Monday, September 29, 2008

My Contribution to Society

My stocks aren't doing so well. But let's not focus on that. I want to talk about my contribution to society.

On Saturday morning I woke up feeling bored. What will become of me today? I wondered. Such is life for a young healthy thrifty selfish urbanite with a padded government job and no debts or obligations other than to keep myself content.

So I did what I usually do when I get bored: started looking at all the ads on craigslist. And there I found an ad for a sweet Cannondale mountain bike, size large, asking price of $500. A bit of googling revealed that the bike goes for about $1,050 in bike shops. Hmmm.

I drove 11 miles north and waited at they man's driveway. I'll be there in ten minutes, he told me on the phone. I debated with myself how long I should wait for him. But he showed up. And the bike was nice indeed. Disk brakes. Huge, but light. 27-speed. A shiney spanking new look.

Are you open to negotiation on the price? I said. Negotiate, he said. How about $440, I said. I didn't even want the bike, but I was too bored to turn down this opportunity to spend money. Can you do $450, he said. O.K., I said. Smart move on his part, I thought, later. How was I, a man who thinks only in percentages, going to haggle over a mere $10 when hundreds are at stake?

The next day I took the bike full-speed over the smooth grassy hills of my local golf course. That ride was fine, but the bike was terrible on the road. The tires roared against pavement so that I felt like I was pedaling a vacuum cleaner.

I put up an ad on craigslist. $650 firm, it read. That night a big burly man stopped by. After a few minutes of test-riding and poking around, he asked me why I was selling it. I told him. How much did you pay for it? he asked. I told him. So you're flipping bikes on craigslist, he said. Yep, I said.

With a tone of great finality in his voice, he declared, I can give you $580 for this bike. I thought about the one other person who had responded to the ad. They sounded pretty interested. But I really don't want this bike. But I have plenty of space for it. $600 I said.

And with that, I made $150 in about two hours.

But did I really "make" anything besides money? Definitely. First, I made myself some entertainment. Second, I freaking IMPORTED a bicycle into the great non-state of Washington, DC. That's got to be worth something. Third, I prevented somebody else from wasting $150 on stuff like beer and vacations, whereas my hard-earned money is going into savings, increasing the national capital stock and thereby helping to alleviate the credit crisis.


Blogger current typist said...

I can't write a comment for my giggling...

4:46 PM  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

Oh, you are FUNNY! I read it outloud to Mr. Handsome, in order to double the laughs.

By any chance, do you want to sell a bunch of stuff for us on Craigslist? Like our futon, chairs, truck cap, running stroller, etc. We're never going to get around to it and the stuff is just piled up in the barn, molding and rusting, and since you have so much spare time....


4:36 AM  

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