“Hey, it’s almost dinner time and you guys are probably hungry, right? How does a barbeque sound?” The voice on the other end of the phone was Shawn Sparks in Amherst Massachusetts. I was in a sweltering Toyota Corolla traveling south on I-91 an hour outside of Amherst. The shoddy treble-loving speakers of my car’s stereo struggled to make audible the bass loving sounds of ‘The Next Episode’ by Dr. Dre over the rumble of air passing though four open windows at 80 miles an hour. My buddy Allan sat in the seat next to me. We were starving. Now, when somebody invites you over for a barbeque, they usually give you a nice warm meal, not an actual barbeque. Shawn gave us both. Now, before we go any further, let's clear something up. You could argue that a Coleman stove is not a barbeque, but that would make you a weenie. So for arguments sake, and to avoid any confrontations with weenies, I'll use the term Coleman stove / barbeque interchangably. After all, both are very effective when it comes to cooking weiners. Oh yeah, the little dude striking the badass pose in the picture above is Seamus, Shawn's son. He's not a weenie, just the most energetic little dude I've ever met.
Allan, Shawn and I tore into our hearty steak sandwiches the size of hush puppies. Shawn gave us the lowdown on his desire for the doorknob. “I saw the Knob-T on the website and I knew I just had to have it. The handle on my stove-top espresso maker is a little buggered up. The Knob-T is exactly what I’ve been looking for.” “Really?” “Yeah, it even looks like me in the morning after my first cup—all wired up and stuff.”
In terms of craigslist personalities, Shawn is legend. He traded a used laptop bought for $500 at Best Buy for his 1993 Chevy Blazer. The house he lives in he found as a housesitting gig. And now, Shawn has the perfect knob for the top of his espresso maker. All thanks to craigslist.
Since Shawn was nice enough to up the ante and hook me up with a barbeque, in both senses of the term, I’m upping the ante as well. The next trade will be a bonanza. Here’s the deal: If you provide the food, I will come to your place and cook you a barbeque meal, then give you the barbeque. With fuel. Well….if there’s any fuel left over. All I’m asking for in return is something bigger or better than one Coleman stove. With fuel. And if that isn’t enough to convince you to make a trade, I’ll throw in one red paperclip. So, who’s hungry?
Click here for the next trade.