Freecycle is a site with a good idea. Rather than throw away things, adding to landfills and just making the trash situation worse, why not see if someone needs it first? Using a simple mailing list for each community, people who join can post things that they’re giving away, and others can contact them directly about getting said item.
As a member of the Orlando Freecycle group, I typically received emails from people who were giving away things like strollers or packing boxes or old appliances. What started to happen, though, was that shady, greedy fuckers started joining the list. They started sending emails to the list looking for items that would never be thrown away. “Wanted: Flat Screen television”. “Wanted: Laptop”. “Wanted: Used Car”. Stupid shit like that, which just ruined the whole concept of Freecycle and added a ton of clutter to a mailing list that should be relatively simple.
So I had an idea. Just to make a point, I’d offer something that nobody would ever actually offer for free, and just see what type of responses I got. It had to sound believable, though, so I created a separate email account with a separate persona. A barely computer literate, good God-fearing Christian mom named Jody who was sick of her son’s bad grades:
Subject: [OrlandoFC] OFFER: PLAYSTATION 3
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOUR SON CAME HOME WITH ALL D’S AND F’S ON HIS REPORT CARD? I TOLD HIM THAT IF HE DIDNT GET AT LEAST C’S I WAS GOING TO GIVE AWAY HIS PLAYSTAION 3!!
IT HAS TWO CONTROLERS, GTA 4, AND ASSASIN’S CREED. I LIVE IN LONGWOOD BUT WORK FULL TIME AND CAN MEET YOU DURING MY SHIFT IF YOU WANT.
HAVE A BLESSED DAY!
Evan, Jody and JD
Luke 12:15: “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all
kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his
See the nice touches? I even added a subtle hint in the Bible quote that I used as a signature. (The rest of the post is posted below the fold.)
Within two hours, I had received over 400 responses from people who wanted the free Playstation 3. Some were normal. Some were stupid. Some were manipulative. Some were people giving unsolicited child-rearing advice. I’ve posted the best of the bunch, along with a reply to each of them:
Call me at 407-xxx-xxxx
I am free now
Maria, how much are you in three hours?
I wouldlove this PLEASE I have 4 boys!!!
Throw in a fifth boy and you have a deal!
I will take it for my kids. Couldn’t afford one For Xmas. Let me know when and where to
Sent from my iPhone
Richard, how’s that $300 iPhone and $100/month data plan going for poor, broke little you?
i would love to pick up this playstation. i didnt get to get my husband a christmas gift and he would LOVE this. im in altamonte and can pick up any time. you can call me if you like 407.xxx.xxxx megan. thank you and have a great day.
Megan, try oral sex. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Wow… well i would love to have this for my 3 kids. I am a single mom and 9 mo pregnant and couldn’t afford christmas this year.. This would be an awesome gift for me to give them. I wasn’t able to do any gifts this yr. they do not own a game system or even a dvd or vcr so i would be absolutley appriciative if I could have this for the kids….I am on a fixed income and am going threw a divorse so things have been pretty rough for me the last 7 months…..
Sorry to hear your son didn’t do so well! Hopefully he will improve his grades 🙂
Jennifer, if you’re still pregnant next month, I’ll give it to you. Along with a box of condoms.
If you’re serious, I would love to have it. My grandson lives with me and his crack mother came and took his playstation 2 and games to the pawnshop for more crack. I can pick up anytime today, tomorrow or Saturday.
SB, I’ll drive my crackmobile over to your house and give you the crack game system at crack o’clock.
let him keep it must be another way to punish
Well, I tried drowning him but the little shit can hold his breath for a long time!
I would like to pick it up and also, if it wouldn’t insult you, I would give you a little money for it. That is a very expensive thing to give away, and I wouldn’t feel right taking it without being able to give you some money so maybe when he does bring his grades up, you can give him the money.
Diana, thank you for your email. I would like to give you the Playstation 3 . . . if I actually had one. You see, this is just a prank and there is no PS3. However, I’d like to thank you for showing that there are nice people in the world. You are a very nice person. But you’re not getting anything.
I would love to get this from you.
I want to get one really bad, but my girlfriend doesn’t let me because of the cost.
Peter, it is time for you to find a new girlfriend. Call Megan – she wants to give her boyfriend a PS3 instead of oral sex.
Hello, I would like to have the playstation for my grandson. I am also concerned with your son making D’s and F’s. How old is he? Have you considered tutoring? I am a student at UCF and really enjoy learning, even at my age. Maybe I can be of some help. Let me know. Thanks, Linda
Hi Linda. I must have sent you the wrong email – did you get one that said “I NEED HELP RAISING MY KID AND WANT ADVICE FROM NUTJOBS ON THE INTERNET?” No? Then fuck off.
I will drive anytime you want thanks
Don’t thank me, thank the DMV.
WOW I JUST TOLD MY SON THE SAME THING WITH HIS DS BUT IF U ARE WILLIN TO ME ME I CAN SEND MY MOM CZ I WORK TONG HOURS TOO
You want to reward your son who has bad grades by upgrading his DS to a PS3? Do you mind if I include a “Mother of the Year” trophy with the PS3 too?
Is the Playstation 3 still available? I would like to have it! I would do the same if my son was receiving those grades as well! Luckily, he is only 5 months there is still time for him to get those grades. Please let me know if it is still available and I will meet you!
Sorry, but the box on the PS3 says “Ages 8 and up” only, so I’m legally unable to give it to your 5-month old son.
Wow what an expensive lesson to learn !!! You could always just put it away and let him earn it back. There are two report cards left this year and you could tell him that he must have nothing less than a C on BOTH report cards in order to win it back. Just a thought.
Do you want to come raise him? No? Then here’s another thought. Suck my nuts.
Instead of giving it away, why don’t you just withhold it from him? If he makes all b’c and c’s are you going to buy him another one?
God Bless You, Rebecca
Rebecca, he’s larger than me and if I just hid it somewhere, he’d beat me half to death and then take it from me. Please, help me. I’m actually locked in the closet right now. Please call 911.
we live off 434 and mongomery and avail to pick it up asap… i have 6 kids… i am having #7. my kids did not have a xmas this year cuz i am on bedrest and very very high risk… so please if i can have this let me know and i will be there in a heartbeat, this would make the perfect xmas present for sure!!!!! They would all be OVERLY EXCITED!!!
Dear Pregnant Moron, Please stop fucking. Regards, The World.
Please please consider us. My husband just left for Iraq and really wanted a PS3 we just couldnt afford it. I would love to send it to him. If you would like to go with me to the post office to mail it I would understand. I am not trying to rip anyone off I just want my husband happy and as comfortable as possible in a strange place. Please consider us.
Kami, thanks for the touching email. I would totally love to go with you to mail a PS3 to your husband in Iraq, but there is no PS3. This is just a prank. Maybe you guys shouldn’t have voted for Bush?
Im jessica i would like to get it if you still have it ……..and i kno the feeling i am 19 now but i had a kid @18 and i worked from the time i was a sophmore and had to keep my grades up to keep my job so i got a’s and b’s with a few c’s
Jessica, you had to keep your grades up to be able to offer french fries to customers?
wow, is this taken yet? i collect toys for kids who have nothing starting up a website this year on it.
Wow, that’s an awesome idea! You’re a saint for giving away expensive toys to kids who have nothing. That reminds me – I have a Nigerian Prince who wants to give me all of his money that I need to reply to.
I KNOW THIS WILL BLOW OUT THE DOOR FAST!!! I HAVE 4 GIRLS AND NO GAMING SYSTEMS OF ANY KIND. SO IF IT NEEDS A CHRISTIAN HOME, I WOULD BE HAPPY TO CLAIM IT EVEN IF ONLY TEMPORARY. I WOULD BE WILLING TO GIVE BACK TO YOU AT A LATER DATE IF THINGS CHANGED WITH YOUR SON.I KNOW THESE SYSTEMS ARE EXPENSIVE!!!
MICHELLE SWOPE 407-xxx-xxxx
BLESSINGS TO YOU!!!
Dear Michelle, how did you guess? I’ve been looking for a Christian home for the PS3. I only want it to watch G and PG movies, and it thrives on a daily diet of Fox News. Also, it won’t play any games that have homosexuals as characters. You’re a dream come true!
you know i told my son if he did good in his classes that God would bring him a playstation 3, becuase i just could not buy him one. so i told him to pray and give it to God, and i come and check my e-mail and look What God did. I hope You Still Have it. I Just told my Son And all he can say is God is good. So I Pray This is no prank cuase i can meet you today, just let me know.
thank you and God Bless,
Sis. Bonnie Wells
Dear Bonnie, I’m sorry but God isn’t Santa. Maybe he should ask God for some lemons so that he can make lemonade, build a lemonade stand, sell lemonade, save his money, and eventually buy a PS3 of his own. You know, the whole “helps those who help themselves” thing? Also, I talked to God, and he said to tell your son that he’s not getting shit.
if u still have it avalible i would like to have it i have four kids i think it migth keep them entratain just get back to me please
I think that a trip to the library might be both entertaining and beneficial for any children that have leapt from your ignorant, uneducated womb.
If you are serious, we’d be happy to have it. We’d even be willing to give it back after he redeems himself. (We could borrow it for a while, and hopefully that’d give him the motivation to bring up his grades). Let me know.
Let’s ask your kids how they feel about getting a “loaner” Playstation 3 for a semester. You win Parent of the Year!
I would so appreciate this gift…it would be such a great gift for my family. I live in sanford and can meet you in longwood. my cell phone # is 407-xxx-xxxx
1 John 4:7 Beloved, Let us love one another, for love is from God, and every one who loves is born of God and knows God.
Tracey, 1 Adam 14: She who trieth to manipulate me by using her own Bible quote shall not receiveth anything other than boils on her posterior.
I would love to be able to get this for my 12 old.she has broght her grades up from d and f to a and b We told her if she did this we would get hur something nice.But he was hurt at work an was out for two months he has just got to back to work an we can’t afford it at this time.
So you lied to your daughter, is that what you’re saying? You really figured that she was going to keep her grades so low that you wouldn’t have to fulfill a promise you made to her, but she surprised the shit out of you, didn’t she? Shame on you! P.S. No you can’t have it.
Where are you?
Sitting at my computer.
My son and I looked at these for Christmas but had to pass. Has special needs son who would enjoy. Can picked up at your convenience.
Your son has a special needs son who wants the PS3? Or I can pick up your special needs son at my convenience? Speak English, woman!
TOUGH LOVE! I am sorry you are having to do this to get your son’s attention!
I have four children who would absolutely LOVE and APPRECIATE your offer. Please let me know if you intend to follow through. If not, I honestly understand. Maybe you could put it up instead of giving it away. Also, you could show him how many people replied and would love to have it if he didn’t comply with your wishes. If you are SERIOUS and are giving it away, PLEASE consider me. If not, I understand.
Paula, I took your advice and showed him the list of people who wanted it. He was so upset that he ran crying out into the street and got hit by a car. Now he is paraplegic and needs 24-hour care. What is your address so I can send you the medical bills? I’ll throw in the PS3.
I would love the playstation. My son just found out today he passed his GED test he has really turned himself around and I would really like to give it to him. Please let me know! Shelly
Shelly, a retarded turtle could pass the GED. Get him a paddle with a ball attached instead.
Hey Im nineteen and in college with good grades. I can pick it up today right now. My name is brendan.
Brendan, can you send me a picture? I’m a 40-year old woman with a husband who’s never home, so maybe we can work out some type of “arrangement” for the PS3.
I know you may have got a lot of replies on this,please I know of a child that can not afford one and this would be a wonderful gift, I would with needy family on my own to helpwith donations for anything from toys to furniture and clothes even food,THIS would be a nice gift for a needy child. thank you for taking the time to read this.
Servant of the Most High God
Debra, is this needy family also known as ebay userid debbieservantofgod2000?
GOD willing it is still available. My 15 year old Autistic son has been wanting one since they came out! Unfortunately I cant afford 1. And, he on the other hand did exceptionally well this term. This would be the greatest belated christmas goft ever! Please email me address & time & day to pick up, My schedule is very flexible.
We both thank you so much
Can’t you just buy him like 14 Rubik’s Cubes instead?
I’ll take it but I would feel realy bad for you and your son for all the money you spent. I had simalar problems when my kids didn’t pick up their toys. I told them I would throw them in the trash. When they called my bluff I filled a trash bag and put it in the garage. After a good month of them picking up their toys I gave it all back. Now I just leave a trash bag on the coffee table and they pick up!
Please try the trash bag first then contact me, I will pick it up.
I put my child in the trash bag and left him in the garage like you suggested. He doesn’t appear to be moving, so I think your idea may have worked. Thank you!
Is the ayststion still available? My 3 kids would love it my email is firstname.lastname@example.org thanks for considering me god bless
Unfortunately, I’m not giving away an Aystation. Thanks for the inquiry.
If this is still available, I would absolutely love it! I have a friend with a son who has gone through a lot this past year and could really use some joy in his life. Thank you and god bless!
Kids like balloons. Get him a balloon.
I would very, VERY happily take it for my son. His birthday is the end of this month and I’m not in a place to do much for him as my fiance was laid off shortly before Christmas. Also, I did almost the same thing to my son a few years back when his grades were horrible- I made him cut his very new and absolute favorite game in half (Super Smash Brothers Melee) and gave away his system when his grades didn’t improve. Needless to say, he’s been more concerned about his grades ever since and is doing much better now.
Anyway, I’m sure you’ve had a million responses so I understand completely if it’s gone. In which case, I just want to say good for you for being a good parent and instilling values in your son!
You cut up SUPER SMASH BROTHERS?!! What a horrible father! Thank you for providing me with your contact information. I will be reporting you to Child Protective Services immediately.
hi i replied earlier i would be interested in taking this off your hands i wanted to get one for my son who is aspergers for christmas but couldnt afford to he would love this i can pick up anytime any place thanks so much stacy
Stacy, he was Aspergers for Christmas? How funny – I was Aspergers for Halloween! What a coincidence!
hi, i’m sure your playstation is gone already, but if it isn’t, i would love love love to give it to my fiancee. please let me know if it isn’t taken already. i’d be available any time this weekend to pick it up, except sunday for about 2 hours for church. thank you
Crystal, I’m sorry, but I’m only available during those two hours that you’re going to be at your fictional church.
It would be a blessing to receive the playstation and give it to my granddaughter. She is a nine year old A/B student who lost her dad to brain cancer last Feb. She is very sweet. She actually said about 6 months before he passed away that she would rather he was watching over her from heaven, then be here suffering.. and that from a 7 year old. She would truly be greatful for such a wonderous give. Thank you in advance.. Sharon. My phone number is 407 xxx xxxx.. Thank you
Sharon, I’m sorry, but I knew her dad, and he was an asshole! I think he’s probably in hell. Kids, huh?
This would be a fantastic gift for my boyfriend for his birthday! I will drive anywhere you want me to drive! If you still have it, he would LOVE it!
Kelly, how’s France sound?
my sons bday is coming up and i would love to have that for his bday me and my husband is located in kissimmee fl we have no transportation can u bring it up to us we can meet u somewhere
I’ll tell you what. You guys put on shoes if you actually own any, lock up the trailer, and start walking to Altamonte. When you get here, I’ll give you a simple math and grammar quiz and if you pass, I’ll give you a Playstation 3.
Finally, after going through hundreds of emails, I sent this final one to the entire mailing list:
THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR TEH EMAILS. THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPEL THAT DESERVED IT I COULDNT DECIDE SO I’M DONATING IT TO THE CHURCH.
Evan, Jody and JD
Luke 12:15: “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.””
In conclusion, I got over 400 emails, mostly from greedy, manipulative, petty little people lying through their lack of teeth just for a chance at a $300 game system. I got emails from a few genuinely nice people in the bunch, which pretty much sums up my feelings on the human race. 98% entitled assholes, 2% worth keeping!
Anybody want a free PS3?