Humor by Jen Lancaster

I feel bad about the polar bears.

Thanks a lot, "Planet Earth."

Recently, I've become more conscientious about going green. Because I'm not having kids -- ergo I'll never pollute a landfill with a mountain of disposable diapers -- I kind of thought I was exempt from worrying about the environment. But if the fine, fine programming on the Discovery Channel is to be believed, that's not enough to save the planet.

Granted, I keep forgetting to bring my own bags to the grocery store and I may or may not still drive there in an SUV, but at least I feel guilty about it now. (Baby steps, OK?)

Anyway, when I bought a new platform bed, my first thought was of the polar bears, so my goal was to keep the box spring from ending up in a dump.

I figured that List of a Guy Whose Name Rhymes with Greg was the best place to dispose of such an item, so I decided to post an ad. As I've sold a couple of pieces of furniture on said list, I learned that unless one profoundly enjoys answering stupid questions, the ad must be as detailed as possible.

So, I posted the following with the headline of "I Don't Know Why You'd Want This" under the "Free" section:

Why would you want a queen-size box spring? I have no idea.

Perhaps you have a masochistic streak and like the idea of laying on sharp edges and wooden slats. Maybe you have a way to recycle the box spring and don't want me to violate Mother Earth by setting it in the trash (currently my Plan B.) Possibly you collect old bedding from strangers. Hey, that's cool. No judgment here. Or maybe you're just determined to get something for nothing, darn it, and this is finally your chance.

Regardless of the reason, this box spring is free to whoever wants to haul it out of my front hallway first.

Please note this is a queen-sized box spring only. It's by Serta. Or Sealy. I can't remember. Does it matter? It's ten years old but it's in excellent condition because most of those years were spent in storage.

Again, so we're clear, there's no coordinating mattress here.

There's no possibility of a coordinating mattress here.

I will not deliver this to your house.

I will not schedule an appointment so you can come and look at it. It's a box spring. You already know what a box spring looks like.

I will not hold this for you until you move into your new apartment next month.

I will not send you photos because if I were willing to employ that sort of effort, the box spring would already be in the garbage, instead of my front hallway.

So, please, come and get it."

Crystal clear, right? Yet I still received a dozen questions of the "Can you deliver it?" and "Is there a coordinating mattress?" variety, but I answered every one of them out of respect for the polar bears.

After plowing through the kind of responses that make me weep for the state of public education, I received an email from an administrator at the List. I opened it, assuming one of their staffers wanted the box spring, but instead I was told that my ad was deemed "offensive" and had been thusly removed.

Offensive? Really? On a website that's been wracked with scandals about illegal sex trade, and, according to the International Business Times, has been thus far linked to 330 crimes, 12 murders, and 105 robberies or assaults, my tongue-in-cheek ad is the one that rubbed everyone the wrong way?

The box spring has since been hauled to the dump.

I'm sorry, polar bears.

(Jen Lancaster is author of the books "Such a Pretty Fat," "Pretty in Plaid," "Bitter is the New Black" and "My Fair Lazy." See her first novel, "If You Were Here," at and visit her online at

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