Friday, August 11, 2006

And Venus was her name

Most of you guessed correctly in the Guess The Phallic Object Contest. Beth was spot-on. And not because of personal experience with lint fires, mind you. Yes, the item in the pictures was a dryer vent lint brush. Sort of like this one.

I took those pictures because I had written a lame post about awesome and stupid things I've gotten on eBay. Guess which category the lint brush is in?

Stupid. You stick it down in the dryer vent, swirl it around a bit, and it comes out covered in all kinds of prime fire-starting material.


The first time I spent an hour picking the lint off with my fingers. The second time I tried to rinse it in the bathtub. Fear of clogged drains put a quick stop to that. Finally I tossed it on the driveway and shot it with the hose for a while, but it kept sliding into the street. It kind of looked like I was walking a fuzzy snake on a water leash.

Now it lives in the laundry room trash can.

I always check eBay before I buy anything in a store. Some of my friends think this is funny, which I don't get. If I can get my favorite lipstick on eBay for ten bucks, why pay Estee Lauder $25 for it? Similarly, if my husband can buy Jimi Hendrix dolls on eBay, why waste gas driving to Toys R Us?

I’ve gotten some exciting things on eBay. For example, two antique stained glass windows, one of which came from an old pub in England. I sniped this one out from under another bidder named Nana Rose. (for non-eBayers: ‘sniping’ is placing a bid at the very end of an auction in hopes that other bidders won’t have time to counter)

My husband: You just stole a window from some kid’s grandmother! Don’t you feel terrible?

Me: No.

I don’t buy tons of stuff on eBay, but I like it for certain things. For example, razor cartridges. Do you know how expensive those Venus cartridges are? Yikes. And yet I buy them, I MUST, because I like to sing Bananarama in the shower and pretend like I’m in the commercial. So I find someone on eBay who’s selling a 10-box lot, and suddenly I have a year’s supply for nearly half the cost of buying them in the store!

REMEMBER: You have to include the shipping price when you calculate the cost per cartridge. Sometimes the shipping can blow the entire deal. And then? You'll have to live with the fact that you could have saved money if you had just gone to the drugstore. BUT YOU DIDN'T.

ALSO: I never buy shipping insurance, because I'm wild and dangerous. Don't tell my mother.

AND: I'd better not catch you guys trying to buy Venus razors on eBay now. I really don't need additional competition.

Okay. This is the part where I brag about my latest eBay find. This one goes in the 'Awesome' category. Are you ready?

Two Ann Taylor shirts and a coordinating purse, all brand-new with tags, for SIX DOLLARS.


I know! I can hardly contain myself!

Although really, it's amazing that I ever make it through the bidding process for any of these things. I'm completely distraught in the last minutes of an auction. My heart races and I feel sick with dread. In the final 60 seconds I type in my bid with one shaking finger, then feverishly hit Refresh so I can see if anyone is outbidding me.

If I win, I promptly collapse on the floor.

If I lose, I say Fuck!. Then I collapse on the floor.

You can see why I work in a library and not on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, which is my number one nightmare work environment. I'd be a spectacular, convulsing failure. I'd lie twitching on the floor, and all the shouting, besuited people would crush me with their stilettos and... whatever shoes men like to wear.

But I'd feel somewhat better knowing that they probably paid way too much for them.


Blogger Lisa said...

I've looked at ebay at lot, and have put in some bids, but I usually lose. The whole thing can get a little crazy. When I was trying to buy a digital camera, people were placing bids above the retail value of the cameras! And then the shipping was out-and-out piracy. But I still hold out hope that I'll find the perfect, supercute purse and get it for a total steal.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

the men wear wingtips :) i've got some good deals on betsey johnson at ebay...but since i have no more weddings this year, i'm set ;)

2:18 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I've found a few things on ebay. I've never thought of looking for drugstore items though. Thanks for the tip. I promise, I won't bid on any razor cartridges. I don't even own a Venus, so relax. ;)

I've always gotten stressed just watching those people at the NYC stock exchange.

Once my mom used to be a nanny for a family and the dad worked there. He ended up having a nervous breakdown. Mmmm, I wonder why?

4:29 PM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I have never once been on eBay. I'm kind of afraid that if I start, I won't be able to stop.

Oh, and from now on, when you lose, I think you should yell "Frack!" before collapsing. ;)

6:03 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I snipe too and I always check shipping before I bid.

I HATE when people charge a handling fee. Just put it in the price of the product you jackasses!

I've never tried a Venus. Hmmmm. Kidding. Although I may search for my brand of razorblade now.

8:03 PM  
Blogger MsCellania said...

I was given a Venus razor and it's fine, but the cost of the replacement blades are not fine. No wonder they are giving away the razor!

I am an Ebay sniper. I taught my Ebay addicted spouse this technique and he beat out someone by one cent on an expensive item. The other guy emailed him later, FURIOUS, demanding to know how my husband 'hacked into ebay and knew his bid'.

Are the lint thingys disposable? Or you just supposed to use until it rejects lint? When we had our heating systems monster-vac'd, they did our dryer vent too. Gee, that sure made it worth the $700 they charged!

I'm going to peruse your archives. I like your DogBert.

1:11 AM  
Blogger verniciousknids said...

I use Venus too...but I buy my refills from Costco.

Ebay is not popular's Yahoo Auction all the way - which my better half sells stuff on constantly. He buys some things but, thankfully, is a very smart shopper!

I hope you're gonna call it the "Phalluster" from now on ;)

7:20 AM  
Blogger kj said...

i've never bought or sold on e-bay but the time is a-coming. this info is very helpful to me! thanks.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Vickee, they're not supposed to be disposable. But I'm seriously thinking about disposing of mine.

However- if I don't, it will definitely be henceforth known as The Phalluster. And I will yell 'Frack!' before collapsing.

You guys are full of fantastic ideas!

9:11 PM  

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