Little did I know what I was in for.
Although it was my ad and my snowblower, the phenomenon itself I think belongs to the Internet. The only thing I can take ownership of are the folks who reached out to me to tell me that I gave them a laugh (to whom I have invariably responded "You owe me $1 for the laugh. Find me on PayPal.").
I'm kind of a data guy in my regular life (i.e. the part of my life that currently allows me the freedom to not live in my parents' basement), so here are some numbers that I just worked out: As of when I started writing this post, my ad has been viewed 342,465 times on Kijiji. There are 48,574 people linking to it on Facebook. It has been up for a total of 103 hours, 8 minutes. It has therefore been:
- viewed 55 times a minute
- linked almost 8 times a minute
I more than tripled the number of followers I have on Twitter, which was an accomplishment since pretty well everyone who was following me to start with were friends and family, and that was as much out of curiosity as pity. I am @WehMingCho, which is another example of my creative genius at work.
I have received almost 1,400 emails which have included
- job offers
- requests for dates
- requests to teach people to write ads
- a request from a teacher for permission to use my ad as an example of persuasive writing (my mother is so proud!)
- marriage proposals
- people who thought they knew me, but were wrong
- people who didn't think they knew me, but were also wrong
- lots of speculation on my career
- some speculation as to whether I was running some kind of scam
- more compliments and encouragement than I've received since the day I introduced my future wife to my family
- and buried deep, deep down, even a few actual offers to buy my snowblower
The offers I got ranged from the laughable ($1.00, but I have to pay to ship it to BC), to the ludicrous (U SHOLD GETS ALL THE MONEI$$$ LOLOMGCATS), and everything in between. There were a few that I felt like I was a teenager on the phone with my first girlfriend ("Tell me what it's worth to you." "No, you tell me!"). And there were some real, honest to goodness people that wanted to buy my snowblower.
To those proud few, I say thank you. But only one of you could own the snowblower.
In the end, I accepted the offer from Alec Bruce.
For those of you unfamiliar with him, Alec is a multi-award winning editor, columnist and journalist, based in Moncton. I was familiar with his work in The Times & Transcript as well as Atlantic Business Magazine (which I read whenever we stay at one of the nicer hotels in Halifax and PEI). He also has his own online presence at The Bruce Report, which makes my little blog look like something my 5 year old niece made with her little sister in terms of consistency and quality.
Alec's offer had a lot going for it. First, he used full sentences, with grammar and spelling and everything. Not that other offers didn't, of course. But his also included the phrase:
"As a professional writer, I think we writer guys ought to stick together on matters of snow jobs!"
An actual, honest to goodness writer, who's work I've actually read and am familiar with, included me in the same group he was in. A man who makes a living of putting words to paper called me A WRITER.
I may have done a little victory dance around the room.
We exchanged a few emails, and he was understanding when I told him that I was uneasy about making a final decision while I was sleep deprived (in the last 72 hours, I believe I have had a total of 10 hours of sleep - being Internet Famous is exhausting).
Alec dropped by this afternoon on his way back from Halifax, and it turns out he's actually a nice guy too. And that cinched it for me. This guy was going to give my snowblower a good home.
He was also going to pay me, which, I'll be honest, was really the deciding factor. Everything else is cake.
In conclusion, the deal is done, the pact is sealed and the sacrificial virgins have been saved on account of a scheduling snafu that prevented them from being available this afternoon. The only thing left to do involves a truck and some heavy lifting, which will probably happen on Tuesday.
To each and every one of you, I extend a humble thank you for your kind words.
And it's not too late to send me $1 via PayPal.