30 March 2007

No chancers need apply

People use the classifieds for a wide variety of reasons. If you take these ads at face value it could get you into serious trouble.

People use the classifieds for a wide variety of reasons. From finding accommodation, swopping things, finding a partner, buying a fridge, finding part-time employment, buying secondhand clothing, pool equipment, a dog, secondhand medical equipment, sports gear or advertising for a housemate.

If you take these ads at face value and disregard the possibility of hoaxes or people being less than truthful, it could get you into serious trouble.

“Handsome good-looking, honest, financially secure gentleman seeks lady for friendship or more. All welcome.”

Be afraid, be very afraid. Unless someone is sitting on a farm in Kamieskroon, or has recently relocated to a new city, you should ask yourself why they have not managed to make friends or find a partner in ways that work for everyone else?

Why does an attractive and intelligent 68-year-old man who is financially well-off have to advertise in the classifieds to find a partner? Why are the women not beating his door down? Or does he have, to put it modestly, strange tastes?

Apart from the Sexually Transmitted Diseases “lonely bachelor, 38”could be dying to pass on, there could be other dangers. He could be a stalker, a Peeping Tom, a married man (which is why he is looking for daytime fun only) or someone with a dubious criminal history. There have also been people who use the classifieds as a source for new victims to blackmail.

Shy and retiring middle-aged women are not without their hazards either. All you know about them is what they choose to tell you. “Slightly plump” could mean 40 kg overweight, only one dependent probably means she is not counting the 4 staying with her 2nd ex-husband, and she might also, like lonely bachelor, been around the block a few times with people with whom you might not want to share a post office queue.

One thing that remains unexplained is the use of the phrase ‘no chancers’ at the end of an advertisement in which a man of 72 requests the company of a young woman between the ages of 18 – 28 on a round-the-world boat trip. No person who is not a chancer would possibly respond to this advertisement in the first place.

Come again?
Who needs horror movies if you have the classified ads? The following advertisements appeared as is during May in reputable publications:

  • Asthma Accuhaler, flexi type, 250 MG, R150
  • Cookoo clock, large, reindeer head on it, R1200
  • Yorkshire terrier to swap for cupboard
  • Rabbits, X2, housetrained, very tame, for good loving home.
  • Summer in London? Male, 31, attractive, seeks friendship with female visiting London, likes modern art galleries, coffee-bars, cinema, prefer tourist 18-30
  • CapeTown/Kakamas/ Upington end of May, leaving Friday May 25, returning 27 May. R300 per person return
  • Men’s suite, dark blue, good condition, R30.
  • Toilet seat, white, very good condition, R50.
  • Pistol davis 9mm short chrome hardly been used ideal for women R1000
  • Tree Climber needed, to fill post with growing company, must have exp and refs.
  • Married male, 34 years young, tall and handsome, starved and deprived, seeks single or married ladies with similar disposition for discreet get-togethers.
  • Dummer required for metal style band
  • Princess of Whales, R850.

- (Susan Erasmus, Health24)

Read more:
Avoid these on a first date
Any questions? Ask our sexologist


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Mental health & your work »

How open are you about mental illness in the workplace?

Mental health in the workplace – what you can do to help

If you know that one of your colleagues suffers from a mental illness, would you be able to help them at work? Maligay Govender offers some helpful mental health "first aid" tips.

Sleep & You »

Sleep vs. no sleep Diagnosis of insomnia

6 things that are sabotaging your sleep

Kick these shut-eye killers to the kerb and make your whole life better – overnight.