Thursday, August 4, 2016

Of mower, stalker, and brother

Whenever we are contemplating the purchase of something major, Pete and I have come to rely on my dependable brother Dan to provide sage advice and helpful tips.  Even though Dan is soooo much younger than us, we recognize that he has wisdom beyond his years, and has honed his research skills and purchasing abilities, developing them into true art forms over the years.  He has been our trusted counselor and steered us right many a time.

So when we decided we were in the market to buy a riding lawnmower last week, we, of course, turned to Dan.  While he is an expert on almost all things, used lawnmowers truly are one of his specialties.  He likes to remind us of the story of when he bought a mower on Craigslist one day, tried it once, decided he didn't like it, and then sold it on Craigslist the next day -- for a profit of over $900.

While we were at the beach this past weekend I whined to him that I wanted him to figure out which mower we should buy because he was sooo much better at it than we were.

Dan does not disappoint.  Yesterday he sent Pete links to 3 Craigslist ads, all with reasonably priced deals.  Pete pursued the leads, and when we went to bed last night he told me he was particularly excited about one of the deals that seemed really good:

Pete sent the seller this email:

Can I buy the D130 mower you listed on craigslist?

We just moved to WC/Weddington area and don't have a mower at this point.


Then this morning Pete received this reply from Joey:

Do you have cash and how much?  I'm gonna move this quick - got 17 people interested and only one mower to sell.  How long is your grass at this point.

Pete responded:

Can I come by this morning?

Then, however, our optimism was quickly dashed when Joey sent back this reply:

Is this your family?

There are a few Pete Franks in the area so I wasn't sure.  I'm trying to get an idea of the families that I'm dealing with because I want this going to a damn good family. 
I did time in the maryland state pen with an Amy Frank one time but lucky for you it was a different one lol.   

Pete showed me this message with great alarm in his eyes.  "Are we getting stalked??" he asked.  I panicked, too, as we quickly went through all of the possibilities to see if he could have our address, or if I had put too much detail on our blog.

I saw a car parked up in the street near the front of our house, and found myself worrying.

I urged Pete to not reply at all, because clearly this guy was messed up.

Then, a half hour later, we got this follow-up message from him:

Do you still want the mower?  How many acres do you have?  It looks like a nice house.
At this point Pete was getting very concerned and did not want to make the guy angry, so in the hopes of pacifying him and hoping he would forget about us, he sent this reply:

  Thanks for following up.

  I've decided to hold off for now, but I know someone else will      really appreciate such a nice mower.  I'm re-evaluating whether to   buy a rider or not.

  Thanks again,

Joey then sent this response:


Thanks for letting me know.  i have someone coming to buy it in about an hour for 900 big ones!  Got a lot more offers than I thought I would..

I have been reading your wife's blog for most of the morning and she is a damn good writer.  Much better than the amy frank that I did time with.  She could hardly spell her own name lol.

I want to do good so I have been going to southbrook church since I got out of the slammer (it wasn't anything bad just white collar stuff) but i can't stand the music.  It's loud and out of tune but don't tell anyone i said that lol.  What church do you go to???  Can I try it this sunday?  

- Joey

Pete about felt like he had fallen into a Twilight Zone at this point...

... until he got a call from good ol' brother-in-law Graham.

Sweet, kind, tender-hearted Graham called to tip Pete off.  Graham, works in the same office as Dan, and apparently they must have all been howling out there because "Joey" was actually DAN!

So, now very relieved, Pete sent this  reply to "Joey:"

Not sure if you would enjoy the style of music at our church, but we attend Church of the Redeemer in Monroe (meets at Sun Valley High School).

You're welcome to attend as we should be there this coming Sunday (the service starts at 10:30).  You might be interested in some of our small groups as well.

Send me your number and I'll pass it along to our pastor who could call you with more details.

And the final response from Joey was:

Great, thanks.  I'll see you there because I know EXACTLY what your family looks like.  Also I know where you live.

By the way this is Dan just messing with you.

Of course we're all laughing about this tonight, and Pete and I are glad that we're not actually being stalked, but seriously, who does this kind of thing????  Who would take the time to create a completely fake Craigslist ad like that??  Dan, a.k.a Joe Delvekio, of course.  

Wise, wonderful, helpful, sage, artful Dan.

I'm happy to report, though, that one of the other original links he sent Pete was legit, and as of tonight, we are now happy owners of a lawnmower. :)


  1. Great blog! "The Grumpy Gardener", (Steve Bender), of Southern Living magazine, would appreciate this story. Facebook page: You are a great writer! Denise