I swear, despite the fact that I haven't actively sold a horse in a year (happy anniversary to me this week, by the way), the crazies still manage to find me. It's amazing, really. I don't know if I have some sort of aura that draws them in like parasitic leeches just searching for ways to drain off the remaining brain cells I have through forcing me to listen to their babbling over the phone...I really don't know.
Last weekend, Pat, myself and two of our friends spent the day out at the rescue working on lean-to roofs, cleaning stalls, tinkering with foster and adoptive horses and trying to help catch up on the endless list of odds and ends that any working horse rescue always seems to have. Volunteering is cool, right? Right. Even when it's 90-degrees with 93% humidity. Everyone needs a good sweat every now and then, no big deal.
On the hour-plus ride home, my phone rang. Now, considering I've got two vehicles for sale right now, and also have a really cute little two-horse trailer that I'm selling for a friend, I can't exactly dodge unrecognized-number phone calls. I like money. A lot. So I answered.
"Is this Jackie?"
"I saw your website, so I thought I'd call."
Now here's the thing...I don't HAVE a website. I have this blog, which I know does not have my phone number on it, and I have a general assortment of one year old sold ads on several different horse-classifieds sites. Despite this, my mind instantly went into damage-control mode:
Oh God...there's a porn site with my name and number on it somewhere. Wait, I have a porn site and I'm not even getting PAID for it?! Goddamnit!! Wait...why is a woman calling me? Maybe she's looking out for me.
I kid you not, that's where my mind went. Twelve hours in the heat will do that to you.
I tell her I don't have a website. She says she's looking at it right now, and it says I have a lot of sold horses. Oh. Right. Damnit. No porn site for me, I guess. I tell her those are all really old ads and I don't have any horses for sale. Just my own three personal horses.
So this lady goes on to ask if I have any Haflingers for sale. Um...what? I politely inform her AGAIN that I haven't had any horses for sale in over a year, so I really can't help her. She tells me she's looking at my site and I have a REALLY cute Haflinger gelding that's marked as sold, and is he really sold?
I look at my friend sitting next to me in the back seat and roll my eyes. Yes, he's sold, well over a year ago, like I just said. His owner is sitting right next to me. Let the party begin...
"Oh...well do you have any more?"
"No, I haven't sold a horse in over a year."
Now, Pat and I have been together long enough that he knows when I repeat myself on the phone, and the subject is about horses, I've got a royal moron on the line and I won't simply hang up on them. This is due to two factors: 1) I eventually plan to sell horses again, and really don't want a reputation as a heartless bitch (although it's probably too late for that at this point) and 2) Some of the psychos that call me really deserve to be listened to, if only to give me material to write these stories about. I cannot make this shit up. These people are certifiably insane. My inability to hang up on these folks infuriates Pat, and generally results in him yelling "HANG UP THE PHONE!!!" in the background, turning up the radio, or trying to distract me with another conversation. Fortunately, Pat allowed me to have seven of the best minutes on the phone I've had in a very long time before he managed to do all three at once.
Her: "Oh, well my name is (I didn't bother to remember) and I'm looking for a Haflinger for my thirty year old daughter with MS. I also have another daughter that's emotionally impaired, but I have five other children who will probably ride. Well, actually, I have four that are adopted special needs, and three out of those four will probably ride, one definitely won't though. So six of my seven would. Do you know where I can get one? I need a really gentle Haflinger and I heard Haflingers are really gentle."
Are you kidding me right now? Please tell me you're joking. Oh God, this conversation is going to hurt.
Me: "No, I don't have anything. I haven't sold a horse in a year. You might want to try (I give her the name of a riding stable that usually has moron-proof trail horses for sale)."
Her: "Oh...okay. Because I found a really nice one in Bloomfield. Her name is Molly. She's thirteen-point-two-hands and twelve years old. I just don't know if twelve is too old though. I have seven kids and I don't want their horse to die right away. Plus the owner is REALLY hard to get ahold of! Do you know her? Is twelve a good age?"
Me: "Do I know who?"
Her: "Molly, or her owner...I just can't get ahold of her! She responds to my emails and send me pictures and videos, but she won't call me or answer my calls. But Molly is just beautiful with a long flowing mane and she looks so sweet. And her owner sent me videos of her jumping and she's just adorable."
Me: "No, I don't know them. Why don't you try (I repeat the name of the riding stable)?"
Her: "Well, then I called a place by me, it's called (Insert name of well-known riding barn in White Lake). But he told me to call back tomorrow because he might have one then. Do you know them?"
Her: "Oh, do you know the Haflinger they might get?"
Me: "No, I don't. Do your daughters ride now?"
Her: "Well my daughter with MS rides on trails, but I even called that therapy place on Ortonville Road, they're supposed to be REALLY good, so I thought I'd see if they had a Haflinger for sale, but they won't sell their horses! Can you believe that?! But anyway, my friend told me I should have a vet check done on anything I buy, but I don't know if I really need that. Do I? I mean, I've never bought a horse and I don't really know how much I should spend, but I don't know if a vet check is expensive."
Me: "Well that last Haflinger I had a vet check done on sold to a woman in New York and she spent over seven hundred on that vet check."
I look in the rearview mirror. Pat is glaring at me and reaching for the radio volume knob. At this point, I have realized that this woman is completely insane, has absolutely no business buying a horse whatsoever, and her "emotionally impaired" daughter is probably perfectly normal, but is very much aware of what a complete whackadoodle her mother is. I've also realized that not only is this woman taking up my time, she has no intention of giving me so much as a dollar, but wants my advice and is treating me like her trainer. I am not her trainer, and I do not work for free (unless I want to). And I don't want to. Time to end this call...
Her: "Well my budget for everything is $750..."
HA! YEAH RIGHT! In your dreams, lady.
Her: "...But I'm really wondering if the lady that has Molly will take less. I breed Collies, that's my thing. I used to show too, but with the kids and whatnot....Now I just breed. And rescue, I have three here as rescues now, and a little terrier mix that we rescued too. We also have three cats, a bird and two goldfish..."
HOW THE HELL IS THIS RELEVANT TO ANY CONVERSATION WHATSOEVER?!?! I decide to interrupt her...
Me: "Well I'm sorry I can't help you. Like I said, try (insert name if trail riding stable)."
Her: "Okay, I'll give them a call. What's the name again? Do you have their phone number?"
HOW many times did I say the name in this conversation thus far?!
Me: "No, I don't. You'll have to Google them."
Her: "Oh okay, because I really just wish the lady that owns Molly would call me back! I just don't know why she won't talk to me."
Lady, I've got a really good guess right now. Pat turns up the radio. I hear my call waiting beep and I look at my screen. It's my friend sitting in front of me.
Me: "Look, I'm on the road right now so I really can't talk."
Her: "Okay. Bye." Click.
THE BITCH HANGS UP ON ME!
...And to think, I actually missed selling horses.