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by Mariane Holbrook
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by Mariane Holbrook

Here I was minding my own business, just surfing the internet, humming Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major (just kidding!), when I decided to visit EBay, the world’s most popular internet auction block.

EBay and I go way back. The owners saw me coming and decided to develop EBay into a full-fledged consumer trap, much like those deep holes in the woods painstakingly covered with twigs and branches, so that when an innocent bear steps on it, he plunges helpless downward with no chance of escape whatsoever.

I have made a few dollars on EBay but I have lost a bunch, too. And I’ve also lost my pride on EBay. Have I ever!

For instance, I once held the winning bid on EBay for an artists’ book I’d been wanting and I was delighted when I received an Email from a lady in Nebraska saying she was sending it to me as soon as she received my payment by personal check. No problem. Except that she forgot to provide me with her address.

So I wrote her an Email, pointing out the omission, and she resent her address.

This time she left off the city!

So I wrote back, asking for her complete address again. This time she left off not only the city but part of the zip code as well.

By then I’d had it. I dashed off a cutesy little Email (or so I thought in my demented little mind) to a friend that said, “Well, I just had another Email from the lady who had the painting book on EBay. She can’t seem to provide a complete address to save her life. She has to be the DUMBEST WOMAN IN NEBRASKA!

Instead of sending that Email to my friend, to my horror I sent it directly to that woman in Nebraska! I didn’t realize my error until she fired back a scalding Email that said, “I may be the dumbest woman in Nebraska but you’re the dumbest woman in North Carolina if you think you’re ever going to get this book!”

Thoroughly chastised and embarrassed, I wrote a profound apology that was NOT accepted by her. I really didn’t blame her.

So tonight, after all these years, she was proved right again. I AM THE DUMBEST WOMAN IN NORTH CAROLINA.

EBay this week had up for auction what I considered a good item for bidding: 86 2 oz. bottles of my favorite craft paint. They usually sell for about $1.29 each, so since the bidding was low, I decided to enter a bid. It soon became a bidding war between three others bidders and myself. I decided to play it cool and wait until the very last minute to make my final bid.

There was just a short time left and the highest bid was $29.00. I typed in my bid for $30.01 and watched the second hand on the clock before hitting the “Enter” key. I wanted to make sure it was entered at the last few seconds so no one else would have time to place a higher bid.

There were 20 seconds left, then 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12… I quickly hit the “Enter” key and exhaled, leaned back in my chair, really excited but spent from this tense bidding war.

I won with only 4 seconds to spare!

But my excitement was very short-lived.

In my rush to win, instead of typing in $30.01, I entered $3,001. (That is three thousand, one dollar, folks!)

I stared at the screen in disbelief. I was going to pay $3,001.00 (plus $20 shipping costs) for 86 mini bottles of paint that I could have purchased at a store for $100.94.

First I prayed that the Dumbest Woman in Nebraska hadn’t watched the bidding.
It would have been the happiest day of her life.

Then I prayed that my husband, John would be summoned to Pago Pago on business for three months to give me time to rob some convenience stores.

Then I prayed that the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes’ truck would pull into my driveway with a check, even though I haven’t entered their sweepstakes in fifteen years. Well, you never know.

Then suddenly, to my jaw-dropping surprise, I looked at my computer screen to see that EBay had corrected my error and my bid was just $31.00.

There is a God. And He keeps a loving, protective eye over the Dumbest Woman in North Carolina.

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
Member Date
Don Beers 11 Jan 2007
Next time I'm having a yard sale or happen to have some art supplies for sale....You will get a gold embossed invitation and of course an RSVP....I'll find a way to take your credit card too, just come on over!!! Great story,
Jacque Sauter 08 Jan 2007
I am laughing again! :^D) What a riot of a story! "The Lady in the Redwood Forest"
lauren finchum 08 Jan 2007
ROFL. This was good, I'm glad E-bay changed the type-o. I love the humor in this whole thing, the Clearing house, the "Dumb" woman is Nebraska, then the demented mind of a mad women on e-mail(been there). I once almost(thank god) sent an e-mail about my demented family to a FAMILY memeber instead of a dear friend. I caught it, though. Thanking Jesus. (not that Jesus really wants me yaking about my family) I liked the humming no 3. in E flat. I didn't know he had a no. 3, but I guess if he had a no. 5. . .anyway, great job!
lauren finchum 08 Jan 2007
BTW, I meant to tell you I gasp quite loud when I saw 3,001, so you have a good nack for taking me into the story you're telling!


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