Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Forget Everything I Said Before About Internet Fame

EDIT:  It turns out that the whole "set a time for the story to publish" setting only works when you actually click on the button that is clearly marked "PUBLISH".  This was supposed to go live last night.

My lovely wife and I dashed into the grocery store after work today to grab a few things to feed our bellies. While walking through frozen foods, an elderly woman ("I'm eighty-two-and-a-half!") looked over and said: "You look just like the snowblower man!"

I acknowledged that's who I was and, at the risk of sounding cliche, she was tickled pink that she had found me.  She then gave a brief synopsis of the story for her companion (perhaps her son?  He was standing roughly on the other side of the building in an awkward silence by this point), including taking my wife by the arm and saying "and this must be your beautiful wife that told you to sell it!"

When an Eighty-Two-and-a-Half year old woman calls you out in the middle of the grocery store, you've transcended to another level of fame.  I believe I've entered "You'll never guess who I ran into today!" territory...

Sadly, I never even thought to get a picture with her, or to tell her she'd be making a guest appearance in my blog today.  I think she'd have gotten a real kick out of that.  I gotta remember that I'm blogging now and need to take pictures of stuff.  Maybe I need a new smartphone (hint hint dear - I know you're reading this).

Oh, and I've almost cleared 450,000 views!

449,551 people amused briefly!

The story still has some legs, as I was interviewed this morning for Here, which was pretty neat.  We took a different direction with the story than has been told thus far, so I'm curious to see how it comes out.  The 15 minute interview was closer to 30, and was interrupted only twice by a super enthusiastic dog.  I wasn't there, but judging from the sound of it, Victoria has a very happy puppy.

The clip from CTV last night was carried over on CTVNewsnet, as reported to me by several co-workers and some awfully talented and attractive people that have been reading my words here.  I thank you all.  I wish I could control my PVR from work, but you need a smartphone to do that.  (cough cough that might be another hint honey cough cough).

Speaking of news reports, I feel that I need to address something that has come up a few times as of late:

The young lady sitting with me in the CBC interview is Jen Choi.  She is not my wife, although it looks like we're having fun.

Sorry the resolution is so poor. I'm actually quite blurry in real life.
I can see how some people might be confused.  After all, she appears to be having a great time with me.  But, honestly, I'm just a really great guy who's awesome to be around, so you can hardly blame Jen for wanting to sit beside me, right? By the way, the picture above was kind of stolen from the CBC website.  Only kind of though, cause I paid my taxes and I clicked a link too, so I think we're even.

Tomorrow afternoon around 12:45 EST is my interview on CJAD Montreal - or at least that was the plan as last relayed to me a couple of days ago.  I hope that it will be friendly, despite being the home of the couch that I am trying to usurp from the top spot.  Anyone reading this from Montreal?  If you hear the interview, let me know how it sounds.  I think I'm starting to get the feel for this kind of thing...

I have another interview possibly lined up tomorrow night a print journalist, just waiting to hear back if timing works.  I think I could secure a few more interviews if only I didn't have to work all day.  As I tweeted earlier today:
If I got $1 for every time someone said 'snowblower' to me, I'd pay people 10 cents to say it to me.
I totally would you know.

Big thanks to the two stunning readers that stepped up this week. My PayPal account now stands at $1.97, which will just about cover the cost of the gas that I used to move the snowblower around this last week.

In a transition to other stories that are non-blower of snow related, I just had a great chat with my sister-in-law over IM.  We were talking about all this stuff that was going on (okay, that was the last time I'll mention it in this post, honest!), and I mentioned that I really loved one of her tweets from earlier today:


Melissa Cho
According to a Cho-family survey conducted in this very living room, Swiss Cheese crackers are the best crackers.

Then the following exchange occurred:
cholikego says
people are asking me if th 5 year old is my 5 year old.  That's my only claim to fame
jesus i just had to pull popcorn kernals out of holly's nostrils
And that's just one more reason why we want kids.  Because I haven't had the opportunity to pick popcorn kernals out of a 3 year old's nostrils.  

Hold on, let me correct that: "Because I haven't had to pick popcorn kernals out of a 3 year old's nostrils."  The difference is subtle, but it's there.

Oh, I also registered blognostifier.com last night, but I'm scared that if I change the link to my blog that it'll mess up all this great traffic I'm getting right now.  Any blognostifans out there know anything about this?  I've read the help files from google, and it looks like it'll be okay, but I'd prefer to have someone walk me through it since I don't get much of this technobabble.

See, I'm thirty-five-and-three-quarters' old you know, so I don't remember things like I used to.




Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Fond Farewell

My day started this morning at about 3:30 AM. I did the usual things that I do when I'm awake at such an awful hour: meandering around the house, looking out all the windows in case it was actually the subsonic sounds of undead zombie horrors screaming for my brains, disturbing the cats.

Having found that the house still had the same layout as it did when I went to bed and a complete lack of zombie horde, I sat down at the kitchen table with the laptop and one of aforementioned disturbed cats and checked the email.

And checked.

And checked.

It turns out that there are still a rather large number of people that haven't seen it yet.

I flipped over to Twitter, and was pleasantly surprised to see that there were even more people following me.  Which then lead to a momentary lapse into panic when I considered that it took me 800 words to sell a snowblower, what the heck am I supposed to do in 140 characters?

Snowblower 4sale, runs good, $900, Pls share with all UR friends so I can become Internet Famous.

I start searching for sites that have posted the ad, just to get a feel for what they're saying.  Makes me happy.  I send out some emails to folks that were kind, and then flip back over to the blog to see how the hits are going. They are going very well, in that way that I had more traffic yesterday than I've had combined since I started doing really terrible sports predictions.  (Yes, that's what I said - you can go back and look at the early posts, but I'll be honest and say I have no idea how I kept that up for so long.)

As an aside, I got some really awesome responses to a few of the emails I sent out, and I realize I'm sitting on a treasure trove.  I have hundreds of emails, some of them are insanely awesome and others are just awesomely insane.   When the dust starts to settle a little more, and I've had time to breath, I may start posting some of them (sans email addresses - STAY BACK FOUL INTERNET SCAM HOUNDS!).

We have to run this morning.  Not only is today the day I officially become a proud owner of a Snowblower sized hole in the shed, but we are also getting snow tires put on the car so we have to get out to the dealership and still be able to get to work on time.  It doesn't quite work that way.

It never quite works out that way.

Big thanks go out to Rodney, who set us up with his demo so I'd be able to get back and forth from work to the BIG SNOWBLOWER GIVEAWAY event at the house.  Rodney says he'd do it for any of his customers, and it's not because we've known each other for years.  I tend to believe it's the power of my Internet Fame, and Rodney agrees that it's pretty interesting after I explain what's going on.  I am an unstoppable juggernaut of Internet Fame. 

Shoot, unstoppable juggernaut would have fit in perfectly into the ad.  

At work, I have a minute to check out my front page story (cough cough shameless plug cough cough), and to read Alec's column which is a delight.  Just before lunch, I drive back to the house and have just enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair and get the snowblower out of the shed when TRAGEDY STRIKES.  

It's easy to understand when you think about it.  The Snowblower and the Shed had been together for so long.  They'd probably become best buds, wiling the days and nights away with stories about staying in one place or blowing snow around.  Some would say that the door simply blew shut, but I think maybe there just might have been a little magic in the air.  In any case, just as I was pushing the Snowblower out for the last time the door slammed on my hand, catching it at just the angle needed to give me the most horrendous scratch.  

It might not look like much, but believe me, it was bleeding and everything.  

One hand was injured in the making of this motionless picture.
No sooner was I bandaged than this showed up in front of the house.

I'm referring to the truck and the bin, not the tree.
Meet Chris and Jeremy of Junk Away.  As Alec put it later, writers are not known for heavy lifting.  They were super nice, and I'd probably use them myself in the future if it wasn't for the fact I seem to have a knack now for getting other people to take my stuff away.  

They have no idea why this is happening.
Alec and his lovely wife arrived, followed by Dave Bell from CTV.  We set up and Dave went into high gear, grilling us on the minutiae of the deal, who was involved, where the paper trail leads, really blowing the doors wide open on my conspiracy to traffic 4 year old labour to clear snow in Moncton. But he agreed to this picture with me, so all was forgiven.

If this writing thing doesn't pan out, my other talent is taking pictures of myself with people.
He talked to Alec...

Pay no attention to the dalmatian. 
Then he talked to me.

I didn't take a picture of him talking to me, so I'm rerunning this one.  Remember it?  Good times.
Then we signed the snowblower...

Alec checking out the near mint "Murray" label before he signs.

I just dive right into it.  Here's a secret: it's the worst signature I've ever signatured.

And since it's not mine anymore, I vandalize the hell out of it by writing
"THE INTERNET FAMOUS SNOWBLOWER" on it.
And your momma's phone number.
Yes, I know pictures of the signage would have been good too, but we were just going with the flow.  (Thanks to Viv for taking these pictures!)

Alec took possession of the snowblower and wheeled it on down to the truck, where Chris and Jeremy took over.

See folks?  This is what good Kijiji behaviour is about:
If the ad says "you have to pick it up", YOU HAVE TO PICK IT UP.

Oh crap, he sees me!

So that's how that works.

Jeremy hogged the ride until they had to leave, so I never got a turn.

I know what you're thinking.  Yes, I do have awkward hands.

And then they all left, taking my plucky little snowblower with them.  

All in all, it was a good day.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Oh Yeah, I'm A Celebrity Now

Know how I know? 

Cause a guy asked me in the hallway of my office if I was that snowblower guy.  I admitted that I was, in fact, The Snowblower Guy (note the capitals and the use of "The" instead of "that" - it makes a difference).  He said "Oh yeah, that was pretty funny."  I could tell he was impressed and was barely keeping the urge to ask me for a picture and an autograph in check.  It had to be overwhelming because he walked away. 

You know what else happened?  CUPCAKES.

These are the cupcakes I'm referring to
That's right, I totally got swag!  

Okay, sure, they were from a friend of mine.  And they were kind of for the team.  But he sent them over to me!  But you know what?  I'm taking it!  A big thanks to Karen and John at The Cake Box for hooking us up.  See that Cookies and Cream - second from the left at the bottom - yeah, that one? That was mine.  ALL MINE!  Except for the half that my lovely wife ate.  She's always thinking about my health, so she offered to eat half of it so I could maintain my awesome physique.

The Snowblower Ad took another leap today as the news broke in Australia, the one country I'm sure we can all agree colder and with more snow than Canada. Greetings to everyone in Australia!  Everyone, that is, except for Greg, who is kind of a jerk (but that's not news to anyone, am I right?).

I thought I might break 50,000 links from Facebook by the end of the day, but instead I now have 51,453 so that's just another example of me under-estimating the Internet).  There are 385,583 views on it right now.  Which is a number so awesome I took a screenshot.

If you type it into a calculator and turn it upside down it says "EBSSBE"
Tomorrow will be a sad day for me.  I shall bid a fond farewell to my trusty snowblower.  As a parent - or a prospective parent who doesn't always call his cats "the kids" but sometimes does - you always hope that your children will grow up and leave the house someday, but you're never ready for that moment when it comes.  

Maybe it's their first day of school, or when you walk them down the aisle, or the day that you sell them to someone else because you don't want them anymore.  Whatever it is, you can't help but think back to that day you brought them home from the hospital in a bassinet or from Home Depot in the back of your brother's truck.  So innocent, so full of mystery and wonder.  What will they eat?  How do I change the oil?  Will I find good child care?  Will it eat my leg if I get too close?  The only difference is there's only one exit zone on a snowblower that stuff usually comes flying out of.

Yes, there are lots of memories.  That snowblower treated me pretty well, and I'd like to think I returned the favour.  Sure it sat, ignored and unneeded at the back of the shed for 8 months a year (insert your own "snow's all year" joke here).  And yes, the only times that I ever took it out, the weather was always bad.  But when the weather was -35 C, and the snow was so deep that I had to dig down to the doors of the shed just to get it out, it started first try and was anxious to work.  

It sounds like I was kind of a jerk (but I'm no Greg from Australia), but I was trying to help it build character!  On the other hand, if you spent 99% of your life in a dark, 5x9 room that froze in the winter and was sweltering in the summer, you'd probably do anything to get out too.  Maybe this is more like the Shawshank Redemption, only without narration by Morgan Freeman.  

Now THAT would make my ad truly epic.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Snowblower That Ate the Internet: SOLD.

When I posted my little ad on Kijiji on Wednesday morning, all I wanted to do was sell my snowblower.  I thought if I was a little creative and  maybe a little funny, I'd be able to set my ad apart from all the other snowblower ads on the site.

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.

Thanks everyone!

Weh-Ming


Saturday, November 26, 2011

You asked for it...

Well, not all of you asked for it, but a few of you did.

I have been told that some more pictures of the snowblower would be nice. Thanks to my father-in-law for taking these most excellent shots of me posing with the snowblower.

This is a snowblower.
I call this "The Sears Catalogue" - which is ironic since we bought it at Home Depot

What?! A SNOWBLOWER?!

Ready for action. Pay no attention to the dog behind me.
Additionally, I received word from Kijiji support apologizing for the messages I received regarding the ad being taken down.  He explained that it's a user-triggered feature that cannot be disabled, which totally makes sense.  He signed off with the following, which totally made my day:
Also, rest assured your ad will remain active on site despite a user flagging the ad as no longer current. The best of luck and have a wonderful day.
A big shout out to Austin for helping me out with that!

Oh, and we may have sold the snowblower... Will know more tomorrow.

Threeandahalfhoursofsleep

That's kind of been what my day has been like today.

Went to bed at 11:30 last night, had to keep hitting the Whack-A-Mole that my inbox had become.

Got up at around 2:00 AM, cause I just HAD to check the numbers. Numbers checked, I went back to bed.

Got up at 3:00, just to check the numbers ooooonce more.  Went back to bed.

Got up at 3:30, cause obviously I'm not going to sleep when I could be watching the number not change (really, Kijiji?  You realize what you're doing to me here?), so I spend it trying to sort through the email, facebook and do a little reddit.

Turns out that there are approximately 35,000 people sharing the link in facebook, and that makes me think

O_o

35,000 people.  I don't know 35,000 people, at least not in such a deep and personal way that they would all agree to share a link to my ad.

By 7:00, I was more than giddy.  I go from 187,907 views to 190,202.

7:10 and I do a phone interview (which I have come to understand is called a "phoner") with 101.5 The Hawk in Port Hawkesbury, NS.  Scottie and Greg are super nice.  Turns out that Greg knows YouSuckAtKijiji, so they heard the audio from my interview with him the night before.  Scottie says he's super happy I'm not a twelve year old that can't string together two whatchamacallit...thingies...word bunches.  (I may be exaggerating a little, but only because I remember it was really funny but I can't remember what it was, so I'm making up my own.)

Before we go live, Scottie asks me not to use bad words.  We joke about it, and we come back from the song with Scottie introducing me before Greg calls out that there are late school buses to announce.  This turns into an excellent segue into introducing me (they're late because of road conditions that could have been helped with a snowblower!).

We chat for about 5 minutes.  It might be less, it might be more.  All I know is that about 25% of my brain is being used to talk semi-coherently about the ad, 25% is trying to keep alert in my surroundings to prevent any other noises (one of the cats does NOT like it when I talk on the phone), and the final 50% is going through every swear I know and making up a few that don't.

Chockface, as an example.  That should be a swear.

Before I know it, the piece is over.  They go to commercial, thank me again, and we talk for another 30 seconds before they have to go.  I promise to keep them updated on the status of the snowblower.

Have to go to work to face real life, but I have a wonderful, caring and understanding boss who lets me leave for lunch a little early so I can get home for my interviews with CTV and CBC TV.  I get the snowblower out of the garage and my neighbour's son is cleaning snow off their patio stones in their backyard.  We chat and I let him know that I'm being interviewed.  He hasn't read the ad, but he says he'll check it out.

I remember that I wrote something in my ad about a neighbour with a snowblower that I wanted to murder, and I want to assure him that it's completely made up, but he's already gone inside and it would be just too sit-com for me to tell him now, so I just let it go and hope it'll turn into an HBO comedy instead.

I've broken 200,000.

Jonathan MacInnis arrives from CTV, and we set up outside.  At no fault of Jonathan's, I am incredibly uncomfortable and awkward, or at least I feel that way.  We shoot some stuff outside with the snowblower, then we go inside and chat some more.  I think I do better inside than out.  We have some laughs and chat about how crazy this is, and then it's over just as the CBC truck pulls up.

I get my shoes on and go out to great them, thinking that perhaps I'm going to have to play referee in a real life version of an Anchorman Local News Action Team street fight, but it turns out that Jonathan and Jennifer Choi, but it turns out that they are able to keep their natural instincts in check and are even remarkably friendly.  I don't buy it, but I let them believe I do.

Jennifer's interview is waaaaaay longer than Jonathan's, and involves shooting stuff from multiple angles.  She has trouble with mixing up the word snowblower with snowmobile, but I promise I won't tell anyone (shh! don't tell her I told you!).  I think because I had just gone through the same story with Jonathan in front of a camera that I'm more comfortable with Jennifer, and they get some good reaction shots of me trying to describe some of the emails I've received and how I've been dealing with them.

The coolest part of the interview happens at the very end when we run out of space on the disc.  They explain it's one of their new HD cameras that uses BluRay discs.  I say "Wait, these are BluRay?"  The say yes.  I pump my fists in the air and say "f*ck yeah! I'm on BluRay!"

Damn you Scottie-O and Greg.

There is much laughter, we check that the shot was captured before the disc was full and it's back to work for me.

Work in the afternoon is broken up when I get word that the Huffington Post Canada is looking for me.  I quickly check my email and eventually find Brodie Fenion's message.  It was buried somewhere in the second or third page of email as I recall.  I shoot him a quick response, and we are eventually able to chat on the phone.

We're only about 60 seconds into our conversation before he says "I think your sister just tweeted us."  Sure enough, my ever-loving, oh-so-tech savvy sister had seen they were looking for me and had sent them a tweet so they would have an avenue to find me.  Brodie tweets back, we chat for a few more minutes about what's happening, and we're done.

Back at my desk, everyone is going crazy (okay, everyone is helping me go crazy) by calling out what other media outlets are reporting now. I really want to be playing with my newfound attention, but I finish the day.

Get home, try to reach CTV Edmonton, but aren't able to get through to the producer I was talking to earlier. I set the PVR to record the news and we head out to Costco, per plan.  When we get back there's an extremely apologetic voicemail from the producer, asking me to call her back.  I do, and she tells me that they're going to run with the piece that Jonathan did, but wanted to ask me a few more questions just to flesh it out.  Takes five minutes and I hit the email.

Some time later, I have food (first meal I've eaten since breakfast - in the excitement of the interviews at lunch I forgot to eat lunch), and then we watch the two spots I've recorded.  I'm not nearly as awful as I thought I was in the CTV spot, and the CBC spot appears to be missing 45 minutes of footage.  Everyone has a good time.  I go back to checking the email.

I find some actual potential offers in the mix, finally, and send out some emails.  Then I decide I need to write something in this blog.  And then I got distracted a bunch of times and had to do more email.

I am up to 281,771 views.  The record is 550K and counting (according to Kijiji twitter feed), so I think I may have a chance to meet and exceed.

Now I'm going to bed.

Oops!  One more thing - if I'm going to make anything out of all of this, I need to start archiving as much as possible.  Anyone have any suggestions or know how to do that?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What to do when you go viral...

I think I'm supposed to have a picture taken of me getting out of a car without any underwear on, or maybe be in a movie with one of the people from Survivor, but my ad on kijiji has gone CA-RAZY.

If you type "snowblower" into facebook, over 25,000 people have linked to my ad.  Let me put that into perspective: if everyone in my hometown had linked to my ad, they'd have to recruit another 20,000 from neighbouring communities to finish off.

And as of 9:44 PM, I've got 129,462 views on the ad.  To put that into perspective, that's more people than were reported for the metropolitan area that I live in (2006).

I've done an interview on CBC Radio (with another one possibly tomorrow for TV), an interview with www.yousuckatkijiji.com (which was an unexpected delight), a short interview with the local paper (that may or may not see print), and am lined up to do another radio spot in the morning and two TV spots in the afternoon.

I feel like I should use this newfound power and fame to do something worthy.  But instead I'm just going to continue to try to get people to buy my snowblower.

I got an email from Kijiji earlier to let me know they were going to deactivate my ad, I'm guessing because there was no way I would still have it with 60K hits. Just happened to find the email in the massive pile I have building up.  (EDIT: Forgot to write that I clicked the link and saved the ad - thanks HappyCho)

I may share a few of the emails I've gotten later - almost all of them give me warm fuzzies except for that one jerk (you know who you are, but you aren't reading this because you're a jerk and I know it), and I've got a few nibbles but no bites yet.

Sooooo anyway, just keeping ya'll who happen to be reading this posted.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Some long overdue Kijiji Action


Update 11/24/11 6:30PM:  I'm over 100K hits!  Man, that is insane.  I was sent this link of some guys doing a charity fundraiser who were reading my ad online.  I can't believe the number of people that have responded... Feeling pretty awesome right about now!


Update 11/24/11 7:04AM:  I have a lot of email.  Hooooboy, have I got email.  And over 30,000 hits on the ad!  On the downside, I have to go to work.  On the upside, the new snow plow guy came and I don't have to shovel anything!  Huzzah!


Update 11:32PM: So I've stayed up waaaaay too late replying to emails and generally riding the viral wave that my ad has become.  I'm over 8600 views (really wish Kijiji would update more often...), and I'm getting emails from as far away as Sydney, Australia.  The emails are still coming in, though not as fast and furious as they were earlier this evening.

I'm up to two offers on the snowblower so far, but neither was where I was hoping it would be.  Maybe I'll start putting together a portfolio and offer that along with the snowblower.  "See the Briefly Internet Famous Snowblower!"  That sort of thing.

All righty, 66 unread emails left in the mailbox.  I really need to sleep now, so we'll see what the morning count is. On a side note, this has really hurt my NaNoWriMo numbers.

Original Post

After many reminders constant nagging much encouragement from my lovely wife to get the snowblower sold, I finally got off my butt and posted an ad on Kijiji.

So far, the reaction has been pretty good!  Over 1400 views as of this evening, so that's encouraging.

For posterity, here is the text for the ad:


Do you like shoveling snow? Then stop reading this and go back to your pushups and granola because you are not someone that I want to talk to.

Let’s face it, we live in a place that attracts snow like Magnetic Hill attracts cars, only that ain’t an illusion out there. That’s 12 inches of snow piling up and, oh, what’s that sound? Why it’s the snow plow and it’s here to let you know that it hates you and all the time you spent to shovel your driveway. Did you want to get out of your house today? Were you expecting to get to work on time? Or even this week?

You gave it your best shot. You tried to shovel by yourself and I respect you for that. I did it, my parents did it, some of my best friends did it. But deep down inside, we all wanted to murder that neighbor with the snowblower who was finished and on his second beer while you were still trying to throw snow over a snowbank taller than you are. 

So, here we are. You could murder your neighbour, which could ensure that you won’t need to shovel a driveway for 25 to life, but there are downsides to that too. What to do? 

Here’s the deal. I have a snow blower and I want you to own it. I can tell you’re serious about this. It’s like I can almost see you: sitting there, your legs are probably crossed and your left hand is on your chin. Am I right? How’d I do that? The same way that I know that YOU ARE GOING TO BUY THIS SNOWBLOWER.

I want you to experience the rush that comes with smashing through a snowdrift and blowing that mother trucker out of the way. The elation of seeing the snow plow come back down your street and watching the look of despair as your OTHER neighbour gets his shovel out once more while you kick back with a hot cup of joe (you don’t have a drinking problem like that other guy).

Here’s what you do. You go to the bank. You collect $900. You get your buddy with a truck and you drive over here. You give me some cold hard cash and I give you a machine that will mess up a snowbank sumthin’ fierce. I’ve even got the manual for it, on account of I bought it brand new and I don’t throw that kind of thing away. Don't want to pay me $900? Convince me. Send me an offer and I'll either laugh at you and you'll never hear back from me or I'll counter. 

You want a snow blower. You need a snow blower. 

This isn’t some entry level snow blower that is just gonna move the snow two feet away. This is an 11 HP Briggs and Stratton machine of snow doom that will cut a 29 inch path of pure ecstasy. And it’s only 4 years old. I dare you to find a harder working 4 year old. My niece is five and she gets tired and cranky after just a few minutes of shoveling. This guy just goes and goes and goes. 

You know what else? I greased it every year to help keep the water off it and the body in as good as shape as possible. It's greasier than me when I was 13, and that's saying something.

You know how many speeds it has? Six forward and two in reverse. It goes from “leisurely” slow up to “light speed”. Seriously, I’ve never gone further than five because it terrifies me. I kid you not, you could probably commute to work with it dragging you. 

You know what else is crappy about clearing snow in the morning? That you have to do it in the dark. Well, not anymore! It has a halogen headlight that will light your way like some kind of moveable lighthouse (only better, because lighthouses won’t clear your driveway).

Oh, and since it’s the 21st century, this snow blower comes with an electric starter. Just plug that sucker in, push the button, and get ready to punch snow in the throat. If you want to experience what life was like in olden days, it comes with a back-up cord you could pull to start it, but forget that. The reason you’re getting this fearsome warrior was for the convenience, so why make it harder on yourself?

By this point, you’re probably wondering why I would sell my snowblower since the first snowpocalypse is upon us today. I’ll tell you why: because I heard it was time for you to man up and harness some mighty teeth and claws and chew your way to freedom, that’s why. 

This is my snow blower. Make it your snow blower.