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Hey guy—-You like Obama. You know you want to stay at our house!

The Inauguration Rental Chronicles follows the epic story of four roommates as they seek to rent out their Northwest townhouse for a glorious sum while battling the tides of waning consumer interest, pie-in-the-sky expectations, and an untested and entirely unknown market.

For a while it seemed like the girls were giving up. After originally posting their inauguration advertisement a week after the election, receiving one legitimate response in weeks, and reposting their offer time and time again, they were becoming disillusioned.

What was wrong with the world? Didn’t it like Obama?

Why didn’t anyone want to pay thousands of dollars to (perhaps) glimpse him for a few fleeting moments while standing in the freezing cold?

The girls needed to rally, or you know, just give up. They chose to rally. So earlier this week, they re-posted their advertisement on several different sites, including Chicago’s Craigslist in the Vacation Rentals section, Washington D.C.’s Craiglist in the Vacations Rentals and Sublets/Temporary, and on City Paper‘s website and in its print edition. They got a ton of responses, though not necessarily the type that they wanted:

First, there were the enterprising people touting their inauguration internet ventures (for more on these types of people, see my blog comments—-my favorite of which publicizes a “Where to PEE in DC guide” ):


just saw your inauguration listing and wanted to give you a heads up on a site created for renting out your place by the night called AirBed & Breakfast. Your guests pay you online, and you can view their profile before they stay with you. -Chris

Then there was shady guy, who was likely attempting a money order scam:

Hello, I am Engr Owen Hughes of SIEMENS COMMUNICATION LTD SCOTLAND.I need to make reservation for Two (2) of our technicians coming from London for installation of fibre optic cable in one of our sites in your area. Arrival Date : 30th JANUARY,2009 Departure Date :13th February,2009 Number Of Rooms:2(each for single occupancy) Length of Stay:14 Nights. Get back to me with the TOTAL COST (INCLUDING APPLICABLE TAXES)if the dates mentioned above are free,so that we can confirm reservations immediately.Your prompt response will be appreciated.

Thanks and have a nice day.

Engr Owen Hughes +447035901195 Logistics manager Siemens communication ltd.

Then there was the nonsensical guy:


I want to rent your place for 15 days this is in respect of your rental ad you placed for my God-Daughter and her husband honeymoon it’s my gift to them for my inabilty to attend their wedding as am currently on an Active Duty as a Medical Doctor with United States Navy let me know if there is any availability with the rates, the schedule date is February 1st through February 15th 2009.

Have a nice day.

Then there was one genuine response from a guy who worked for a production company. He asked for more pictures of the house, which were sent promptly. The roommates are awaiting his next response.

Image by Steve Rhodes, Flickr Creative Commons.