Tuesday, June 30 2020

ebay scams, cleaning the kitchen, and blue tape

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! I hope your Tuesday is off to a good start. This morning in bed I woke up to a handful of notifications from ebay. We've decided to sell Marissa's Canon camera, since our new phones' camera is so good, it's no longer worth investing the time to ramp up to a to a new hobby just so she can take pictures of her paintings.

The actual camera needs another lap around the ebay bidding pool, but last night, somebody pulled the trigger on her extra camera lens.

"Hi I am so excited to receive your item," read the message. "I am uncomfortable to ask this, but would you mind sending it to this address instead."

In the message, there was a pixelated screenshot of an address in a completely different part of the country. I sighed while rolling out of bed.

"I think a scammer won the bid on our lens - he's giving me crap about the mailing address," I said to Marissa as I passed.

"Ah bummer," she said while patting Miles on the back in her arms.

As I waited for coffee to brew, I delved into the nuances and trivia of Ebay seller protection. Indeed, if you don't send the item to the address in paypal, the buyer can file a claim and likely win, which is why this scam is common.

I opened a new browser tab and began to write a reply, but the username caught my eye. Member since June 30, 2020, read the screen. His account was a few hours old, created after our lens sold. I chuckled.

"So I was wrong," I laughed, coming back into our room with a cup of coffee for Marissa. "He wasn't even the guy who bought it. He was just trying to get me to send it to him."

"It's an even dumber scam than we thought," replied Marissa.

I still responded to the user. I'll play dumb and see how long I can string this person along. In case you weren't aware, it's the civic duty of every Internet user to find scammers and waste as much of their time as possible.

Sip. How are we feeling today? How is your Tuesday morning? Rodney is in rare form - he's been awake for the past hour, trying to hold a conversation with me from across the hallway as I type. I have a feeling he's trying to lure me into letting him out of his room, and as we all know, once Rodney breaches the barrier between his room and the hallway, the quiet, adults only part of the morning ends and the Rodney portion begins. But Rodney isn't allowed to breach that barrier until 9:30 AM, and much like dealing with an ebay scammer, the best defense is being a stickler for the rules.

Yesterday morning, Rodney and I pulled off the unthinkable. We had an amish morning, spending the entire time together without any TV. It came at a price, however. In return, Rodney left colorful pom poms, slivers of construction paper, and spools of blue painters tape strewn all over the floor. Meanwhile, I spent the morning applying slow and steady pressure to the mountain of dishes left over from Sunday night's Chilean food exploration. Slowly, steadily, unwavering, like a boa constrictor swallowing a hapless animal, I wrangled the mess into the dishwasher.

After clicking the dishwasher on for the first cycle of the day, I looked up and gasped, seeing Rodney had spooled nearly the entire roll of blue painter's tape around his head.

"What do you got there, dude?" I asked, leaning into the dining room.

"I'm a super hero," said Rodney. I was relieved that his mouth was exposed. Marissa came down the stairs and laughed.

"Oh my," she exclaimed, "this looks like so much fun!"

Coaxing Rodney to hold still, Marissa drew a pair of eyes on the tape with a sharpie.

"I shouldn't have made the eyes so wide apart," she said critiquing her work. "Now he looks like a weird little alien."

Rodney held his head at a kilter angle so he could see through the narrow space in the tape over his eyes. His strange bobbing head movement just added to the effect, like he was sniffing something.

"Yeah, this is really unsettling - I don't like this," I commented.

a thing of nightmares

A thing of nightmares, isn't it?

Marissa removed a ream of tape. "How about we just draw some silly thick eye brows instead."

Rodney would spend the rest of the day with his head wrapped in blue tape. He ran around the house, providing his own wooshing sound. I didn't mind, because Super Hero Rodney's super speed really comes in handy when you need a loose sock taken upstairs into the hamper, or you need another roll of paper towels in the kitchen while cooking.

Just before dinner, we asked Rodney to take off the tape. Not surprising, he had grown accustomed to it, and we had a parental confrontation.

"You can't wear tape at the dinner table," I scolded.

"Why?" whined Rodney.

I hesitated, looking for a concise reason that would fit in his three year old brain. "Because..." I stalled, looking at Marissa. Marissa shrugged her shoulders.

"Because it's bad for your skin," I said.

"And we want to see your face at the table," added Marissa.

Not that Rodney was really interested in the reason, as if he would weigh the pro's and con's of leaving his head wrapped in tape and arrive at a civil compromise on his own. Marissa grabbed one end and unspooled the tape. Rodney cried, but luckily his head was so sweaty, it was barely sticking anymore.

After dinner, I enlisted Rodney's help in starting a batch of bread. Marissa nabbed him afterwards and talked him into helping her with a fish tank water change.

"And now is the time of the evening where we just expose you to our hobbies and hope something sticks," she jokingly narrated.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a wonderful day, everyone.