You can find anything on Craigslist.org – or so the proponents of the San Francisco-based website would tell you. Santa Barbara may not have the variety of San Francisco, the sleaziness of Los Angeles, or the exotica of Las Vegas, but we do have our own selection of oddities, from items wanted or given away free to jobs, vehicles, or significant others.
It may seem a little unkind to refer to people, in addition to things, as oddities. If you think that’s true, then you’ve never browsed Craigslist thoroughly enough. Online dating is no longer the final frontier of searching for new boyfriend or girlfriend, and certainly, it would be absolutely incorrect to say that only those who can’t find a date through “normal” means haunt places like the Craigslist personals. On the other hand, the anonymous forum allows anyone – no matter how strange – to express themselves without fear of a personalized rejection, and the personals allow even those people to enjoy the weirdness in the privacy of their own homes.
One woman, name and age unspecified, wrote an ad expressing thoughts that she’d most like never express out in public, where people might recognize her. Looking for a young man for a little no-strings-attached fun – or “NSA” in the online personal jargon – she lamented, “Why’d I marry a dull man with a tiny dick who never goes down on me?” It’s this kind of highly personal, so to speak, broadcasting of thoughts to the general public that makes Craigslist so deeply satisfying as a voyeuristic read.
And it’s not just the personal ads that are a little bizarre.
While it may not be true that you can find anything you’re looking for by posting a free advertisement, that doesn’t stop people from trying. On November 5, one Los Olivos resident posted an ad looking for pre-1965 paper currency, to enable a trip back in time. In this case, it’s really not the item sought that’s odd; it’s the advertiser. Also posted under items wanted is a monkey, although the ad seems to be miscategorized – it’s actually looking for someone to take care of an unwanted monkey, sent to the advertiser by his uncle in Russia. If anyone wants a monkey, or would simply like to know how it was smuggled through customs for future reference, check out Craigslist. A monkey, apparently, is one of the things that you can find, even in Santa Barbara.
Honestly, though, the truly strange ads are more rare than those which are made unintentionally humorous through poor grammar or bad phrasing. One ad’s tagline reads “High Quality Native American Wanted.” It was disappointing to learn that the advertiser was actually looking for beadwork and blankets, as it would have been enlightening to learn what, exactly, distinguishes a “high quality” Native American. Examples of this type of error abound, and provide endless fun for those intrepid enough to slog through the many pages of Craigslist in search of it.