Editor's Query: Tell us about a time when ... you misunderstood an advertisement

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Last summer, my 15-year-old brother decided it was time to start pumping some iron. He begged my parents for a weight set, but they said it was too expensive. He announced at dinner one night that he had found some weights in good condition on Craigslist. Better yet, they were free.

He and my tired dad drove to the seller's house, 30 minutes away.

After loading the entire set into our family's minivan, the seller turned to my father and brother and asked for the payment. My confused father looked at my brother and said, "I thought you said this was advertised as free."

My brother looked up at Dad to defend himself and said, "He said he was selling free weights."

Meghan Haenn, Arnold


About 40 years ago there was an ad in The Post for a forthcoming production of "Die Fledermaus" by no less than the Vienna Light Opera Company -- and that marvelous attraction at a temptingly reasonable price!

I immediately sent my check for six seats.

Only when the tickets came -- all $108 worth -- did it become clear that the performance would be by the Vienna (Virginia) Light Opera Company.

But, to paraphrase comedian W.C. Fields, "You can't mislead an honest man." On the day before the performance, there was a blizzard. The event was canceled, and the cost of the tickets was refunded.

Edward Karpoff, Rockville



Tell us about a time when a storm resulted in something surprising.

If you have a 100 percent true story taken from your own experience concerning the above query, send it to queries@washpost.com or The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Include your daytime phone number. Recount your story in 250 words or fewer.

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