Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This little piggie went to market...

I have two younger brothers - one is fifteen and the other is nine. The younger of the two recently decided he wanted a guinea pig. When he sets his mind on something he wants, he focuses on it in a way that makes me hope that he doesn't become a lawyer one day - because I don't want to be on the wrong end of his focus.

An example of this happened about a month ago. Our fair city was holding a beer fest week, culminating in a festival on the main street that cuts through uptown; we don't call it 'downtown,' no, we call it 'uptown.' It's one of the ways we identify out-of-towners. That and the fact that they actually obey the crosswalks with the little flashing men and hands.

Anyway, Iz had made some jewelry to sell at Boogie on the Bricks. There was beer, which you didn't get in trouble for having as long as you stayed on the bricks, live music, food and vendors selling jewelry, soap and all the other things you find at events like that. He was hoping to make enough to buy a bicycle, as well as a long list of other things. I sat uptown with my parents and Iz and watched as my little brother proved that he would have made an amazing girl scout, had he been a girl: he caught peoples' attention, told them how he was hoping to make enough a buy a bike, and the bemused man, woman or couple would often walk away with a set of earrings or a little clay creature he'd made.

By the end of the day, he'd made enough to buy the bicycle he wanted.

So my family knew that it was a matter of time before we ended up at petland, picking out a guinea pig and all the things that go with the little things. The only problem is he wanted one sooner rather than later and the holidays are still months away.

Enter Facebook and its marketplace.

Facebook's marketplace, for the uninitiated, is a little like what I've heard craigslist is like. You create a listing, putting it under a label of choice, from 'free' to 'wanted' to 'for sale,' and wait for someone to contact you. I love the Facebook marketplace and often peruse it, hoping to see a cheap futon or something else. It's like going to a million micro yard sales, only you don't have to deal with the grumpy or indifferent people perched in their beach chairs, waiting for you to find something your willing to buy mixed in with all the pairless earrings and shoes that seem to turn up at yard sales.

One day last week, I logged into Facebook and the mini-feed that is your front page when you log in (I really hope all this explanation is unnecessary), the wonderful mini-feed, informed me that one of my friends had just listed his two pet guinea pigs. For free. Complete with a habitat and food and pretty much everything you need when you decide to become a guinea pig papa or mama.

I messaged him and to make an already long story short, my brother is gonna have his guinea pigs. The look on his face when I told him this was so worth it - I had told him he was going to get something he had wanted, had been reading up on and learning about and attempting to convince our parents would be a good idea, without having to lift a finger.

At least, not until they're here.

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