It went for $142.51
August 22, 2007 6:20 PM   Subscribe

Saw that on Digg this morning. Got a chuckle whilst drinking my morning coffee.
posted by SirStan at 6:22 PM on August 22, 2007

... let me show you them?
posted by grabbingsand at 6:38 PM on August 22, 2007 [3 favorites]

Hee. Best eBay listing I've seen in quite...well, ever.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:39 PM on August 22, 2007

The links came to me in an email from my sister, along with a note that said it sounded like something our Mom would have written -- but maybe 50 years ago, pre-Internet. There were five of us, and I was the youngest.

Fortunately for Mom, there was enough of an age gap between me and the earlier four that she didn't have to cope with all of us traipsing through the Air Force commissary at one time. She had her stories, though.

The commissary was, in part, where I learned to read. Picture the small child rolling along in the shopping cart, looking at the white-and-black ur-generic military labeled cans and sounding out:

"Yes, dear. Those are peas. We're looking for corn."

But I got the hang of it, and I grew up to be a pretty good shopper (and reader) too.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:52 PM on August 22, 2007 [2 favorites]

I was all prepared to get my snark on, but that was hilarious.
posted by katillathehun at 7:03 PM on August 22, 2007

That was adorable. Great read for a crappy day *adds her blog to watchlist*
posted by Phire at 7:04 PM on August 22, 2007

That was cute.

And yet terrifying.
posted by gomichild at 7:25 PM on August 22, 2007

no snark here, but DAMN am I outside that demographic. I don't get it. Glad you do. Enjoy!
posted by mwhybark at 7:25 PM on August 22, 2007

I was all prepared to be slightly miffed that it was an Ebay link that will vanish before long...but that was seriously fantastic.
posted by Stunt at 7:37 PM on August 22, 2007

Nope, sorry, I don't get it. At roughly 8 cents a word, in today's market, I'd expect something more compelling. I'd pay five or six cents a word if she promised to forget to mail the cards.
posted by Grod at 7:56 PM on August 22, 2007

That's great! The mom sounds like a new Erma Bombeck in the making.

But, the winning bidder is throwing their money away. They must be paying more for the enterteining backstory than they are for the cards. A pack like that goes for about $14.99 at Walmart.
posted by amyms at 8:30 PM on August 22, 2007

I was tempted to bid on the cards to give my son a treat and a lecture.
posted by GuyZero at 8:43 PM on August 22, 2007

This is very cute. It's also an EBay auction, meaning it's going to go away very soon. Because of that, for readers in the far, future of 30 days from now, I'm reproducing the entire auction text here.

Winning bid: US $142.51
Ended: Aug-22-07 12:03:50 PDT
Shipping costs: FREE
US Postal Service First Class Mail®
Service to United States
Ships to: United States
Item location: Illinois, United States
History: 53 bids
Winning bidder: redsox*07(173)

Auction body:

I'm selling a bunch of Pokemon cards. Why? Because my kids sneaked them into my shopping cart while at the grocery store and I ended up buying them because I didn't notice they were there until we got home. How could I have possibly not noticed they were in my cart, you ask? Let me explain.

You haven’t lived until you’ve gone grocery shopping with six kids in tow. I would rather swim, covered in bait, through the English Channel, be a contestant on Fear Factor when they’re having pig brains for lunch, or do fourth grade math than to take my six kids to the grocery store. Because I absolutely detest grocery shopping, I tend to put it off as long as possible. There comes a time, however, when you’re peering into your fridge and thinking, ‘Hmmm, what can I make with ketchup, Italian dressing, and half an onion,’ that you decide you cannot avoid going to the grocery store any longer. Before beginning this most treacherous mission, I gather all the kids together and give them “The Lecture“.

“The Lecture“ goes like this…

MOM: “We have to go to the grocery store.”

KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“

MOM: “Hey, I don’t want to go either, but it’s either that or we’re eating cream of onion-ketchup soup and drinking Italian dressing for dinner tonight.”

KIDS: “Whine whine whine whine whine.“

MOM: “Now here are the rules: do not ask me for anything, do not poke the packages of meat in the butcher section, do not test the laws of physics and try to take out the bottom can in the pyramid shaped display, do not play baseball with oranges in the produce section, and most importantly, do not try to leave your brother at the store. Again.”

OK, the kids have been briefed. Time to go.

Once at the store, we grab not one, but two shopping carts. I wear the baby in a sling and the two little children sit in the carts while I push one cart and my oldest son pushes the other one. My oldest daughter is not allowed to push a cart. Ever. Why? Because the last time I let her push the cart, she smashed into my ankles so many times, my feet had to be amputated by the end of our shopping trip. This is not a good thing. You try running after a toddler with no feet sometime.

At this point, a woman looks at our two carts and asks me, “Are they all yours?” I answer good naturedly, “Yep!

“Oh my, you have your hands full.”

“Yes, I do, but it‘s fun!” I say smiling. I’ve heard all this before. In fact, I hear it every time I go anywhere with my brood.

We begin in the produce section where all these wonderfully, artistically arranged pyramids of fruit stand. There is something so irresistibly appealing about the apple on the bottom of the pile, that a child cannot help but try to touch it. Much like a bug to a zapper, the child is drawn to this piece of fruit. I turn around to the sounds of apples cascading down the display and onto the floor. Like Indiana Jones, there stands my son holding the all-consuming treasure that he just HAD to get and gazing at me with this dumbfounded look as if to say, “Did you see that??? Wow! I never thought that would happen!”

I give the offending child an exasperated sigh and say, “Didn’t I tell you, before we left, that I didn’t want you taking stuff from the bottom of the pile???”

“No. You said that you didn’t want us to take a can from the bottom of the pile. You didn’t say anything about apples.”

With superhuman effort, I resist the urge to send my child to the moon and instead focus on the positive - my child actually listened to me and remembered what I said!!! I make a mental note to be a little more specific the next time I give the kids The Grocery Store Lecture.

A little old man looks at all of us and says, “Are all of those your kids?”

Thinking about the apple incident, I reply, “Nope. They just started following me. I’ve never seen them before in my life.”

OK, now onto the bakery section where everything smells so good, I’m tempted to fill my cart with cookies and call it a day. Being on a perpetual diet, I try to hurry past the assortment of pies, cakes, breads, and pastries that have my children drooling. At this point the chorus of “Can we gets” begins.

“Can we get donuts?”


“Can we get cupcakes?”


“Can we get muffins?”


“Can we get pie?”


You’d think they’d catch on by this point, but no, they’re just getting started.

In the bakery, they’re giving away free samples of coffee cake and of course, my kids all take one. The toddler decides he doesn’t like it and proceeds to spit it out in my hand. (That’s what moms do. We put our hands in front of our children’s mouths so they can spit stuff into them. We’d rather carry around a handful of chewed up coffee cake, than to have the child spit it out onto the floor. I’m not sure why this is, but ask any mom and she’ll tell you the same.) Of course, there’s no garbage can around, so I continue shopping one-handed while searching for someplace to dispose of the regurgitated mess in my hand.

In the meat department, a mother with one small baby asks me, “Wow! Are all six yours?”

I answer her, “Yes, but I’m thinking of selling a couple of them.”

(Still searching for a garbage can at this point.)

Ok, after the meat department, my kids’ attention spans are spent. They’re done shopping at this point, but we aren’t even halfway through the store. This is about the time they like to start having shopping cart races. And who may I thank for teaching them this fun pastime? My seventh “child”, also known as my husband. While I’m picking out loaves of bread, the kids are running down the aisle behind the carts in an effort to get us kicked out of the store. I put to stop to that just as my son is about to crash head on into a giant cardboard cut-out of a Keebler elf stacked with packages of cookies.

Ah! Yes! I find a small trash can by the coffee machine in the cereal aisle and finally dump out the squishy contents of my hand. After standing in the cereal aisle for an hour and a half while the kids perused the various cereals, comparing the marshmallow and cheap, plastic toy content of each box, I broke down and let them each pick out a box. At any given time, we have twenty open boxes of cereal in my house.

As this is going on, my toddler is playing Houdini and maneuvering his little body out of the seat belt in an attempt to stand up in the cart. I’m amazed the kid made it to his second birthday without suffering a brain damaging head injury. In between trying to flip himself out of the cart, he sucks on the metal bars of the shopping cart. Mmmm, can you say “influenza”?

The shopping trip continues much like this. I break up fights between the kids now and then and stoop down to pick up items that the toddler has flung out of the cart. I desperately try to get everything on my list without adding too many other goodies to the carts.

Somehow I manage to complete my shopping in under four hours and head for the check-outs where my kids start in on a chorus of, “Can we have candy?” What evil minded person decided it would be a good idea to put a display of candy in the check-out lanes, right at a child’s eye level? Obviously someone who has never been shopping with children.

As I unload the carts, I notice many extra items that my kids have sneaked in the carts unbeknownst to me. I remove a box of Twinkies, a package of cupcakes, a bag of candy, and a can of cat food (we don’t even have a cat!). I somehow missed the box of Pokemon cards however and ended up purchasing them unbeknownst to me. As I pay for my purchases, the clerk looks at me, indicates my kids, and asks, “Are they all yours?”

Frustrated, exhausted from my trip, sick to my stomach from writing out a check for $289.53, dreading unloading all the groceries and putting them away and tired of hearing that question, I look at the clerk and answer her in my most sarcastic voice, “No. They’re not mine. I just go around the neighborhood gathering up kids to take to the grocery store because it’s so much more fun that way.”

So, up for auction is an opened (they ripped open the box on the way home from the store) package of Pokemon cards. There are 44 cards total. They're in perfect condition, as I took them away from the kiddos as soon as we got home from the store. Many of them say "Energy". I tried carrying them around with me, but they didn't work. I definitely didn't have any more energy than usual. One of them is shiny. There are a few creature-like things on many of them. One is called Pupitar. Hee hee hee Pupitar! (Oh no! My kids' sense of humor is rubbing off on me!) Anyway, I don't there's anything special about any of these cards, but I'm very much not an authority on Pokemon cards. I just know that I'm not letting my kids keep these as a reward for their sneakiness.

Shipping is FREE on this item. Insurance is optional, but once I drop the package at the post office, it is no longer my responsibility. For example, if my son decides to pour a bottle of glue into the envelope, or my daughter spills a glass of juice on the package, that’s my responsibility and I will fully refund your money. If, however, I take the envelope to the post office and a disgruntled mail carrier sets fire to it, a pack of wild dogs rip into it, or a mail sorting machine shreds it, it’s out of my hands, so you may want to add insurance. I will leave feedback for you as soon as I’ve received your payment. I will be happy to combine shipping on multiple items won within three days. This comes from a smoke-free, pet-free, child-filled home. Please ask me any questions before placing your bid. Happy bidding! :)
posted by Malor at 8:56 PM on August 22, 2007

Best eBay ever. Reminds me of another one I saw that was a Dad putting up some video game-related item - I think it was a new console, actually - because his kid pissed him off for what I seem to recall as a pretty valid reason. That was a good one, but this one was better, and funnier.

I hope that whoever got the winning bid for these cards tells her to give them back to the kids instead of shipping them. It was a great idea of her to discipline the little buggers by selling their ill-gained loot on eBay, but in the end they did score her nearly $150 and really, you've got to admit - pretty crafty on the kids' part to sneak 'em in there without her noticing in the first place. Their Ninja-fu is strong.

Everybody won here (except the tool who paid all that money on the winning bid, but meh, nobody forced him/her to keep pushing the shiny button). Let the kids have 'em. Lesson learned, I think, and now they have a great story to pass on in their family pretty much forever. The kids at least deserve to get the cards back for that.

That's what I'd do, anyway.
posted by perilous at 9:15 PM on August 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

One word for her: STOP. You know what I'm talking about, so I won't make a bigger pile than necessary. But CHRIST that needed sayin'.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:09 AM on August 23, 2007

She should probably sell the cards for $150, buy the kids another pack with a stern warning never to do it again, and spend the rest on a few things that the kids bug her about next time she's at the grocery store so they don't get inferiority complexes.
posted by tehloki at 12:25 AM on August 23, 2007

Reminds me of that old Groucho Marx gag:
[A] contestant on Groucho Marx's 1950s TV quiz show tells him that she has 10 children, and Marx asks why she has so many. The woman answers, "Because I love children ... and I love my husband. Marx replies: "I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while."
Disclaimer: this didn't happen.
posted by grouse at 5:52 AM on August 23, 2007

Interesting link Grouse. I'm one of those people who would swear that I've seen a clip of the remark. Now I'm wondering if that's possible.
posted by gfrobe at 6:26 AM on August 23, 2007

perilous: Thank you! I had wanted to link to this in the Google cache, but I couldn't figure out how to find it.
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:46 AM on August 23, 2007

Whoops. I meant malor. I'm not awake yet...
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:46 AM on August 23, 2007

How much babysitting does $142.51 buy?
posted by william_boot at 11:03 AM on August 23, 2007

From her blog:

"And the number one question from YOU: Did the person who won pay you for the cards?

ME: Well, funny thing about that. The person who won the cards was actually a friend of mine! She changed her Ebay ID so I wouldn't recognize her. She has five little ones under the age of eight and her husband is in the military so she often has to go it alone. Now she understands how a grocery trip can drive you to drink. She wanted them for posterity and for the laugh. And yes, she popped a check in the mail so Paypal wouldn't take a cut."
posted by rtha at 12:51 PM on August 23, 2007

Oh god. I only have two kids but I can relate to absolutely everything she wrote.

You don't really change the first day they arrive, in the delivery room. The first time you speak babytalk in front of other adults, you change a little. Then when you walk around with a bit of dried vomit on your shirt and merely brush at it half-heartedly with a wet napkin, you've changed a little. When you stick your thumb in your mouth and rub it against the corner of your child's mouth trying quixotically to remove that chocolate milk stain; when when you step on a Lego (the bare foot's natural predator) and stifle a string of curse words because "little ears" are about; when you utter the words, "Because I said so," despite how many times you inwardly swore you never would; when you can name that children's show theme song in just three notes...these are the things that change you. Parenthood, despite the apparent suddenness of its arrival, is a gradual process. It's not a flag you run up the mast, it's the accrued barnacles on your hull. If that sounds like a harsh analogy, trust me, you'll need the protection. Those Legos hurt like a bitch.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 1:33 PM on August 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

i was all enjoying this until i got to the part where she mentions that she has a husband (who could either shop or watch the kids for a few hours while she shops) and then she refers to him as her seventh child.

this sort of partnership i do not get.
posted by RedEmma at 3:19 PM on August 23, 2007

RedEmma: What's not to get? She married one of those juvenille douchebags we're hearing so much about lately.
posted by tehloki at 4:09 PM on August 23, 2007

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