Jan-uary Ads

On Friday, I was surfing through ads on Facebook Marketplace and I saw something that made my heart soar. No, it wasn’t a clock. It was, in fact, an ad for a cabinet, but it wasn’t the cabinet I was taken with. I’ve become so used to people who can barely put two sentences together online, let alone describe a product they’re selling with any accuracy at all, that this ad description almost made me weep:

Capacious?! And an example in another colour for inspiration? I have found my people!

I immediately followed this seller and took a look at some of her other ads. One in particular touched my heart: “The camera doesn’t do the colour justice; see the close-up picture of the fabric juxtaposed against white paper for a more accurate sense of the colours.” She used a SEMI-COLON. And JUXTAPOSED things. Why can’t everyone be so literate AND courteous? Prior to Friday, I had become inured to the lack of simple spelling, punctuation, and sloppy descriptions that are par for the course on online buy and sell sites, particularly with a highly rated seller named ‘Jan’. The majority of Jan’s ads are an enigma. Yesterday, she was advertising “Decorations Puts”, which I can only assume means ‘decorative pot’, but with Jan, you never know—it could be some kind of insult or a strangely worded command. And right before Hallowe’en, this was a group of things she was trying to offload:

Now, call me crazy, and a lot of people do, but I don’t think that particular Hallowe’en staff deserves even minimum wage—I mean, they all look half in the bag. I appreciate that she managed to spell both outdoor and chair correctly, and I love that she named the bank:

Buyer: Hi, I’m here for the piggy bank.
Jan (cradling it in her arms): His name is PETE.
Buyer: Um, ok.
Buyer: …Pete?

But I have no idea what ‘2 landre’ basket is, except ‘landre’ is French for ‘moor’, so I can only assume these baskets are to be used in gothic novels by heartbroken heroines who wander the moors in torrential downpours, kind of like an umbrella but with many holes. Sadly, it seems that Jan is almost as misguided in her efforts as this coat she’s currently trying to hawk:

I can imagine that living with Jan is an ongoing adventure, trying to decipher whatever madness comes out of her mouth, because if she’s this bad at written English, how on earth does she speak?!

Jan’s husband: Hey Jan, where are you off to?
Jan: Gone to stone. Bach will eat moussaka.
Jan’s husband: Delicious. Or terrifying. Only time will tell.

But at least Jan isn’t as morbid as this person, who’s selling Vintage Death. And I was like, who the hell takes a picture with some alive family members and some who look VERY DECEASED? I was sure those two Scottish children were just sleepy from the photographer taking so damn long to get the shot. But then I did some research on Victorian death photography and it turns out they REALLY ARE DEAD. And everyone else in the photo just looks casual, like “Och, it’s a lovely wee day for a pic of the fam. Come on, Mam. Gi’ us a wee smile. Let Dead Robbie lean on you so he don’t fall over.” Victorians. I’m currently writing a Gothic thriller called Charybdis (based on a short story in my new upcoming collection) that partly takes place in the Victorian period so I can’t wait to find a way to fit this bizarre practice in.

39 thoughts on “Jan-uary Ads

  1. I feel your English pain! I have a sister who insists she put her sweaters in a “draw” and it fills me with bewilderment because we attended the same schools. Perhaps in your research you will find a death photo of language.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The only thing more terrifying than the Scottish Victorian death photo is knowing that somewhere out there Miss Guided is walking around without a wool coat. In January. Then there’s the Pete Bank. There’s a disturbing story behind why the bank is named Pete. And that story is “Breaking The Pig” by Etgar Keret.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Victorian death photos are terrifying with or without woolly coats–have you seen some of these? I knew that Victorians took pictures of dead people but I didn’t know they posed with them and took family shots as well–it’s so disturbing! And I’ll check out that story–you know I like disturbing things!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I also feel your pain my friend, my oldest pronounces hard “t’s” like in the word button, it’s sounds like BUDDON. As does CODDON (cotton) and it drives me crazy!! So I understand your excitement at finding someone so grammatically correct!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brumph says:

    You can imagine a trainee advertising copywriter presenting those for approval to their boss.
    “Capacious! WTF, none of our readers will know what that even means… just put ‘roomy’… JUXTAPOSE?!! Good grief… you’re fired…”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember once being in a furniture story looking at bedframes and remarking to Ken and the salesperson that one very elaborate one in particular seemed ostentatious. The sales guy looked at me and said, “I don’t know what that means.” Lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Would have taken some stiff wire to set those two kids upright like that, Gumby & Pokey like. Or maybe they used bonsai wire beneath their jackets. I hear folks back then became immune to the stink all around them. Everything must have smelled like rot or shit or body odor back then.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thomas in a comment said they used special metal braces. She was a paramedic and knows ALL about the weird medical stuff! I can’t even imagine the stench. You know how I feel about coffee–can you picture me in Victorian England, or literally any time before people started wearing deodorant? A nosegay would never have saved me!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Now, that was funny! I cracked up at “Just let Dead Robby lean against you!”. Glad I finished my coffee. And just imagine introducing your friends to Pete Bank. “Hey, I like your Piggy Bank.”. “Thanks, but it’s Pete Bank”. “You named your Bank?”. “No, I purchased it as Pete Bank.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Forgive me for being biased, but my eye was immediately caught by the spelling of ‘colour’. I’m an Aussie so I immediately imagined that the seller is British, or Australian, or Kiwi. Made me feel right at home. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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