Last month, I found myself in a store named “Buy Buy Baby.” That’s not a typo. There’s really a store whose very name encourages rampant consumerism for babies before they can even start forming memories.
Needless to say, I was not impressed. At one point, I threatened to buy my baby a wheelbarrow and some duct tape to avoid the stroller hijacking. When that joke didn’t magically make the prices go down, I asked one of the sales clerks what “poor” people do when they have children.
The clerk didn’t miss beat, and said, “You don’t want your baby to feel poor, do you?”
Of course, there is a real answer to the question “what do poor people do.” They go on Craigslist and buy used baby stuff! Because nothing says “broke” like going online and buying crap for your baby that some other baby has already peed and vomited on.
But when you are on Craigslist, buyer beware. And the seller should beware too, because people who buy things on Craigslist might be idiots. That’s something that a local judge in Massachusetts is learning….
She and her partner also have a brood of children. Jacques tried to unload her Pack N Play Playard, which apparently is much more appropriate for modern children than the sock drawer I cleaned up for my baby.
But that’s where the fun begins. Jacques sold the Playard to Tracey Christopher, via Craigslist, for about half the price of a new one. But when Christopher got the item home, she found that the contraption did not include a vibrating pad thingamabob. Apparently, Christopher had specifically asked if the thing came with the buzzing brat pad, and Jacques said it did. Christopher complained, but the judge allegedly responded that Craigslist items sell as is.
Evidently, Jacques agreed to give Christopher her money back, but that wasn’t enough for Christopher. Today, Cheryl Ann Jacques is being arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of larceny by false pretense, brought by Christopher.
LARCENY. Because the second-hand baby play bed extravaganza didn’t have a vibrating attachment like the beds at Niagara Falls.
Jacques’s lawyer says that the entire issue is ridiculous:
“It’s amazing. It’s too ridiculous for words that this is in the criminal justice system,” Jacques’ attorney Leonard H. Kesten said yesterday. “You would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she knew there were parts missing and then lied about it. It’s a ridiculous concept.”
I’ll tell you what else is a ridiculous concept: that we live in a world where parents feel like their child will be disadvantaged if they don’t have the latest baby care product for their bawling urchins. It’s a freaking baby! Put it on a pillow and look at it every few minutes to make sure it’s not so stupid to have suffocated itself!
Hopefully the judge will give Christopher a Downloadable Bench Slapper for the cost of Jacques’s attorney fees.
P.S. A friend who heard I was writing about this said, “Yeah, but Elie you are going to really want the vibrating playard when you are trying to write a column while keeping an eye on your kid.”
P.P.S. Just f***king shoot me.
Craigslist crib flap lands judge in court [Boston Herald]