Weak . . . must stop typing.

Yours hopefully,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Large cardboard box

"Open on one side"

I'll be right there.

Don't they have recycling pickup in your town?

open half used cans of cat food

Now, we here at VM don't have big heads. We don't think we're famous or anything. This blog is not some unstoppable internet juggernaut on the radar of every webreader out there. But some people have seen it, and I'm pretty sure one of them posted this as a setup:

"i have about 20 little cans of cat food. my cat is older and picky and only likes the juice and to eat it before it is refridgerated, therefore i have a number of opened half used cans of cat food. most of them are priority brand but there are a couple other different kinds. They have been refridgerated with plastic wrap on top. the oldest one is probably a week old. I dont want to just throw them away because I am sure there are some cats out there that would eat it. If you are interested in picking them up tonight let me know and I will leave them for you on top of my recycle bin. email me if you are interested and I will give you my address and leave them outside my house for you to pick up. I will respond to people in the order they email me."

I mean, right? Nobody really posts this kind of thing seriously.

Spaghetti Measurer

This sounds like some sort of old-timey slur directed to those damned eye-talians.

The poster divesting him- or herself of the "spaghetti measurer" (I'm really not clear on what this is, btw) is also trying to unload "3 unopened 2005 calendars." There were high hopes for the year - "this one's gonna be so busy, I'll need three calendars" - but they quickly went sour.

There's also a "Non-working CD walkman-type player." I am tempted to hire an economist to crunch the numbers on that one - what is the financial upside to fixing an obsolete, ultra-cheap electronic device?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sectional Sofa

Is that what that is? I would have guessed "laundry bag chock full of clothes from the late Eighties that I can't seem to get around to donating to Goodwill." Or maybe "old pillow the cat has peed on one too many times."

I'm not really seeing the "sectional."

Or the "sofa."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Steel Bars

"I have about six steel bars, pick up only. Please email to me if you are interesting."

About six. You know how we feel about that.

I can think of a lot of uses for these. Actually, I can think of none. Does that make me interesting?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Baby Bicycle Trailer

"Extremely worn Trailer. Barely working condition. Needs some work. Tires in good condition."

In the wake of abstinence-only education and poor access to birth control, some people are apparently resorting to extreme measures in family planning.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

PeeWee Herman Movies

This would not be remarkable, were it not for the particular circumstances presented. People have VHS tapes they'll never look at again. They post them on the free section. I get it. Me? I'd just put them out on the curb or throw them away, but I can't fault the person who posts them on Craigslist. Whatever.

The thing about this post is that it goes up first at 9:16 p.m: "Free PeeWee Herman VHS, set of 2."

Then, at 9:38 p.m. (a mere 22 minutes later), another post follows:

"Free peewee herman movies, need to go tonight"

I guess I'm just a bit unclear on the urgency of unloading these two VHS tapes . . .


I have trouble picturing the scene. Posting the ad, then freaking out at the absence of immediate response. But this is in Fairfield, CA, so I wonder if methamphetamine is involved. I'm kidding. I know meth is involved.

Panda Mailbox

Panda mailbox my ass. That is obviously a Grizzly mailbox repainted to look like a panda.

In other news: panda mailbox?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

puppet, hard to explain

Hard to explain? What's so hard to explain about an all-puppet production of Apocalypse Now? Frankly, I'm a little bummed that I missed it. I'd love to have seen the buffalo–sacrifice scene in your version.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


"Come take it down and it's yours!"

What a find. Just what I've been looking for. A hideous 1960's or so metal awning. About a year ago, I helped a friend take one of these rusted, mildewed, ugly hulks off his house. I'm still expecting tetanus symptoms to show up. It didn't occur to my friend to try to get someone to take the awning down for him by offering it for "free." He had a clear sense that it was an object of pure trash value, and bought me lunch and a beer for the help.

I look forward to future posts from this poster. "Asbestos insulation, come take it down and it's yours!" "Broken water heater circa 1963. Come take it down and it's yours!" "Dead oak tree in back yard. Accessible only by helicopter or enormous crane. Come take it down and it's yours!"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Boat Trailer

These decrepit trailers show up from time to time. This is a particularly nice example.

The only boat I could imagine putting aboard this trailer would be a boat owned by an archenemy. Someone who has wronged me so regularly or so spectacularly, that I would need to invent a new species of revenge dramatic enough to get his or her attention. Placing my archenemy's boat on this frail, rusted, doomed trailer just might do the trick.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"Antique" Vacuum Cleaner

"This is a 1960s or 1970s Kirby vaccum cleaner...had it tuned up and it worked for a while. It works a bit but not great for our needs."

It may be true that there are purists out there. People so committed to a "vintage" lifestyle that everything they touch must have some old-timey cred. God knows I love my mid-century furniture, and an early 60's Ford Falcon is a thing to behold, but there are limits to my - and I presume anyone's - willingness to live in the past.

Some items have been improved and have developed with time in a way that can't be ignored in pursuit of period realism. I don't want to cook my food in a 1960's microwave. I don't want my dentist to work on my teeth with a 1960's drill. I don't want to pay the electricity bill for a 1960's air conditioner. And I don't want to vacuum up my dog's hair with a 1960's vacuum that "works a bit."

Friday, April 3, 2009

Weight Set

"It has been left outside so it does have some rust but still works as it is designed to."

So it's designed for iron plates to come crashing down on the user when the rusted cables snap? That's an exercise fad I haven't heard of. I suppose getting severe tetanus would keep you from eating for a while.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cattle grain feeder

You know, for your cattle farm. Call me a skeptic, but I just don't see the confluence of necessary factors taking place:

1. You live in the Bay Area;
2. You have a cattle farm;
3. You need a cattle grain feeder;
4. You think you may find one on the internet;
5. You work your way to the Free Stuff section and find this;
6. You learn that it's in working condition, satisfying your cattle grain feeder needs.

Skateboard Ramp

For the parent who wants his child dead, but can't bring himself to pull the trigger: an indirect filicidal device - the deeply damaged skateboard ramp.

"You go have fun, Jesse. Daddy picked you up a skateboard ramp."
"It looks a little old, Daddy."
"Every little boy wants a skateboard ramp, Jesse. Daddy got you one. Go play."
"It's cracked and broken and has holes in it, Daddy."
"Tony Hawk could handle it Jesse. You do want to be like Tony Hawk, don't you?"
"Now take your skateboard and go play."
"Oookay. Where's my helmet?"
"Helmets are for girls, Jesse. You're not a girl, are you?"
"Oh, and be sure to give your brother a turn."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Poker Table

I like that this still bears the blood stains from the last game played at this table. I picture the full house made on the river and turn cards, which made four of a kind for the guy at the other side of the table. Full house guy goes all in, and slices his wrists when the four of a kind shows itself.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Palm Water Fountain

Free to a good home: a beautiful cast concrete water fountain, perhaps four-feet tall, in the shape of a palm tree.

By "beautiful," he means remarkably, magically ugly. He's strange that way.

The fountain includes a well-worn fibreglass base that may have a small leak or two. It may include -- entirely at the whim and/or discretion of the current owner -- a small electric pump that powered the fountain.

"Fibreglass" - our poster must be English. That may also explain the whimsical desire to keep his intentions regarding the disposition of the pump to himself. The English are funny that way. They are also whimsically unwilling to let you know if it does have a leak. It just may.


NOTE 1: The top "palm" portion of the fountain is large, extremely heavy, and may be awkward and difficult to lift and carry. It will require at least two strong persons, if not three, to lift and carry. Neither the homeowners nor their two sons will assist you in lifting, carrying and/or transporting the fountain in any way.

This loathsome fountain has already caused enough suffering in the poster's family. They won't let it add back strain to the litany of miseries it has already imposed upon them. In fact, they're giving it away in an effort to convince the eldest son to stay home. He has threatened to join the Army if the fountain is not disposed of, immediately.

NOTE 2: You are responsible for removing the fountain and its component parts from the property. The homeowner will not assist you in any way whatsoever. If you so much as ask "Hey, could you help lift that..." you will be immediately and forceably removed from the property.

I know, I repeat myself in these blog entries, but the demanding assholery of some posters is just astonishing to me. Removing this thing - which no one will agree to do, mark my words - would be a favor on the level of donating a kidney. Actually, we have two of those - this would be like donating a heart. If someone agrees to take this "fountain," you should offer pay, not a threat.

NOTE 3: Do not even think about asking for help in removing the fountain from the property. You are getting a beautiful fountain at no charge. Supply your own muscle or don't bother answering this post.

You just said that, jackass. And crack open your dictionary to make sure you understand what "beautiful" means.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Beautiful. Just beautiful.

In an Electro-Jellyfish-Spaceship way.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Black love seat

"I want someone that is in need to have this. Not someone that is going to sell."

Oh don't worry. Whoever comes to pick this up is definitely in need. Desperate need. Of taste. And maybe also medication.