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.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pigeon Coop

The foreclosure crisis reaches our feathered friends.

Ceiling Fan

This raises a philosophical question. If a ceiling fan has no fan blades, is it a ceiling fan? It also raises a practical question. You expect me to fashion my own fan blades? Finally, it raises an aesthetic question. Without the fan blades, doesn't this look like something mounted to the Nautilus to assist Captain Nemo in his battle with the giant squid?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Reading Chair

Reading chair? More of a bassinet for grown-ups. The worst kind of grown-ups.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Miami Dolphins Table

With April Fool's Day only a week or so away, I am sorely tempted to pick this up and ship it to my brother, the rabid New England Patriots fan. For the football unfamiliar, that's like giving a nephrologist a book on phrenology. Useless, and maybe a bit offensive. There would be something funny about the neph/phren thing - the kidney doc might crack a smile. My brother, on the other hand, would not find it funny to have to put this out on the curb for the days until trash pickup.

Dining Table

Do you see this? Can you make out its majesty?

Part Battlestar Galactica, part making-it-in-America post-Mariel Boatlift. If this were in our home, our friends would worry about us. Really, like call the doctor worry.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Black Metal Filing Cabinets

We've posted punk rock filing cabinets before; here's another rock music filing cabinet category. Sure, sure, it's unintentional, they're just giving away a filing cabinet that is both black and made of metal. But every time I see this (and there are a lot of "black metal" postings - black metal futon, black metal chair, etc), I picture dudes in corpse paint:

I'm not sure what they'll do with a filing cabinet, and I'm not sure I want to know.

Yellow Chair

Hooray!! We've found it! Our mascot! If this doesn't represent everything "Free May Not Be Cheap Enough" stands for, I don't know what does.* We're going to send him (I'm pretty sure it's a him) to school and start shipping him off to events nationwide. "Goooooo Vintage Microwave!"

*Yes, we know a microwave would seem to be a more apt mascot, but the microwaves, unsettling as they may be, never look quite this bad.


"Free mustard colored fridge! A little dated but works nonetheless!"

A little dated? I think this came with the Brady home when Mike and Carol bought it in in the late '60's. It made sense to have a fridge like this when California's population was half what it is now, and electricity demand was more easily met. But these days, plugging this in will require a new hydroelectric dam, sealing off another river emptying into the Pacific. As you think about taking this, please think about the salmon.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pool Table

"Its warped and the felt is coming off."

Ever played pool? Billiards? Snooker? There's not much the table has to do. It's inert. It is simply a place where other things occur. Like a doctor, however, the pool table must heed the Hippocratic Oath - "first, do no harm." A warped pool table violates this oath. It interferes with the game - it becomes a silent opponent. It becomes . . . utterly unusable. But maybe you have a spare space of X cubic feet you want to fill. God knows this is a good use of it. You can be an amateur landfill operator, and this can be your first trashquisition!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Selenium Rectifier Stacks

"Three selenium rectifier stacks. Each unit has 20 plates, about 2.5 inches square, spaced about half an inch apart, so the overall length is 10 inches. Appears to be organized as a full wave bridge. Painted gray. Explain to me how you are going to use them and why."

How I am going to use them and why? Dude, you're the one trying to get these out of your house. Stop questioning me. How will I use a selenium rectifier stack; a weird, obsolete electronic device? Well, it might be nice to have for my Museum of Technologies Past, which I keep in the laundry room. Maybe they'd make good paperweights. Maybe my dentist told me to experiment with selenium fillings, to keep the voices at bay. That's my business.

Why? Because I'd be doing you a goddamn favor, that's why. And because I want the voices to stop.

Let me reiterate - stop questioning me.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Telephone Poles

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a sham. Designed to open up the proprietary lines of the telecom giants, allowing spunky start-ups to compete, it never really worked. Jeff's Phone Co. was never able to make any real money, and never provided a real service - it was just a billing agent. AT&T has re-formed, and telephony is back to regional monopoly status.

Until now. Here's what we always needed. Not an illusory opening up of AT&T facilities, but a real, physical alternative. A separate system of lines, switching stations and - most importantly - telephone poles. Sure, with these poles, we'll only be able to establish a network about half a block long. But it's a start. "The mouse that roared" will be the company's slogan. We'll genetically engineer a mouse/lion hybrid to be our mascot. But that may be getting ahead of ourselves.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Corvair Tranny Superglide

A transmission, of course. A necessary component to any drive train. The engine can't turn the wheels without it. I mention it only because of the interesting terminology. It's a Superglide. There is also the Powerglide. There's a Turboglide. Don't forget the eyebrow-raising "Slip-N-Slide Powerglide."

And yet, somehow, there was no trademark lawsuit when another company released a product called "AstroGlide."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Side Table

Side Table? Or the empty space where the side table once stood? Paranormal photography on Craigslist.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Reptile Furniture

"Aquarium with reptile 'cave,' 2 upside down U-logs, and extra logs lying around."

I don't have much to say about this, really, I'm just enamored of the phrase "reptile furniture." Good title for a poem? Since my furniture tastes run to the mid-century modern, when I saw the phrase, I thought of a ball python relaxing on a miniature Vladimir Kagan couch, or perhaps a lizard smoking a tiny cigarette while reclining in a Womb chair. Alas, I'm left with a rock and some logs.

Monday, March 9, 2009


"How to Meet and Work with Spirit Guides"

The meeting part is relatively easy. Frequent spirit guide bars. Late night grocery shopping in the spirit guide aisle. Workout at the spirit guide gym. If things are tough, join SpiritGuideHookup.com. Some people don't know these things, so the book may come in handy.

But the real payoff here is the portion on how to work with spirit guides. They're sensitive, prone to prima donna-ism, and occasionally real assholes. Recommendations include: (1) Bring your spirit guide coffee and a danish before you head out, (2) Be sure to comment favorably on your spirit guide's outfit, (3) Avoid your spirit guide's gaze - it may perceive that as a challenge, and (4) Most importantly, just pick up the bill at lunch. You can write it off later.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Gas Stove

"It was in my sister's house and she says it leaks gas so she purchased a new one. Also, she tried to repaint the top a while back and painted over the temperature numbers."

So it's utterly useless, but extraordinarily dangerous? Bifecta! I'm on hold with U-haul right now, I hope they have a truck available . . .

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Star Trek Video Tapes

"I have 3 boxes of Star Trek & Star Trek Voyager Video Tapes. They were left at my house by a friend."

VHS, a former frontier. These are the voyages of an obsolete format. Its five-year mission: to explore the possibility of not fading and losing contact with the VCR heads; to seek out new ways to take up an entire bookshelf; to boldly melt in the trunk of your car.

Patio Chair

Imagine stepping out of the pool and letting your eyes come to rest on this. "I can stand here, or I can sit on that and be uncomfortable, dirty, and - maybe, just maybe - infected." Tough decision . . .

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Free Stuff Flakes

A little OT here, but it's a common occurrence for Free Stuff posters to lament the many responses they receive, and the number of "flakes" - people who say they're comin' to get it, then don't. Just today, in the SF Bay Area -

"I have had a number of people flake on me...please only inquire if you are serious!!!"

"I've had wayyyy too many replies re: this TV stand. I'll respond to those that replied and re-post if they all flake."

"We've had lots of flakes so, they are free to the first person to come pick them up."
We're curious about the sociology of Free Stuff. Who are these "flakes"? Of course, we don't have time for empirical research here at VMHQ, but we have plenty of time for pure speculation.

I suspect a lot of the "flakes" are new CL users, who have just discovered the free section, and can't believe all the stuff they can get for free: "ohmigah, ohmigah, look, look! A particleboard TV stand - FREE! And it's not even on fire!" So they immediately respond, then realize they (1) don't have room for the TV stand, and (2) already have a perfectly good one in the rumpus room. Adrenaline subsides; lesson learned.

Others are hardcore OCD/hoarder Free Stuff neurotics, people with a compulsion to respond to every ad in a category, but because of their mental illness, can't work, and therefore can't pay for gas to pick things up. They are stuck at the response stage - "I'll be right there to get it." They won't, but it satisfies some need within them to contend that they will. "Pile of paving stones, you will be mine."

Finally, the bulk are people like the first category of newbies, who have just never completely learned the lesson they should have the first time. A little cautious, but still excitable when the right item comes up. "That is a cool dresser. I want that. Livermore isn't that far away. Oh wait, I don't have a truck. Or a friend who can help me at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday."*

Other flakegories?

*Yes, I am describing myself. But I usually figure it out before I hit "send" on my e-mail.

Monday, March 2, 2009


"Free Frisbee - Used only a couple of times (not with dogs).

Frisbee available on a first come first serve basis. It will be on my doorstep - please come by and pick up.

Here's my address and directions:

120 [VM Omitted] Ave, Building 23, #72, Santa Clara, 95051

We are in an apartment complex between San Tomas and Stevens Creek
Use the driveway off Saratoga Ave marked "Vista Office Park"- take it to the end of the complex. We are the last building on your right. Upstairs unit.


That's right. 89 words. Ten hard returns. One crappy promotional (i.e., free from its very inception) frisbee. You couldn't have just walked out your doorstep and thrown it into the air? Someone would have found it and taken it. And you'd have saved a lot of typing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Vegetarian Packets

"I have some vegetarian awareness packets if anyone wants them to distribute."

Won't someone think of the children? They must be warned - the vegetarians walk among us. To stay vegetarian aware, know this:

"Keep your eyes open, beware the pallid and thin-skinned."

"They refer to themselves as 'your fathers and sons, your mothers and daughters.' Don't be fooled. They are not like us. They are vegetarians. God's mortal enemies."

"Beware the vegetarian agenda. They are recruiting to their ranks"

"They try to portray vegetarians as victims, not as aggressive challengers."

"They seek to make their victimizers look bad, and to get funds from corporate America."

"The vegetarians use tactics that are remarkably similar to the brainwashing methods of Mao Tse-Tung's Communist Chinese -- mixed with Madison Avenue's most persuasive selling techniques."

Vegetarian awareness. Now and forever.


Yes, of course, we know, by "vegetarian awareness packets," the poster means pamphlets encouraging people to become vegetarian. But . . . really? To hand out to friends and colleagues? To be the crazy guy on the corner exhorting the heathens - electively and gratis? Come on.