That Just Wasn't the Point

Y'all ever heard of the Patagonian Toothfish? Back a few years ago it was just some humble and ugly fish swimming happy and anonymously around in the ocean. However, it was also plentiful, rather large and made good eating, so fisheries all over wanted to find a way to put it on your plate. So with the help of a good branding firm and a new name, the fancy new Chilean Sea Bass was fished to near extinction in just a few years.

I tell this story because a guy here in Charleston advertises something similar on Craigslist almost everyday and it's bothering me. He's selling "Brazilian Cherry." He writes:

Brazilian Cherry! Rediculous price!!!! $1.75 a sq. ft.

Must Sale!!!! Call now only with serious questions!!!

$1.75 a sq. ft!

call 843.555.1212!!!!

Brazilian Cherry is not a Cherry tree. It doesn't darken with age or smell good like American Cherry does. It does smell really bad (the tree's seed pods have given the tree the name Stink Tree in South America), it is incredibly super duper hard and is vaguely red, which is why i guess it's getting called Cherry instead of it's local name of Jatoba. The most important thing about this tree, though, is that it grows in the heart of South American rainforests. To get that wood here to charleston--so this monkey boy can sell it for $1.50 a square foot--it must be logged in out-of-the-way places, reached by destructive logging roads (the slippery slope into Brazilian Beef), placed on a giant container ship that belches dirty diesel smoke and shipped all the way into the northern hemisphere just so someone can have a cheap floor.

I look in the building materials section of craigslist almost everyday looking for recyclable materials for construction projects and after months and months of this guy over-posting this commercial ad i wrote a new ad for him.

Brazilian Cherry! Best of the Rainforest! $1.10 a foot!

Rediculous! Get this wood before the entire rainforest is gone!!!

3" and 5" material sold offered for sale here on Craigslist everyday by professional too cheap to advertise through proper mediums!
Must Sell Asap!! (and have been needing to sell "ASAP" for at least three months now!
PLEASE PLEASE only call if your serious and in NEED of Solid Wood Flooring!!!

After all, too many people have called to simply complain at my atroshus behavoir and spelling!!!

Here's the problem: I've gotten almost 40 serious responses for this ad. "Do you have 400' still left?" write Susan. "What lengths?" writes Bob.

It's almost as bad as the hundreds of responses i've gotten for bannedfromwalmart.com asking for t-shirts because someone got busted for trying to shoplift handguns or cigarettes or something.


mary said...

grumble grumble... when i was working up at the big fancy lodge in stowe, vt for internship some loser customers called ahead and specially requested that they be served chilean sea bass for dinner. sadly, the next day two patagonian toothfish arrived to sit in the walk-in among all of the beautiful local organic meat that was on the menu for the customers that preferred to eat very un-almost-extinct food. to protest to the head chef all of the cooks complained by leaving masking tape notes all over the foam box that contained that nights sad dinner. of course he didn't care. he got to charge out the freakin wazoo for the meal.

Devyani M. said...

Wow, if someone posting to sell "Brazilian Cherry" on craiglist makes you this angry (you are even angry that he didn't buy a print ad???) I don't know how you function while observing the behavior that happens as you walk a city block. Everyone is selling or buying something.

It seems like only those born with wealth get mortally offended by all this low trade. Don't you notice this as you talk to people who are not from wealthy backgrounds across the globe? Those who don't have money don't find the clumsy pursuit of (some) so gauche. But maybe they are just idiots, too.