I’m dipping into the re-run well again, as I’m losing the battle for sanity, time, creativity and sleep right now.
When George and Helen Hampton purchased the lovely ceramic lamp from a seller on e-bay, little did they know what they had acquired.
The lamp, which featured an idyllic sea scene, was purchased for the bargain price of $21.07 (plus shipping and handling). When the auction ended, and the item paid for, the seller contacted the Hamptons to let them know it had been shipped. The seller told them that the lamp they were getting was a special, magical lamp, capable of transforming any room into a quiet, meditative spot. The seller was very anxious about sending the lamp to such a far away place as the Hampton’s residence, and admonished them to contact her as soon as the lamp arrived, so that she was sure it had arrived safely. She wanted to be sure the lamp was going to a good home and was sad to see it leave.
Privately, George and Helen wondered why the woman had sent such a prized possession to auction, if sending the object away was such a hardship.
Soon the lamp arrived. It was safe. The Hamptons sent an e-mail to Margaret, the seller, lest she worry about the “magical” lamp.
Margaret was overjoyed at the news.
George gave her a positive feedback rating.
Weeks later, while watering his prize begonias, George noticed a gracile woman peeking into the windows of his home. She had stepped through the lilac bush, and had pressed her face against the antique glass. George demanded an explanation.
The woman, of course, was Margaret. Overcome with anxiety over the lamp, she had arrived to make sure the lamp was fine. She needed to see it again. She never meant to sell it, she was mad at it, and had put it on E-bay to punish it for hurting her, and now she wanted it back.
George told her no. She had sold it, it was theirs now and she needed to “get over the lamp and get off their property.”
Margaret refused to leave.
George called the police.
George regretted ever giving her a positive feedback rating.
Months later, when the police recaptured Margaret at the Hampton’s residence where George and Helen had been brutally bludgeoned with a heavy ceramic lamp, officers reported that the suspect was babbling incoherently. Among the recognizable phrases recorded at the scene were, “I still loved it,” and “They didn’t love you like I do,” and “I never meant to do it.”
This story was inspired by a true e-bay experience had by one of my former coworkers. In that story, the object actually arrived broken, and the seller was heart broken, but returned the buyer’s money, and got the object back. I secretly wondered if the seller purposely packed the object carelessly. I suspect no one, except the seller, will ever know.
gracile / GRASS – ill / adj. Slender, slight.