Here in Ontario, we use a ‘craigslist’-type site called kijiji. Go on, take a minute to savour how fun it is to say kijiji out loud. It’s fun to write too, with all those little dots. For me the best part is the window it opens into people’s quirky lives. I have a folder filled with cut-and-pasted ads I call “Kijiji Poetry”.
Wanted:looking for a lost passportthe passport is in my black backpack, i lost the backpack.
My fascination started with a post asking for a “quiet horse” and I was hooked. Why quiet? Would it be kept near neighbours (neigh, haha) who might complain? Are most horses noisy? Were there no other required characteristics, just quietness?
I searched for answers in other posts, thinking maybe other horse ads would enlighten me. I didn’t find answers to my horse questions, but I did land deep in bird kijiji somehow. I have a contact in my phone I won’t delete because whenever I see it, I get to say wtf? and remember I offered to drive a parrot to the Toronto airport, two hours away. The contact just says “Parrot to airport” with a number. I never even got a name.
This sad-funny gem was labelled “Missing Pirate” and had pictures so cute I almost wanted my own pirate:
Please help me find my bird, he’s 1 years old, yesterday was his first time going outside and he panicked and he flew away, he doesn’t have the best flying abilities so he couldn’t have went far, please help me find him, there will also be rewards to the finder, he also has a pregnant wife and a little friend.
Also in my “Kijiji Sad” subfolder were two less tragic posts, just a family misunderstanding the concept of summer vacation for kids (the other ad was identical to this, but for a Math tutor):
Looking for a language arts tutor to assist our two sons (individually) over the summer. Both children (aged 7 and 10) currently perform at or above grade level. Hoping for 1 hour per child per week.
An urgent ad for a tall ladder to rescue a trapped cat led to a friend of a friend calling their friend at a tree-trimming company who performed a sweet rescue.
I’m looking for a Commodore 128 computer. I have Commodore 64s. This ad is me looking for a Commodore 128. Can pick-up.
One terrific adventure started with an ad saying, “Buckle up, this is a weird one!” I knew I was in, no matter what. I ended up letting a young man live in my driveway for a few months. There’s a long story, of course, and it involved a small camping trailer – that neighbours came asking to borrow, and I wasn’t sure how to say, um, it belongs to the university student who’s living in there. He was welcome to stay in our sort-of furnished basement but he preferred his trailer life because, quirky.
I got two of my best freelance jobs by replying to kijiji ads so I tell myself I have a legitimate reason for all my scrolling, but I do have to be careful. A friend of mine needed extra money so she posted an ad to do housecleaning. Turns out, those ads were code for sex work. Her first clue was the large number of interested men she heard from immediately, all asking for photos. Many had specific requests for her to clean while naked, topless, or wearing a maid’s uniform. We looked up her competitors’ ads and found many “open-minded”, “attractive” and “affectionate” cleaners indeed. Who knew? We checked a year or two later and by then, the housecleaning ads were all regular, dull posts about actual cleaning services.
Now I’m wondering if “drive my parrot to the airport” was a euphemism. I can’t bear to think the horse ad was anything creepy, and I truly hope the noise-averse equestrian found their perfect match.
Bonus: Poetic Spam
This was on a post of mine about decluttering your email inbox. Tempting as it was to leave it up, it had a link I’m sure was best left unclicked.
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