To get some context on this whole “Paul Steve” saga, you really need to understand that when we bought the WCS HQ, it was full of CRAP. It was a hoarder’s paradise.
Imagine every piece of unnecessary furniture you can think of: a sewing machine, an upright piano, (at least) 50 broomsticks, a closet full of lamps WITHOUT shades, three refrigerators (TWO without doors), a bowling ball, an old school war helmet, two stoves (neither in working order), the list went on and on…
Well, in the midst of all that trash was this antique metal glider (similar to the one above). Literally since before we even made an offer on the house, my uncle (our realtor) pointed out to me the glider, “that’s worth something… if you buy this house, don’t just throw that out.”
So in the process of throwing everything – and I mean EVERYTHING out – I always kept that metal glider aside. I had looked up some antique gliders and found that they could go for like $2,000, which was INSANE to me, considering that it just looked like a piece of garbage… Like, literally garbage (again, look at the picture, and picture one that looked worse than that).
Eventually, I listed the thing on Craigslist a few times, even had people email me saying I was crazy for the price ($2,000 or best offer… which admittedly they could have offered $200 and I probably would have taken it). But no real traction… Until April 12th 2018, when Paul Steve infamously entered my life…
The email itself was empty except a copy paste of my listing’s title with the Subject Line “Still Available?”
The rest of the way here I’m just going to screenshot the email conversation, and intermittently throw some commentary in, but you can follow along EXACTLY how it all went down, email by email…
Already I was like, this is wayyyy too aggressive to be buying this hunk of shit swing, so before I gave him my name & address, I might as well vet this potential buyer.
Asking again for my name and address was too much. Reg flag. Red flag. Red flag. Instead, I figured I’d just be annoying.
LOVED when I got this. Like clearly I’m dealing with someone who isn’t American. Calling a day “20” instead of “the 22nd” was a wild move… But Paul Steve was wild. And on went our story:
When he used “lol” correctly, I was almost like, “Shit, is this guy real?” Everything so far was just me playing with house money. He wasn’t real so I could fuck with him. Now that he showed even the lowest potential real, everything I said just seems annoying as hell.
But, since he was being a dick, I figured I’d be a dick back:
“Yea sure” was the response where I started to believe he really was real. If he was real, he’d be annoyed by now, and that is EXACTLY what he seemed to be at this point.
Besides, anyone can learn where I live if they owned a damn phone book. I guess I didn’t have to be too paranoid about here.
Weird flex on having an assistant, but okay…
The fact that he trusts me so much after this conversation was laughable honestly.
I immediately Googled “Craigslist scams” and in the top result it described like this exact situation… Like almost hilariously the exact same thing.
But instead I decide to continue to drag this guy along a little more. After all, I’ll only end up wasting the guys time which is worthless to me. And I’m not getting duped until I ever actually get a check, deposit it and it inevitable bounces, right?
I’ll be honest, when I checked that USPS tracking number and it was real, I was confused. “Was this whole thing real? No fucking way. It can’t be… I CAN’T be.”
Give him a very reasonable “out” was my plan, but again, he trusted me. Steve’s just a good guy out here trusting complete strangers he meets on Craigslist!
I believe I got that email at work and came home to an actual USPS envelope:
And honestly, at this point, I was like… No shit. This thing looks pretty fucking real but every fiber in my body, doesn’t just think, but KNOWS this is fake.
Onward we go…
Hilarious in hindsight that he waited just 8 minutes for me to respond here before asking again… But at this point I had my plan: just go to an actual M&T and have them tell me what I already know – that it’s fake.
If by some grace of God it’s real, then they, the bank that endorsed it, could give me cash and I’d deal with Paul the way he wanted… But I knew that wasn’t happening! So again, my plan was to wait and see what they said in the morning.
Boy was he getting impatient! I knew at this point he was getting close to the end of his scam and he had to put on the full court press… But I waited to confirm with the bank. If he was real, the cards were all in my hands – I had the check!!
The next morning I went into M&T and everyone there looked at it and confirmed what I already knew – it was fake! They told me there’s basically nothing I could do to find out who he was, and while I thought maybe they’d care that someone was writing fake checks from their bank, they really didn’t. They seemed to barely want anything to do with it. “Nothing we could do!” was pretty much what I got.
Gotta hand it to Paul, this made five (5!) unanswered emails… They say you gotta shoot to score, and boy was he chuckin’ em up! And now that I knew it was all a scam, the check was garbage and all these emails were wasted, I knew it was time to have some fun:
And that my friends is the story of the $2,000 shitty garbage glider and Paul fucking Steve.
Weeks later I just put the thing to the curb, never to be seen again… “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” they say. But I say, “One man’s trash ends up being another man’s dumpster-fire nightmare.”
I really hope Paul turned his life around and, just like Leo in Catch Me If You Can, is helping catch criminals not continuing his life of crime… At least I think that’s how that movie ended. Honestly, it’s so long, I forget at what point it ends.
Moral of the story? I don’t know, just be wary of Craigslist buyers when you’re selling your trash I guess!