Would you trade a house for "personal dinosaur services"?

Suddenly, I'm curious. Back in the days when newspaper classifieds ruled the Earth (and charged by the line), did wacky parodies like this one from Vancouver Craigslist also exist? Or is this sort of humor dependent on the Internet and the existence of a free public billboard?

This offer is not for everyone...

Do you own more than one property? Do you have so many rental homes with no mortgage payments, yet you still feel unfulfilled? Tired of your illegal tenants whining that there are rats in the walls? Have you always wanted your own dinosaur? Now is your chance my friend.

In exchange for one of your properties, I will be your personal dinosaur for one year. I will be at your beck and call, 24 hours a day, wearing a dinosaur costume. The type of dinosaur is negotiable. I can babysit your children (references upon request), scare the mailman, wash dishes, entertain and impress your guests, and much more. (No sex stuff though, sorry.) I will make realistic dinosaur sounds, eat what the particular dinosaur eats and maybe even sit on a fake dinosaur egg, if you are so inclined. I am well educated, fluent in English and French (as well as dinosaur), can play several musical instruments and have no criminal record or outstanding warrants.

All this and more. This is the only way you will ever have your pet dinosaur, and the only way I will ever be able to acquire a house in Vancouver. Serious offers only please.

Thanks, Misha Thompson!


  1. How does this person (or anyone else) know what “realistic dinosaur sounds” are? Did an archaeologist find a trove of wax cylinders from the Jurassic?

      1. Seconded. While I’m sure many people have heard that “Birds are descended from dinosaurs”, that’s only true in the sense that people today are descended from humans. In both cases they are members of the same group as the referred to ancestors. Birds are members of the Maniraptora — a group of dinosaurs that also include Velociraptor.

  2. I have 2 different thoughts on this…

    1 – Its sad we have closed to many mental health facilities.

    2 – Randall Monroe is looking for a new house?!

  3. Yeah, why is this classed as humour?
    Seems legit. And if it’s not, you lose nothing.
    And if it is, just hold a dino hunt on the last week!

  4. Paleontologist. Archaeologists don’t dig up dinosaurs. At all. Ever. They just don’t do it. Also, some dinosaur sounds have been able to be replicated by analyzing their air passages and either actually blowing air through them (or casts), and/or comparing them to modern animals’ that are shaped the same. But, please, archaeologists really don’t like being compared to paleontologists or vice versa….Not joking.

    1. But archaeologists are the ones in charge of digging up the dinosaur’s wax cylinders, right? The paleontologist has to be very careful when he’s removing stegosaurus bones not to disturb the various primitive potbelly stoves and weaving looms by which the saurus made his simple living, or the archaeologist will be CRANKY.

  5. Makes me wish I was a real estate mogul…I wonder if a raptor costume would fit on my neighbor’s cat…where did I put that tuna?

  6. LOL. But, No; On the serious note, that is not what archaeologists do. They only deal with human/hominid history/prehistory – exclusively. No dinos. Not trying to be a d*c%, just trying to quell the confusion when I come across it.

    1. That must make things awfully awkward when they come across historical finds like the town of Bedrock.

    2. Kinda like the feeling the QA engineers experience when they are called Q&A engineers.

  7. I believed this was legit, up until, “fluent in dinosaur”, then my crap detector started to go off.  But then it settled down because I remembered, I’m fluent in dinosaur too!  My kids and I watched Barney all the time, and we never had any communication barriers. 

    Is this perhaps how Donald Trump became such a real estate mogul?

  8. Wait….Okay, first people ARE humans (That one especially has be confused, as the other is at least a common error). I’m confused on that. Second, again, birds ARE dinosaurs. We just use “bird” as a common name for the modern animal. But, each fits (perfectly) the definition of the other. Maybe I’m just misinterpreting what you’re saying?

    1. Well, all birds are dinosaurs, but not all dinosaurs are birds — birds are the only surviving lineage of the Maniraptora, but there were other dinosaur lineages besides the maniraptors.

      And yes, people are humans — that was just an analogy to stress that “descended from” and “are members of” aren’t exclusive categories.

  9. Yes, there were weird/bizarre/humorous classified ads back in the stone ages. The Berkeley Barb’s classifieds from the ’70s were [in]famous. Even in my day, I remember that the classifieds in the mid-’80s LA Reader contained a lot of crazy rants and surreal jokes and even very slow conversations between pseudonymous characters.

  10. This was posted by some friends of mine. Was hanging out with them on the weekend just after they’d finished an interview with the Village Voice about it. They’re rather shocked at how widely it’s spread and how much interest it’s fostered.

  11. This is a good candidate for best-of-craigslist.  It’s an all too rarely updated and usually funny list of CL postings not unlike this one.  http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/all/.  In answer to the question posed, I don’t think this type of humor depends on a free public billboard made possible by the internet, but I do think we get a lot more of it due to that. 

  12. cats are OK – purrr
    dogs are OK – wooof
    triceratops are OK – rooooarr
    Location: Vancouver
    it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

  13. Considering how hard it is to get into the Vancouver housing market, this is totally believable. 

  14. Classifieds used to be a gold mine of high weirdness for low cost. In my home town, there was a restaurant owner who got bitten by the Ayn Rand bug, stopped paying income tax, and posted random diatribes in classified format until the IRS sent him to prison.

    But my favorite of all time was about a decade long series by one Dasara V. Nagamani, who posted monthly at the end of the classified section in Physics Today. He would give a brief, impenetrable, vaguely quantum rant and then demand money. Here’s one I managed to dig up:

    “Produce vedic thinking model; it has to contain the physics producing as
    well as the physics understood. The jotting gathering is
    grammaticality; moo-transfer structures are produced. The U.S. physicists, fund me!”

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