Thursday, August 09, 2007

Free Couch!


There's a phenomenon I witnessed two Mays ago in rural West Virginia. To get someone to haul away something for you, like an old couch, you put the item out near the road and put a case of beer on it. You also put a big FREE sign on the item.

While helping out at The New River Birding Festival, near Fayetteville, WV, we stay at Opposum Creek Retreat. Driving to and from the field trips we passed this couch with a FREE sign and a case of beer. It sat there for several days of rain. Then the beer was gone and only the couch remained.

Hmmm. They used Budweiser. I wonder if it had been a case of a different brew if the outcome would have been different?

Now I am uncertain whether or not this same barter-for-hauling system is used in other parts of our fair country. But I'd certainly be interested in hearing from some of you if it is.

Until then, party on!

9 Comments:

At 6:14 PM, Blogger Maureen said...

In Indiana, the method is to put the couch out with a price on it. Then someone comes along and just takes it, thinking they're getting away with something.

 
At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Maureen said applies to the PNW, a free sign wont get it gone, but a for sale sign, will have it gone in hours.

 
At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill.
Giggle...giggle....
The joke in our family....actually the truth....put what you don't want at Joe II's house on Wash St. No beer needed.....it is gone before you can get back in the house.....no beer....no for sale sign......GONE!!!
Marcy

 
At 10:00 PM, Blogger possumlady said...

In my neighborhood it is a general rule that if you want to get rid of something, put it out the night before trash night. Lots of folks are out that night taking their dogs out for extra long walks going "curb trolling". (I actually found a beautiful homemade twig table out on the curb one night.) I once bought some plastic storage containers from a shopping network. When I got them, as much as I tried, they were just so oddly shaped, nothing fit in them! I remember complaining to my neighbor about them. At that point it was beyond the 30 day return period so I put them out at the curb. Next morning they were all gone. Unfortunately, my neighbor's husband picked them all up. And, you guessed it, within a week they were out at their curb the night before trash.

 
At 3:18 AM, Blogger KatDoc said...

I'm surprised you haven't experienced this phenomenom in SE Ohio. It works in both SW Ohio and in Columbus, although without the case of beer.

My aunt in N. KY, who could afford anything she wants, is quite the trash-picker, and has been known to come home with all sorts of useless stuff, er - I mean "valuable finds."

~Kathi

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger Rondeau Ric said...

We are the same as maureen, put a $ sign on it and it won't last 20 minutes.

By the way, thanks for the beer.

RR

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger Mary Richmond said...

here on Cape Cod it is a time honored method but you don't need the beer. just put it on the side of the road and poof! someone in a bmw will pick it up! seriously, all the stuff in our neighborhood (which is a working class one) gets picked up by people in fancy cars! we got rid of a very old filing cabinet and 2 cracked teapots just a week ago this way and guess who picked them up? 2 dudes in a bmw convertible....they were psyched and we were too! ultimate recycling....

 
At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I moved from western to eastern Washington 4 years ago, I put a bunch of stuff in my driveway with a "free" sign on it. You wouldn't believe all the things people wanted. They didn't take the old kitchen sink, however, so I had to have a man haul that away to the dump. Kathy

 
At 12:59 PM, Blogger dguzman said...

Works the same in Texas and in PA, only I've never seen the beer attached. Sometimes you don't even see a free (or for sale) sign--just stuff on the curb.

 

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