Saturday, 17 November 2012

The bizarre world of freecycle

I'm always surprised by the number of emails that jettison into my inbox with such alarming frequency at any time of day or night.  Alas, they are not from any genuine contact but instead a tawdry selection of direct mail that managed to sneak past the spam filter.   At least 40% of these are the ubiquitous Groupon deals; how I rue the day when I foolishly signed up to that online bargain bucket!

Daily, I am also presented with the eclectic freecycle list.  For those of you not familiar with this enterprising idea then the freecycle network claims to "match people with things they want to get rid of with people who can use them, so keeping usable items out of landfills".  In other words, if you have something pointless and dated that you haven't managed to sell, then don't trek to the dump but put it on freecycle instead and, just because it's free, someone will come and take it off your hands.

I have only ever used freecycle twice - to offer an old (and possibly lethal) bicycle and, after a house move, a surplus fridge with a dented door. Having 'joined' the freecyclers I now seem to be subscribed to the daily digest of items.  It may be my imagination but the list seems to get more and more bizarre.  Yesterday, someone, with the uninspired moniker of BigLen, was offering 20 burlap sacks.  I know we live in a rural area but 'burlap' sounds positively medieval and I can't help but imagine that if you went to collect, you would find BigLen in some Chaucerian hovel, lying on his earthern floor drinking mead and surrounded by overflowing sacks of rotting apples.  Burlap sacks are just one of the offered goods; there is a whole host of other truly random freebies: - a home planetarium (really?), a plastic pond liner, a pair of men's extra large leather jeans (*shudders) and a washing machine in working order but without a soap dispenser drawer!

Just as bewildering is the list of 'wanted' items.  The desperate or  criminal (I can't decide which)  GrannyGrimble wants electronic goods (don't we all) - a flatscreen tv, an ipod docking station, a spare laptop (you've got to be kidding!)  Surely a true granny would want knitting patterns, old copies of the Reader's Digest perhaps or jars for jam-making.  I feel certain that if you were to actually meet Big Bad Granny Grimble she'd have pointy ears and sharp teeth.  It's funny how such a noble idea has been hijacked by these 'freakcyclers'; they make me want to post my own Christmas 'wanted' list and ask for the ridiculously weird or just the downright cheeky just to see if anyone actually responds.  

I'm recycling this old post with Suzanne over at 3 Children and It and the Oldies but Goodies linky


  1. That's actually quite cool! At least you can have a laugh at those weird listings. Burlap sacks? Wow.

  2. Freecycle is a genius idea but sadly, I think it is used by blaggers and people looking to make a fast buck :( Having said that, I've got rid of some most bizarre items on there....a fish tank with fish still in it being one! Have you not yet worked out how to turn off the daily emails from it?! DO IT! Thanks for linking up to #oldiesbutgoodies