|Humour in eBay|
Message #1 Posted by John Smith on 31 Jan 2002, 6:06 a.m.
Sometimes when looking at the descriptions of HP items on eBay, one finds real pearls of the humouristic genre, IMHO.
For instance, here are some commented excerpts taken
from the description of an HP-11C recently submitted for
"The calculator is in very nice aesthetic condition."
Sounds interesting. Let's see what's the seller's
concept of "very nice aesthetic condition":
"There are a few miscellaneous (very tiny) scratches"
What a pity ! Still, it can be very nice if they
are very tiny. ¿ Is there anything else to worry ?
" ... and one miniscule dent on the top edge of the metal (you have to really look)."
Oh well, another blemish ! But "you have to really
look". Let's do it, ¿ are there any pictures ? Indeed
there are, but the seller bewares:
"The scanned image exaggerates the blemishes."
Regrettably, the scanned image is so small and
dark that you really aren't sure at all whether it is
exaggerating anything at all that you can discern. So
let's forget about the picture. ¿ Any other blemishes
in this "very nice aesthetic condition" HP-11C ?
"It is missing the foot pads on the back (easily replaceable)"
Oh me, oh my !! No foot pads ? Perhaps they
were removed while opening up the machine ? How's
the back ?
"the back is in very nice condition, not banged up, or dented, just a few tiny scratches."
More scratches ! Let's hope that at least the
pretty silvery HP-11C logo is ok ?
"It is missing the HP emblem"
!?!?! Very NICE aesthetic condition !?!? How
would it be if it were in bad condition !!?! But
perhaps the calculator comes with some goodies, the
manual for instance:
"The manual is complete and in excellent condition"
At long last some good news !! But ...
"It is bound, not the cheap spiral version."
The CHEAP spiral version ? The seller is
(presumably) unaware that it's the bound version the one
which is cheap. Spiral versions are easily worth twice
as much if not more. Spiral versions will stay flat
when reading and are thus much more valuable. Precisely
HP changed to hardbound versions to reduce costs, at
the expense of great inconvenience to the user. But the
seller would have you believe the hardbound version is
the one to get, instead of that "cheap spiral version" !
Are we done with the bad news ? Not yet, there's
still a big one in reserve:
"The calculator functions intermittently, I suspect a faulty ground."
Incredible. In-credible. But all's not lost,
the seller tells us that:
"When it functions, all keys work, and it passes the self diagnostic test"
Well, what a relief ! However, should we pass
on this real bargain ? The seller advices us not to,
"There aren't many around still with the case and
Problem Solving Guide."
He obviously hasn't had a look at eBay lately,
because there's been a real wealth of HP-11Cs offered
for auction, and most of them had both the slip case
and the "Owner's Manual and Problem Solving Guide", and
they did even work ! Notice how the seller describes the
"Owner's Manual and ..." as just "Problem Solving Guide",
as if it were a different, rarer book.
The seller ends:
"Thank you for looking."
You're welcome. And thanks to you, whoever you
are, for a real funny time on eBay, I've laughed all the
way while reading your description. At least you've been
honest enough to tell (all ?) the faults, even if somewhat
belittled. Other sellers would equally boast about the
"very nice aesthetic condition" of their items without
bothering to specify, like you did.
You can see the "funny" description mentioned in this post at this URL: