Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pezmstr Returns

Still with me?

Not sure how the addition of a serialized, pseudo-comic book Rocky and Bullwinkle-style depiction of mundane and fictionalized daily events will effect my vast readership base, but hopefully I haven't lost too many of you. But indulge that, and there will be plenty of the other stuff, too. Like this.

That said, the inclusion of Late Night Supermarket Man prevents The Full Circle (title change upcoming) from being an online journal. Journals are supposed to be private. I'm not about to share all of my inner thoughts and feelings with the known universe (aka 37 people bored at work, and Grandma Ros and her friends. Hi Blossom.)

But I will share the stories I find fun. Here's one. It requires some back story.

Back story: First semester senior year I wrote and edited a 15 minute film called "Pezmaster." Neil, an awkward college underclassman and Pez enthusiast, is trying to find the missing pez dispenser to complete his "very rare" 1987 Looney Tunes special edition collection. Shelly, an awkward college girl and Neil enthusiast, tries to win Neil's love by winning said missing Pez dispenser on Ebay. Unbeknownst to both of them, Neil and Shelly get into a bidding war with each other on Ebay, driving the price up to $76. Shelly wins, gives the dispenser to a depressed Neil, and they fall in love. The End.

For the making of the film, we (me and my 2 partners) created a fake user name on Ebay, pezmstr (pezmaster was taken...of course) to show in close-ups. We also bought a pile of Pez dispensers for the film. Here's one of our old production photos (note the taped-up picture of a bugs bunny pez dispenser):

End back story.

In addition to working freelance at CNN and running my own essay services website ( and writing this blog, I am fast becoming the resident Ebay expert of Concordia (where my grandparents and their friends live) and The Gentry (where my parents and their friends live). I have sold all sorts of stuff this year on ebay, collecting a nice little side pot for myself and getting rid of their crap for them.

Last week, my mom's friend Carol asked me to help her get rid of a pair of Robin Williams tickets she couldn't use. I put them up on Ebay and they got immediate attention and bids, as I knew they would. By Tuesday morning, with the auction set to end Tuesday night, they were up to $910.

Half an hour before the auction ended, I got a call from Mike. Mike is one who offered Carol and her husband the two tickets and the one still going to the show with his wife. The conversation went something like this:

Mike: I found someone to take the tickets.

Me: What do you mean? They're selling. They're gonna sell in 35 minutes.

Mike: Can you end it?

Me: No. I don't--no.

Mike: Well, I need you to end it. My friends really want to go.

Me: It's a little late. Let me see.

Ok, you can't. You can't end an auction if it's already gotten bids or if there's less than 12 hours remaining. This auction had 15 bids. But Mike was relentless. And, he had the tickets in his possession. The last thing I wanted was to sell them for a thousand bucks, tell the buyer to meet Mike at the place in Atlantic City, only to have Mike tell them he found someone else. Tough luck.

But I also couldn't end the auction. The tickets were selling, and I was about to have a very unhappy buyer on my hands.

Until I remembered...pezmstr. "Hm, I wonder if this still works" Sure enough, Pezmstr remains an active account (and more importantly, I remember the password), even though he's never bought or sold anything on ebay since his birth in November of 2004. Until now. I placed a maximum bid of $5000, certain that nobody was that crazy, won the damn tickets and told Mike that everything was taken care of.

Did I just tell you I lost a potential $900? No. After I gave Carol face value, and half the profits, payed the ebay fees and the paypal fees, I probably missed out on about $150. But there will be more things to sell.

But I must say, it was nice to put pezmster to work again. Neil and Shelly would be proud.

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