Betty Bates got the shock of her life today while bargain hunting at her local flea market. Betty (69) a somewhat rotund, lonely old soul who whiffs a bit spends much of her empty life scavenging charity shops and car boot sales looking for rubbish to sell on world wide web online auction site eBay.
"I love eBay" clacked Betty, her ill fitting teeth flapping loosely as she had forgotten to stock up with Dentrafix on her last root in Crap Cosmetics R' Us. "I often buy things for 40p and after only an afternoon cleaning it and then spending all night putting all the details of how the stone is painted and varnished by hand on the eBay site I can just sit back, blankly staring at my computer screen as it gets no bids until the excitement of auction end ten days later as I see it sell for 42p".
Betty, whose user ID is foxy_chick4973, has made lots of new friends through her eBay adventures. "I even sold an old pair of flanellete pants to a nice young chap called Eric who buys a lot of ladies underwear as they are good for cleaning the moving parts on his model railway outfits". Somewhat excitedly Betty continued, "He did ask me for pictures of me in the pants as he wanted proof they were old ones before he ruined them on his rolling stock, but I had told him I was a 19yr old nurse so I had to pretend my camera was broken".
A seller on eBay for nigh on three years, Betty had made enough spare cash from her hobby to have an afternoon out in Brighton. "I had heard Brighton was full of colourful characters and with market stalls up back alleys I thought I might find another bargain or two to sell on eBay and maybe make enough money for a bag of chips as well".
Betty was not to be disappointed. "I couldn't believe it" she said wheezingly "Lying propped up in an old box of limited edition unsigned prints of Thimbles of The World was eBay itself. It was a bit grubby looking and no-one had seemed to want it as the lady on the stall said I could have it for free if I bought one of her thimble pictures".
Visions of being the proud owner of the biggest shop in the world and how maybe she would send Eric that picture he had asked for - posed in the finest pants money could buy and basking poolside in her Malibu retreat - cocktail in hand - riches greater than her imagination could spend - "I'll take it " said Betty "If you have a bag that is" she added, fearing that some mugger may rob her of her new found wealth on the bus home later that day.
Rummaging deep in her bag full of previously enjoyed polythene carrier bags Betty found the 50p being asked for and quickly stepped away from inquisitive bystanders wondering what deal of the century they had missed, Betty shuffled off up the street, her legs taking her faster than was good for her until she reached the safety of her bus stop to await her transport of delights to take her home to her cat scented flat built on the edge of a town that hadn't even seen hide nor hair of a horse.
"That bus trip was the longest of my life "said Betty "I couldn't wait to get back here and give it a good wash and polish before listing it on eBay". It was at that point in our interview the tears started to flow "I went to the computer thing and switched it on and clicked on to my Favourites and then eBay and up came, of all things, a picture of my living room and what a mess the place was. I hadn't tidied up or nothing before I ran out to catch the bus having been on eBay all night to get ideas for what I should buy at Brighton market".
Betty realised that she was now eBay - she was the very reality of this multi million dollar empire, built up on her and the likes of her and without it who would she be?
She hugged it close to her heaving breasts, the tears now pouring down her cheeks and splashing off her crimplene dress "I could never bring myself to sell it" she said "It means too much to me - I'll put my nieces name on the back of it and leave it to her in my will".
I left Betty sitting there alone, a tinkling sound emanating from her computer as another email came in from Eric asking if she had any more pants for sale as he had bought some new trains, all near mint and boxed.