Life of Hardin in Paraguay

Laugh as you travel through life with Josh Hardin.

Name:
Location: Spring Hill, TN, United States

Josh Hardin began writing in high school and published his first novel when he was twenty-two. He won an EPPIE award for his mystery novel "The Pride of Peacock." His non-fiction work includes "The Prayer of Faith", a book aimed at making personal prayers both powerful and effective. He has traveled widely and taught a summer philosophy course at the International University in Vienna. Hardin grew up in Tennessee and moved to Paraguay in 2006. He moved back to Tennessee in 2008.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Life of Hardin Vol. V, No. 4

Vultures Everywhere

“Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.” They have gathered around me. I have felt the dark wind from their feathers, smelt the putrid stench of rotting flesh from their hooked beaks, for over a week as they circle above me.

Okay, so not real vultures. But a reasonable facsimile. I am leaving this country, Paraguay, and moving back to the U.S. Like any moving day, my wife and I are having a sale. Or were having a sale. It is over. It is all gone. Still the vultures gather.

We ran an ad in the paper for six days. For sale: washer and dryer, stereo, treadmill, television, DVD player. Priced to sell. And how. We got calls before the paper hit the streets. The first day it ran, a man called for the television. He came by, paid cash for it, then bought the DVD player and stereo at the urging of what we thought was his daughter (turns out she was his concubine). The next day we sold the treadmill and the washer/dryer. That’s it. Nothing left. Yet the calls still came in a flood.

“I’m calling about the advertisement in the paper.”

“The one with the t.v. and all?”

“That’s the one.”

“Yeah, it’s all sold.”

“All of it.”

“Every bit of it.”

And then, every single call continued in some way similar to this.

Caller: “That’s a shame. I wanted the belt (meaning treadmill).”

“Yep, it’s gone.”

“Was it nice? Was it clean?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, was it new? Was it a deal?”

“What do you care? It’s sold!”

Then some of them continued this way.

“Well, do you have anything else?”

“What?”

“Do you have anything else to sell? Don’t you have another stereo? Or television? Housewares? How about home decorations? (A man asked that one.)”

The men who came to buy the treadmill saw the television ready for delivery. “That’s already sold?”

“Yep. All gone. Hundred and fifty dollars.”

“What a deal! It’s gorgeous. What a shame. You don’t want to sell it to me? What about that other stereo there? Want to sell it?”

“Nope.”

“What a shame? You sure?”

And so on. We cancelled the ad after the second day, then fled the house. We returned after six hours. Our caller ID showed 36 calls. We got a buzz on the apartment phone. Someone was downstairs. She wanted the washer. “How did you get this address?”

“Señor Alfonso gave it to me.” (The guy who bought the t.v.)

“We told him the washer was sold.”

“Can’t I just come up and look at it? Don’t you have something else to sell?”

“NO!”

I started to get ugly about it. People called. I told them it was all gone. They asked, “Was it pretty?”

I said: “Oh, man, it was beautiful. Used maybe twice. Had all the paperwork. Not a speck of dust on it. I would have lowered the price for you. And it was already a deal! What a shame!”

People called. They asked: “Don’t you have anything else for sale?”

I said: “Well, I’ve got a couple of commodes. Got some used light bulbs I won’t be taking with me. Half of an overripe banana I didn’t eat. I guess I could sell you the paint on the walls.”

I actually didn’t say that. Somebody would have taken me up on it. But I did think about running another add: ALL SOLD--the washer and dryer, stereo, treadmill, television, DVD player. All great deals. Too bad. So sad. Don’t call this number anymore.

But I didn’t. And the calls have stopped. So if you want any of that stuff IT’S ALL GONE SO LEAVE ME ALONE!

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