Monday, November 21, 2005

The Fountain of Truth

I’m in purge mode again. There are times I walk around the house, look at something and just decide that it’s doing nothing in the house. On these days, you should see how productive Larry is. Even the dogs seem to pick up after themselves.

One of the items I got rid of was this old fountain that sat in my office. I have now been regulated to a cube for the past year. Less room, but definitely a better view. Every holiday season, I watch as the Tyson’s Corner people put up their new holiday decorations. And who says jobs don’t have fringe benefits.

This fountain was way past its prime. I had not filled it with the distilled water it called for, so the rocks and fountain had quite a bit of calcification on it. It still worked mind you, it just needed a good clean up. Because of that, I decided giving it away for free was the smartest thing.

When you list something for free on Craiglist, everyone emails you saying they want the item. 75% of them will never respond again. I usually wait and settle on the folks who are the closest to my house. That way, I can just put the item on my front porch in the morning and it’s gone when I come home.

A guy named Mark had shown interest in the fountain and agreed to take it. He worked up the street and said he’d come by during the day to pick it up. Free items don’t usually bring out the brightest folks, and let me just say that Mark adequately filled that category.

After agreeing to pick it up, I told him that it would be on my front porch. He was worried about the inclement weather that was occurring this week. “I don’t want it to get wet,” he said.

“Mark, it’s a fountain. It supposed to be wet.”

He emailed back. “Oh yeah.”

An hour later, he emails. “It does still work, right?”

I sighed as I typed back. “Yes of course, I wouldn’t do all this work when there’s a trash can in my back yard. It just needs to be cleaned up.”

A few hours later, I got the confirmation of brain trust central.

“One more thing… how does it work?”

I think momentarily that maybe the combination of water and electricity is a not good idea for him.

I struggle to type a response without being insulting. “Well, you add water and plug it in.”

He seemed happy with the response because I never heard back from him. The fountain is on the front porch this morning, in the rain, waiting for it’s new owner.

I marveled at how dim his guy was not to understand how a fountain works. “What man can’t figure out the basics of water through a pump.” Then I noticed where he worked.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Seriously, this world is scary sometimes!


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