Funny Ha Ha

Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from cryin’.

It’s not that anything’s terribly difficult right now, it’s that everything’s difficult right now: merging, moving, wedding planning, work, the documentary, rock ‘n roll. But that’s ok. It’s my life.

So we laugh to keep from crying. And in the last few days, I’ve had a few laughs. Here are two.

Being that Abbi and I are moving (tomorrow morning!) and I wanna’ lighten the load (and make a coupla’ bucks), I put a few items on eBay last week. Most of the stuff was rock ‘n roll related, stuff I no longer use: a distortion pedal, Marshall amplifier, acoustic guitar, keyboard, and speaker stands. Now, I’m not an eBay power user.

I think I’ve purchased one thing on the site in ten years (probably some rare REM ephemera). So I was just trying to make educated guesses on things like value, and shipping/handling costs. So get this.

I sold a pair of Ultimate Speaker Stands (hardly used, originally retailed for $79.99 per) for fifty bucks plus thirty shipping and handling.

I sold the keyboard (hardly used, originally retailed for $99.99) for fifty bucks plus twenty shipping and handling.

Yesterday morning, I took the items to Manhattan Mailroom. Packing and shipping the items cost $160. Ten bucks more than I’d earned.

Ha ha.

Then, at work, I received this email:

Hello, my name is Carly and I am a manager at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in Times Square where I believed you dined tonight. I am cracking up because the creepy note you left your server Tom has gotten you SO much exposure!

Tom showed me the note and I told him I wanted to listen to it in the office while I did the nightly paper work. So, it’s in the CD player right now and all the servers are checking out one at a time here in the very office your music is streaming. Every server that has came into the office has asked “who is this?” So, I’ve had to tell the creepy note story over and over and I also have your website up and have been reading your bio to all of them.

So Mr. Benjamin Wagner, your unconventional methods of marketing have worked! Just to let you know, we have around 160 servers staffed here at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company that are all like family and like to go out. Trust me, the word spreads fast! Thank you so much for giving me a giggle tonight and best of luck to you!

Come back any time!

Carly Shanklin
Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
Times Square, NYC

I responded:

Hmmm, hi Carly. With the exception of the creepy note — which I didn’t write, nor have I ever eaten in your establishment and hence couln’t have left one — I guess the fact that the staff is somehow listening to my music (and enjoying it) is a good thing. Question is, what’s up with the creepy note and who left it? Did they leave something with a CD? If so, I assume someone *found* one of my CDs (as I am moving and recently discarded a bunch of boxes) and left it with a note as some kind of joke. I don’t quite know. But I’d love to hear more. Can you tell me the backstory?

Best, Benjamin

I haven’t heard back from her, but I’m still laughing inside.


Also, the Marsall amp is still up for auction. It’d be really cool if you’d bid ten bucks more than you might have been planning.

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