A Craptacular History

The Craptacular began in late fall of 2004, when (for the first time in my life) I was laid off from my regular job.

Sitting around like a bum collecting unemployment was not my idea of a good time, but both regular jobs and my usual freelance work were amazingly scarce owing (I assume)to the upcoming holiday season.

My loving family rallied around me, as good families will, and ensured I would at least have a happy Christmas by lavishing me with some of the most pointless gifts imaginable. When you are employed and awash with money pointless gifts are fun, but when you are mildly worried about your future such harmless things suddenly MOCK you. I just had too much time to think. And I decided to throw most of my holiday booty up on eBay.

One thing I noticed while frequenting eBay lo these many years: no matter how awful or weird the object, the seller always describes it in glowing terms. (I should know, because, like many people, I have been known to search for--and buy--weird stuff.) This makes little sense to me. Some items are OBVIOUSLY ugly pieces of crap, yet they are not described that way. Even if they are holding their nose while writing the description and counting the seconds before it leaves their house, the seller at least makes a feeble attempt to portray it in the most flattering light possible.

Yes, I know it's Sales 101 to accentuate the positive and ignore or downplay the negatives, but why to such extremes? If it was really as great as the description claims, why aren't you keeping it? Because as much as they pretend to like it and praise it for the sake of the sale, they honestly believe it's a piece of crap and they can't wait to get rid of it. And that comes through, big time, no matter how hard they try.

So I thought, why should I lie? Why should I pretend something is wonderful and worth having when I honestly don't think it is? Why shouldn't I put all the cards on the table and say what I really think of this item? Especially since, if you get me going on a complaining jag, I can launch into some truly epic snarkiness, complete with subplots and metaphors and annoying relatives.

Thus the Holiday Craptacular was born. It proved such a rousing success I held another in early 2006, unofficially called The Spring Cleaning Craptacular. And I started receiving SO many requests to list other people's crap I decided to continue with the Craptacular, only on a MUCH smaller scale and with REALLY STRINGENT GUIDELINES to keep most people away. (It hasn't really worked, but that was my plan!)

The Craptacular is meant to be fun and entertaining. And so long as I can keep it small and manageable and fun to read, I'll try to keep it going. Thanks for your support!