I get many replies to my Craig’s List ad. The first one is unsigned and not so comprehensible, asking if the saw is still available. The second reply is signed with a first and last name, states quite concisely: “I would like to buy the table saw.” He also gives me a phone number and says when he can come pick it up.


We exchange a few emails, logistics and whatnot, and arrange to meet at Chez Bohls on Friday around 6:30 p.m. Dawn & I see him climbing up the stairs to our place just as we come around the corner home from work. We meet and greet and invite him in. And he’s a super swell guy, an older gentleman. He’s a tad frail, and no wonder: he explains the myriad illnesses and accidents that have befallen him.

We chat some and then he goes out the front to bring the van around back, where I load the saw in the back for him. I spy a Ryobi AP10 planer in the back as well and ask him about it. He chuckles a bit at my tool geekiness and explains that it also is a Craig’s List purchase. He says he’ll consider selling it to me when he’s done with it. I say that sounds like a grand idea.

He’s just pulling away when I spot the saw’s owner’s manual that I’ve left on the back deck & forgotton to load into the van. I grab it and tear ass after him, but I don’t catch him. I bolt through the house to see if I can get him before he turns on Independence on his way out of town, but I don’t make it nearly in time. On the shameful walk back to the house I realize that I’ve also got in my pocket the two wrenches that were promised in the ad. They were sitting on the saw and I stuck them in my pocket to carry the saw outside.

I feel terrible. I look up the email where he gave me a phone number and call the number, hoping that it’s his cell phone and he’s still close by. But I get a woman’s voice on an answering machine or voicemail. I leave a message explaining that I’ve forgotten to include a few things, offering to mail them on my dime. A little while later a woman calls back, saying not to worry and that mailing would be fine, but that she insists on paying postage.

Such nice people. Of course I have no intention of letting them pay the postage.

(The rest of the night and weekend replies keep coming in to the ad. I send everyone a note, saying that the saw’s been sold.

I don’t get around to buying a padded envelope for the manual and wrenches until Tuesday, and I don’t get to the post office and mail them until Wednesday afternoon. Get home from work on Wednesday and we’ve gotten a letter in the mail, with an enclosed check. It’s for twenty-five dollars. He says he feels like he’s paid too little for the saw. He also says to donate the money to charity in lieu of sending it back.

Did I mention nice people?)