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Saturday, October 25, 2014

What I Learned from Selling My Ouija Board on Ebay

In my continuing attempt to sell everything in my house not bolted down to further my fancy hat collection, I decided to list our vintage Ouija board on Ebay.  For those that have spent the last 50 years either under a rock or in a correctional institution (you'd be amazed how much of my reading audience includes one or the other), a Ouija board is a spirit board used by teenage girls to contact the spirit world. It's made from a mystical combination of plastic and cardboard by the Satanic church of Milton Bradley.

You'd think such a transaction would go relatively smoothly, but apparently I was vastly unprepared  for the level of freakitude the spirit worlds had sent my way.

Worth it.

Just in case you find yourself cash-strapped and decide to offer up your cherished Ouija, here are some tips to prepare yourself:

4. There are four types of Ouija buyers:

  • Board game collectors (yes, this is a thing)
  • People who want a 'connected' board
  • Christians
  • Small children who got a hold of their parent's computer and who went on a bidding streak

Board game collectors will ask you a million questions related to condition. Take a lot of pictures and do not make snarky comments about 'mystery stains from the spirit world'. Board game collectors do not have a sense of humor.

I was fully expecting the board game collector questions. Collectors, for the most part, are all different sides of the same anal retentive coin. I was not, however, prepared in the slightest for the avalanche of crazy that followed the usual questions about the 'integrity of the cardboard box'.

3. Buyers don't just want a Ouija board, they want a creepy story to go with it.

For the 'connected' buyers, it's not enough that your board does not contain any dried up Cheetos, it must be a fully operational gateway to the other side.

Can't a brother use the toilet without getting summoned?

These buyers want to hear about how you acquired the board (i.e., found it in a cemetery on the tomb of a convicted serial killer, obviously), why you're selling it (i.e., because you were unprepared for the angry spirits who kept visiting you), and if you had any notable experiences while using the board (i.e., you're too freaked out to talk about it).

I'd like to remind my readers that this game is made by Milton Bradley, the same people who make Candy Land. It's about as mystical as a pair of argyle socks but making up shit is apparently part of the social contract of selling Ouija boards and it is your solemn duty to honor that.

2. Beware the Christian buyers.
So apparently in certain Christian circles (you guys have circles right?), Ouija boards are taboo. Something about witchcraft and and Dungeons and Dragons and Harry Potter and Gary Busey all being aligned with demons and the devil.  I wasn't entirely paying attention as I was masturbating furiously while watching The Exorcist.

These buyers do not want a 'connected' board. They want a clean board, one that has preferably been blessed by a Catholic priest. They want assurances that nothing weird has come anywhere near this board. They want you to tell them about how clean the planchette is and how you only used it at your youth group after the elders had gone to sleep. For them, this purchase would be like you buying a slutty pair of underwear. Something you can slip on for a while to feel naughty, but can change out of the moment it starts riding up your butt. I think that metaphor holds.

Do not confuse the 'connected' buyers with the Christian buyers or be prepared for an avalanche of Biblical quotes.
And not even the cool ones.

There's at least six people in Michigan who are praying for my soul right now so I guess, if nothing else, I've got that going for me.

1. Ouija Boards are a Nightmare to Mail

Seriously, just look at that thing! It's like two pizza boxes stacked next to each other. Boxes tend to be tall and squat, not flat and long. You were probably expecting some wry comment here, but honestly I was just wondering if you had something that fit. I've got a Bible study group in Des Moines who's been waiting on this thing for a month. 

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