January 12, 2006
Tired is when you don't dare sit down on the bus because you will fall asleep, and standing is not all that safe either. (Grateful to public transit so as not to be forced to walk or drive a car in a state of exhaustion less practically functional than a fair-sized drunk is old news.) Tired is when you choose not to pull another all-nighter after a month and more of alternating all-nighters, and just work until midnight instead -- yet even after arriving home in a swaying falling into the wall tired, half an hour or so is still needed to let the caffeine drain from the system ... which is how I happened, for a rare once, to catch Jay Leno at the same time as everyone else: and thus to discover Strange Things on E-Bay.
The Playstation box was very predictable (and sure enough the audience predicted it): especially if it had been offered for auction before Christmas, Playstations the Cabbage Patch Kids of this year. Three immediately-jump-to-mind possibilities apart from the outright scam-in-intent of the misleading title (I don't know enough about the listing to dismiss this option, although starting the bidding so low might have been a good indicator otherwise):
- The parent who has promised the Playstation but unable to get one, leaving a note inside the box showing that the intent was there (and possibly for younger recipients, that Santa had accidentally lost the contents of the box) -- to be replaced asap
- The giver who uses a misleading wrapping, in mutual fun (and I am notorious for this!)
- The giver who uses a misleading wrapping, in a deliberate attempt to deceive.
PlayStation 2 Original Box And Receipt
Yes, the words are literally true. However, any number of advertisements in the local classifieds would have worded it almost exactly the same way: adding only, perhaps, a comma after "Playstation 2". (Ah, the value of the comma! in this case, over $400.)
But I do understand it, the odd allure of this single, uneaten, unwanted Brussel sprout. It is not just that the proceeds were to be made out to a charity. It certainly is not the value of the sprout, in and of itself. But a single lonely sprout, left behind in the clean-up after all else had been gustadored and was happily being digested, is a lingering echo of a family's Christmas joy and contentment.
What would we not pay, to hold a piece of that?