Illustration by Robert Meganck
I know nothing about Craigslist except that you can sell stuff on it, buy stuff on it or get murdered if you use it. During my only attempt to sell something through the website, I listed a baby stroller ("Never thrown up in!") and never received a single response. That was the extent of my knowledge of Craigslist until a friend reposted this local listing:
Christian death metal band looking for DJ and clarinet player
We are one of Richmond's most well known and respected Christian Death Metal Acts. We are looking to expand our fan base and further show glory to God through viciously brutal and heavy songs about murder, torture, and God's never ending love for all his children. With so many Christian Death Metal bands taking over the scene now, we are trying to differentiate ourselves by adding some jazz and hip hop influence to our sound. So if you play the turn tables or clarinet or any kind of wacky jazz instrument like that hit us up.
Whether it's for real or not, this hilarious listing got me curious enough to poke around the dark corners of that other Richmond. Yes, it is mostly what you'd expect. Coffee tables and speakers and cars for sale. People looking for sex. But scratch the surface a bit, and it's weird under there.
Midget Stripped Wanted!!
I need 1 midget stripper for my friend's birthday party. I can only pay $50.
Male or female? Apparently, that's irrelevant. But it must be a midget. I find myself dying to know the outcome of these listings, because once you start reading them, they aren't just ads. Each one is a story.
Custom Drag Costume
I'm new to the world of drag and it's hard for me to shop as a woman because I'm super tall. What I need is someone who can make me stuff and be my stylist. I need something for work Friday morning. Something that looks really 70s. I'm willing to pay good money.
This next one is enough to make any tuition-paying parent's head explode:
Wannabe Horror Movie Actress Here!
I am a 21-year-old recent college graduate from VCU looking to get in to horror movie acting. I have not had any formal acting training or taken a class but I do feel confident that I can learn the ways of acting very quickly. I have been watching scary movies all my life and have developed a strong interest in them and to be in one. I LOVE teen slasher films and am trying very hard to get myself out there.
This Felliniesque Richmond, with its horror-movie actress wannabes and midget strippers, bears little resemblance to the one I live in. But that only makes me wonder if I'm living in the real one or not.
Cool Band Wanted
Looking for a cool band to play on the lake, on our property. You might think you're cool, but I bet you're not.
So if you find yourself trolling Richmond's Craigslist for entertainment, be warned: It's story after story to which you will never know the ending. Does the drag queen look fabulous on Friday morning? Will the VCU grad ever run scantily clad through the woods in Friday the 13th, Part 26? And is there — Oh, God, is there? — a band cool enough? Sadly, you'll never know. Unless you're the one to respond.