By George Lubitz
ROUNDS HALL—While the Fire Safety Exchange Program was originally designed to offer students the chance to surrender prohibited items without penalization, no questions asked, one Skidmore student saw the event as a prime opportunity to walk in with an extension cord and walk out with a brand new hot plate.
A la the classic “Chain of Deals” television trope, Freshman Tim Esposito realized that he could start off with a modest piece of wire and, through bartering, trade his way up to a tabletop burner.
Tim was reported to talk-up the necessity and versatility of his gray Belkin-brand extension cord to a nearby student in possession of a half-used Yankee Candle. Impressed with his pitch, the once-candle owner traded Tim for his cord and he moved on to the next unsuspecting sap.
“After that, they were like putty in my hands. I found this one kid with a killer halogen desk lamp and I told him that my candle could do all the work of his lamp, and then some. He was a little dubious at first, but after I pretended like I didn’t even want the thing anymore, he came running back.”
The student in question reportedly also threw in a canister of Zippo lighter fluid to sweeten the deal, as per the effects of the psychological game of capitalism Tim was playing.
“Next,” continued Tim, “I found a girl with a rice cooker. I told her the thing was basically worthless, but I’d be happy to take it off her hands and donate my lighter fluid and lamp in good faith. She didn’t even think twice. Score!”
After ten more minutes, Tim made quick work of his scheme. He traded the rice cooker for a pile of tapestries, the tapestries for a space heater, the space heater for four bed risers and another set of candles, and those for a hot water kettle before finally trading up the kettle for a hot plate.
“It was like taking candy from a baby,” said Tim, who walked away from the exchange program looking like Gordon Gekko.