Freudian Slips: Organ Donors with Free Shipping

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

February 22, 2005

Organ Donors with Free Shipping

I promised my wife a baby grand piano for Valentine’s Day. Okay, before I get “What A Guy” emails, the truth is we have been saving for a piano. I only agreed to ante up the balance so we could increase our purchase power and buy now. We asked around word-of-mouth, scanned the classifieds of local newspapers, and called piano companies inquiring about new and used models. No luck. We eyeballed a gorgeous 1930 Lester baby grand piano auctioned on Ebay. The piano boasted charm and character. Lester pianos were manufactured by the artful hands of Quakers and this piano spent its entire life in Philadelphia. I emailed the seller peppering him with questions about its condition. Everything checked out to our liking.

On a Tuesday morning shortly after dawn, my wife nudged me out of a warm bed to go downstairs and electronically outwit, outmatch, and out snipe any remaining bidders at the close of auction. With eight seconds left, I submitted a bid of $1203.33 for an item whose high bid had been unchanged at $1027.00 for the last three days. Some quick-fingered piano player must have faster broadband cable than me because I lost the auction by $25.00 in the final second. I felt the helium seep out of Diane’s Valentine’s Day balloon. I was left to sew my oats, Quaker oats.

Fret not. The next morning, my wife received a Second Chance offer form on an official Ebay template form. It had all the bells and whistles. It had the right font’s and color schemes. It said all the right things in the instructions. My wife bounced around the house like Mary Poppins on amphetamines. Meanwhile, I analyzed the printed email bedside in poor lighting with nary a cup of coffee. Everything checked out but the seller’s email address. So I deliberately emailed both the actual seller and the masked man at the other email address. Golly gee, I didn’t want to wind up with two baby grand pianos and only pay for one. The actual piano owner assured me he had already been contacted by the highest bidder, who arranged immediate local pickup and payment. spun a different yarn. Portos decried that the high bidder had a daughter who had gotten real sick. Consequently, the high bidder sung a different tune and no longer wanted the piano. I hope that poor girl pulls through. As a convenience to keep the sale, Portos now included free shipping on a quarter ton piano. Heavens to Betsy, what a nice Christian to strap that baby grand on his back and walk from Blue Ball, Pennsylvania to my house in New Jersey. But wait there is more. Portos included a Ronco refund policy if we in any way were not completely satisfied. Instinct told me Portos was trying to complete a poorly organized fundraiser which went over like a bake sale without flour. My wife finally laid her emotions to rest. Mary Poppins came in for a crash landing. A spoonful of business acumen helps the medicine go down, medicine go down.

Even without a piano, I sang like a canary. I reported the fraudulent activity to Ebay but they actually emailed me back a form letter saying due to the high traffic of crime they cannot go after everyone. The criminal element in America must be alive and well. So was free to run amuck while only kingpins and the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted could be cold shadowed. So I email back the following sarcastic message. “Yes, we are still interested in your lovely antique piano. What an incredible stroke of luck. When the piano arrives at my door I will pay you cold hard cash in denominations of your choosing. Let me know when you can deliver that baby grand piano because with me being a STATE TROOPER…I work odd hours."

Would you believe emails back that Cash on Delivery is not acceptable. You don’t say? As it turns out, the preferred payment method was to send him the $1203.33 up front. Portos quoted the following scenario: “I already deposed the piano in Fedex custody and upon the money has been sent on my name I will release the item in your direction.” What direction might that be Portos, north by northeast? Are the Fedex's really holding my piano hostage? This guy didn’t sound like a Quaker. Portos had a better chance of convincing me he was a twentieth century Shaker. I bet he never owned a piano let alone a 1930’s piano built by Quakers. Nonetheless, Portos acted like he could airmail a plug to a leaky boat in the middle of the ocean. I sent him back one final email. “Why don’t I put you in my Last Will and Testament and we can call it even?” That pretty much was the end of my communiqué with



Blogger PaxRomano said...

Interesting post; poor, his/her name is listed so many times, sort of like seeing "For a good time call Eunice" posted on the men's room wall.

I feel that I need to email this portos person, I feel I need to say, "Do you think you can play people like a baby grand piano??"

10:40 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Pax, I'm hedging that portos is working under a different name on an unsupecting Ebayer by now.

4:37 PM  

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