Craigslist Thriller

I almost had my girlfriend kill a guy.

Let me explain.

One Friday morning, a couple of weeks back my girlfriend and I were talking about what to do that night.  We were tossing some ideas back and forth when she texted me last week and told me she had found super cheap tickets on Craigslist to see the musical: The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

She was super stoked, as was I.

I texted her back and told her to go ahead and do it. I didn't really know any details of the transaction just that she was going to get the tickets.

This was at 9:30 am.

I've done some business on Craigslist before, bought and sold concert tickets. But as of writing this I can't remember if any of those transactions came to fruition. Usually it's something that happened in last minute desperation to either see a show, or not eat the price of a ticket I couldn't unload.

The whole process can be really stressful as anybody can sell anything at any time, and you have no idea if somebody is trying to rip you off or not.

The ticket price for the tickets was $200 bucks total (a real steal) and my girlfriend was going to have to pay cash for them. We were talking back and forth online and by 11 am she still hadn't heard anything.

11:02 AM

I wasn't in love with the idea of my girlfriend brining $200 in cash to meet a strange man on the street but I figured if she brought a friend she should be OK. Except this guy kept taking long and longer to get back to her every time they talked, which was making me suspicious.

Thirty five minutes later:

11:40 AM

Girlfriend: He's calling me at noon and we will pick the place to meet.

Fifty minutes after that.

12:29 PM

Girlfriend: He's going to come meet me in front of our office around 2 and I'll get the tickets! I'm gonna bring someone with me.

Me: Good.

After she told me that I felt better about the scenario and went back to editing the video I was working on at the time. Editing video is kind of an immersive process and I wasn't paying much attention to the time until I looked up and noticed it was almost 4pm and hadn't heard anything from her in a couple of hours. I IMed her.

3:56 PM

Girlfriend: I still haven't actually gotten the physical tickets. He last said he'd be at the office around 4… which is now.. so stay tuned!

Ten minutes later

4:06 PM

Girlfriend: Maybe we should have a backup plan in case this guy never turns up.

Me: Dude I already steamed my sweater vest… and that's not even a joke!

I started to wonder what the deal was with this guy. This was a simple transaction. And if it were me I'd be pretty eager to go get $200 cash from somebody. But it was taking way too long. If the whole interaction had fizzled in the morning or even the early afternoon, I wouldn't have been as upset. But I was laying out clothes, planning out my evening and trying to hold back excitement. And if I had steamed my sweater vest for no reason I was going to be SUPER pissed.

4:08 PM

Me: If this guy doesn't show up I'm a punch him in the junk.

What I actually said was far more graphic but this is a family blog.

Kind of.

4:27 PM

Girlfriend: Ok so this guy is becoming a little bit sketchy! But fingers crossed the tickets are legit.

And that's about the time my mind went bat shit. Up until that moment I hadn't even considered that the tickets wouldn't be legit. I was thinking only about her being safe and not getting mugged. But fake tickets? Oh my god. Once she dropped that little nugget in my brain it started expanding like a peep in a microwave.

4:28 PM

Girlfriend: Yeah he just called and said he was running late because he had to go drop medicine off to his sister and then was going to get in a cab. So now he's going to be here at 5.

Now, not only do I not trust this guy, but I don't like him AND i think he's lying. Bringing medicine to his sister? Come on guy that's the best you can do? Why not bringing soup to the homeless? Or clean water to Malawi? The excuse was just way to specific.

It's theater tickets, not a llama. What is so difficult about getting these tickets into the hands of somebody who wants them. Unless of course your playing multiple angles to figure out who is the most gullible to buy your fake tickets that you made on your laser printer.

It's at this point that I start furiously googling "how can I tell if my theater tickets are real", which, brings up a shocking amount of results. I wonder if I'm the only idiot searching this moments before making a purchase or if possibly, some people waited even longer? I write back with my results.

4:29 PM

Me: If the tickets are hard tickets from Ticketmaster you scratch them with your fingernail quickly. Real Ticketmaster tickets are printed on carbon paper. The scratch will be black underneath.

I didn't actually know that. I had just found it online. But I'm thinking what if he actually has access to carbon paper? I don't know how these criminals work!

4:31 PM

Me: Ask him to text you the codes or seats or something and see if you can call the theater to confirm, because I'm starting not to trust him either.

What codes I was talking about I have no idea. The bar codes? The... ticket codes? My poor girlfriend is sitting at her desk with 200 dollars in her pocket and a skeptical boyfriend barking out orders to her over IM like some kind of 15 year old Mussolini.

Finally I tell her to send me the ad that she responded to on Craigslist. She sends the link.

And that's when I realized this wasn't going to happen. I have learned not to buy things from people who can't spell the thing they are selling. And besides, people who advertise things for a dollar are shady.

But now I also have a new rule:

Don't buy things from people who have no idea how to use commas.