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For thousands of people who buy and sell merchandise at the eBay online auction site, “positive feedback” is the crack that fuels their all-night spending sprees. Most of the posts racked up by prolific eBay customers are filled with hyperbolic praise, as if the successful exchange of a Jefferson Airplane poster for 18 American dollars were an accomplishment on par with bringing Jim Lovell back from the moon’s orbit. Negative feedback is rare, and when it occurs, the problem is quickly addressed. Not in my case, however. I am a bad eBayer.

Complaint: “Vintage Persimmon Fiesta Oval Platter” was actually cheap white plate from Target dunked in old lead paint, which my five-year-old described to the ER nurse as being “cherry-flavored.”
Response: Look, I’m very sorry, but real Fiestaware is hard to find. Especially in persimmon.
Complaint: Online auction photo of ’61 Topps Mickey Mantle card doctored to disguise horizontal crease across middle. After ignoring my e-mails, seller had my name added to a national registry of “deadbeat dads.”
Response: You haven’t paid me, and you’re probably a dad. Stop being so defensive.
Complaint: “Mint” condition “Meet the Beatles” has visible scratch on one side. When I left neg feedback, seller planted evidence framing me for my husband’s unsolved murder. Trial begins in three weeks.
Response: Money order was three dollars short of bid. Plus, you can’t “frame” someone who’s obviously guilty.
Complaint: Christopher Radko Audrey Hepburn ornament arrived two weeks after Christmas. Ornament broken in three places. Package contained Anthrax. Seven co-workers hospitalized.
Response: Instructions stated specifically that I do not accept PayPal.
Complaint: Chewbacca Pez Dispenser filled with Soviet-military-issue cyanide caplets, circa 1982. Very tart. Followed by blackness. Then a bright light. Then a tingling sensation which turned out to be a stomach pump.
Response: Life is meaningless, and fate’s cruelty, arbitrary.
Complaint: Seller asked for shipping costs but delivered early-model “Ace Fighter Pilot” G.I. Joe in person. Drew weapon and fired wildly at floor and ceiling. Held my youngest child hostage for 36 hours. Shot negotiator in knee when he attempted to bring McDonald’s.
Response: Negotiator was supposed to arrive unarmed, but had obvious bulge around ankle. Turned out to be soft cast, but could have been holster. Ignore.
Complaint: Happy Days “Fonz on Bike” lunchbox filled with bees. I can hear them buzzing. Animal Control can’t come until Thursday. I’m allergic, and they sound agitated.
Response: Happy Days lost its edge after Arnold left, don’t you think?
Complaint: “Original” Mr Potato Head missing safari hat and has actual human ear affixed to one side with tape.
Response: Original Potato Head did not come with safari hat.
Complaint: Instead of “Dogs Playing Pinochle” poster, received collage of over 100 pictures of me, taken with a telephoto lens and without my knowledge. In each picture there’s a red “X” over my mouth and my eyes have been cut out with scissors.
Response: Oops. Honest mistake. Will pay return postage. Dog poster is on its way.
Praise: Super AAAAAAAAAAAAA + + + + + + + + + + + + + seller!!!!! Set of Beanies arrived with tags and in plastic as promised! Seller later followed me to hospital where he switched my charts with another patient, resulting in unnecessary gall bladder operation instead of routine corn removal. Lawyer says malpractice suit worth millions!!
Response: Excellent buyer. Check arrived in timely fashion. Good communication. You might also want a radiology consult.

As seen in Yahoo! Internet Life

More by Kevin Guilfoile:
Alternative Deathstyles
Jesus! What Now?

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