Saturday, October 8, 2011

An eBay Education

I love eBay. You can get some bargains there, and you can get ripped off. I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

But in truth, what eBay gives you is an education. Some guy is selling a 1960s Smith-Corona portable for $1000. If you didn't have the other listings on eBay as a reference, you might think he had something special. But no, one look at the other listings reveals that you can easily get an identical one (since they're very common) for about $35-$50 shipped to your home.

I've bought several typewriters in the past few months. It's an obsession that has led to speculation I may have Asperger's or some similar disorder. I love small details and trivial information. I like to know as much about my typewriters as possible. This is where eBay, when used in conjunction with the Yahoo Portable Typewriters Forum, is a goldmine of information.

You can't afford them, but you'll get to look at machines you'll never be able to afford, and find out more information about the ones you have. It's a good way to get a free education, if you can resist hitting the "buy it now" button. It's tough, man...I almost did it yesterday, but I fought it.

I think it takes a special kind of person to love typewriters. You can't mind getting your hands stained with ink. You have to enjoy detailing with a toothbrush. You have to like the smell of 3-in-1 oil. You can't mind being branded a throwback or a freak. You should get used to being called a hipster even if you're not.

Names and strange looks don't really matter. This is the life I've chosen. Or, somehow, has been chosen for me. We do what we do, even if we don't know why. Perhaps that's part of the education as well...learning a bit about ourselves and what we like.

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