Amongst all the other activities going on, I became a saddle middleman this week. Where it started was that my sister spotted a saddle on Craigslist which she thought looked pretty good for the price. So after some of what I take to be the usual e-mail dances when buying stuff on Craigslist she had a committment to buy it, as soon as she got to ... well, actually, pretty close to where I work. She e-mailed me to ask whether I'd be able to pick it up, in exchange for later payment. This seemed reasonable to me, too.
Although she tried getting me into the e-mail loop the other guy wasn't having it, and I instead called him late Tuesday in order to set up a meeting time. The e-mails I did have didn't mention his last name, so I felt even more awkwardness than usual introducing myself on the phone. But I got his address, as well as very careful directions which were almost completely redundant to my iPad's maps, and set off on a night that was comfortably warm but also very dark and drizzling just a bit. You know the sort of drizzling dark, which makes places seem even more dark and mysterious than simple night would, and that it was far enough off the highways to reach the parts of New Jersey that are still in about 1924 (plus Internet) made it more like a venture into unknown lands.
But the fellow was nice enough and the saddle certainly looked saddle-like to me. My sister failed to send me pictures of the intended saddle but I'd probably not have been able to tell them apart anyway. It also turns out my hatchback is just a bit small to fit a saddle in the trunk compartment unless you take the fabric cover off the back, as if to get ready to put the seats down. I suppose that's worth knowing, but I can't say why.
It occurs to me that, with 'one', I have now bought more saddles than I have bought items of food or drink at Taco Bell. And published more books ('two') than done either. There can't be many people who can truthfully make that claim.
Trivia: A fragment by the Attic poet Antiphanes, from the fourth century BC, reads, ``If a man should bring home some pepper he's bought, they propose a motion that he be tortured as a spy'', presumed to be a reference to pepper's high price. Source: Spice: The History Of A Temptation, Jack Turner.
Currently Reading: 1939: The Alliance That Never Was And The Coming Of World War II, Michael Jabara Carley.