Tag Archives: real estate

10 suggestions Poet James Russell Lowell

 

The Poet asked:  “Oh what is so rare as a day in June?”

1.     The flame created by the burning of your paid-off home mortgage.

2.     The look on the face of a three-year-old child who hears her dad’s car coming up the driveway.

3.     A wife seeing her husband of 55 years pain-free after recuperating from back surgery.

4.     Your dog’s tail when someone brings him his dinner.

5.     Grandpa’s joy at finding where Grandma hid the cookies after she left to play Mahjongg with her friends all afternoon.

6.     Grandma’s joy when Grandpa finally agrees to get a haircut.

7.     Parking the car in a rainstorm thinking you left the umbrella at home— and then seeing it lying in the back seat.

8.     The happiness of a boy who sees his homing pigeon land in its coop after being missing for a week.

9.     Ten Lords a-leaping.

10. And a partridge in a pear tree.

 

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Why Do Old People Like Reading the Obituaries?

Duh!  Because we’re OLD.   After one reads the wonderful news of the world and all about  DT and his antics and the antics of the  people state and federal legislatures, and the “foreclosures” and you find that you are not among the foreclosures or among the “police blotter” names,  Well, HELLO!  It’s a JOY to read the obituaries.

Dr. Larry Day is a retired KU J-School professor turned humor columnist. Download his book of goofy short stories, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia from Amazon.com.

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Hunting For St. Joseph ©

My wife Emmaline is one no nonsense, “just give me the facts,
please,” kind of woman. You won’t find Emmaline running on the
gerbil wheel of fad or fashion, much less giving heed to folklore
traditions. So it was with some consternation that I found myself in the
car (with Emmaline at the wheel as usual) driving to the city to buy a
statue of St. Joseph
We had decided to put our house on the market with an eye to
moving to something smaller, with fewer stairs. Before we signed a
sales contract and way before the for sale signs went up, Emmaline
got word from her good friend Rosalie that if we were serious about
selling our house we had better seek the divine assistance of St.
Joseph.
“You have to bury a small statue of St. Joseph upside down in the
front yard,” said Rosalie. “If you do that, your house will sell fast.”
Rosalie had told Emmaline to try We Believe Books, a Christian
store on the outskirts of the city. We drove around awhile and then
spotted “We Believe,” in a strip mall.
“Hi folks,” said the man behind the counter. “It’s a blessed
day.”
“Indeed it is,” said Emmaline. “Especially if you have a statue of
St. Joseph.”
“A statue?” the man asked.
“Well, actually small figurine of St. Joseph.”
“We don’t carry figurines,” he said.” Would a book mark do?”
We have some nice St. Joseph bookmarks.”
“No. It has to be a figurine.”
“Then I’m sorry, I can’t help you.”
“Is there another religious store close by?”
“You could try Light and Knowledge over on Linden Tree Road.”
Emmaline asked how to get there and the man gave her detailed
directions. After driving around for half an hour we found ourselves in
a in a rough neighborhood. Emmaline pulled up to a rundown
convenience store.
“See if the clerk knows where to find Light and Knowledge,” she
said.
The clerk was in his early twenties. He had a silver nose ring and
a nickel-sized ivory plug in each ear lobe.
“I’m looking for Light and Knowledge,” I said.
The clerk straightened up. His right hand moved slowly out of
sight under the counter.
“I’m all out,” he said.
“What?”
“I’m all out, man. Come back later.”
My confusion turned to insight. I felt a chill.
“Oh yeah, right. Okay, man,” I said. I backed toward the door.
“Did the clerk know anything?” asked Emmaline.
“No,” I said
Twenty minutes later we were in a less stressed part of town. We
passed a church. Six or seven women and a pastor were chatting on
the front steps. Emmaline pulled to the curb.
“Ask if they know where it is,” she said. “Hi, folks,” I said. “We’re
looking for the Light and Knowledge bookstore on Linden Tree
Road.” The pastor came to the car.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I have no idea. But Salvation Now
Bookshop is up the street three blocks.
The woman behind the counter at Salvation Now was tall and
angular.
“We’d like to buy a small figurine of St. Joseph, “said Emmaline.
“You don’t want Salvation Now, you want Light and
Knowledge,” said the woman.
“Right,” I said, “on Linden Tree Road.”
“Yes,” she said.
“Is it far?”
“About twenty blocks. My sister Ginger owns it. My name is
Sheila.” Sheila handed me a sheet of paper with a map showing
how to get from Salvation Now to Light and Knowledge.
“You must have lots of requests for St. Joseph figurines, why
don’t you stock them?” I asked.
“Ginger and I both wanted to stock St. Joseph figurines, but we
decided to do “rocks, scissors, papers” and let the winner have an
exclusive on them,” she said. “Ginger won. I got exclusive rights to St.
Redondo figurines.”
“What does St. Redondo do for people?” I asked.
“He brings customers to yard and garage sales,” she said. “You
hide him carefully in the worst, most useless, item you have. I’ve
heard of St. Redondo yard and garage sales that have nothing left
less than half an hour after they began.”
We thanked Sheila, and followed her map to the Light and
Knowledge Book Store. The St. Joseph figurine came in a little box
that had instructions on how and where to bury him to insure a quick
sale.
We haven’t sold our house yet, but Emmaline says St. Joseph is
working on it every day. Meantime she’s planning another trip to the
city. Emmaline wants to buy a St. Redondo figurine to use in the
garage sale we’re going to have before we move.

Dr. Larry Day is a retired foreign correspondent turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase on Amazon.

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Saving the Enchantment

“There are strange things done “
in the midnight sun
by the men who moil for gold.”
Robert Service, “The Cremation of Sam McGee.”

The men who moiled for gold back in Robert Service’s Yukon Territory were hardworking,
straight forward fellows. They prospected. If they found a vein, they staked a
claim and mined it. On the other hand, the men who wanted to turn The Enchantment
into a strip mall were insidious and devious. Thanks to Ribby von Simeon and the
Vigilance Corps, they failed.
The Enchantment is a dingy roadhouse on the outskirts of Letongaloosa. It’s the
kind of place every college town needs to maintain academic accreditation. I go to
the Enchantment to have a soft drink and chat with friends—some of whom live here
and some, like my robot alien friend KB 11.2, live a long, long way from here.
Letongaloosa has grown a lot lately, and Letongaloosa Community Junior
College, has more students than ever before. You used to know that the college was
not in session because there was a lot less traffic. Back then folks were a bit
embarrassed by the Enchantment and were glad it was a long way out of town.
Nowadays people think the Enchantment is quaint. And it seems closer to town now
that every square inch of land in the county is plotted, platted and spoken for.
Tad Tedwell was elected sheriff of Kigame County after the Vigilance Corps
helped him defeat Buck Johnson’s campaign for a fourth term. The Vigilance Corps
came about because Tad worked the overnight shift and because he liked breakfast.
When Tad came off his shift he’d eat breakfast at three or four locally owned cafes
every day. In any given week he’d have visited just about every café in town. He met
and talked to the same old guys in the same cafes day after day.
After he decided to run for sheriff he realized what a valuable resource his
coffee buddies could be. Most of them were veterans and most were members of
fraternal organizations.
So Tad organized a club and concocted bylaws. He even invented secret
handshakes and passwords. He called it the Vigilance Corps. He organized his coffee drinking pals into autonomous cells based on the cafes they frequented in the morning.
He prepared “dead drops,” where they could leave their reports. Tad did everything
but provide those guys with Green Hornet secret decoder rings.
It was Vigilance Corps member Maximo Perez who dealt the first serious blow to
Buck Johnson’s campaign. Maximo had retired from the county registrar of deeds
office. He poked around and found some highly suspect paper work on Buck Johnson’s
ranch and suburban properties. He put that information in a Vigilance Corps dead
drop. Tad used that information effectively in the campaign to cook Buck Johnson’s
goose.
Maximo found evidence that developers had used bogus paperwork to illegally
bend, fold and staple the dingy old roadhouse and the parcel of land on which it is
located into their suburban plots and plats. They apparently they want suburbia to
stretch from horizon to horizon. A lot of other folks don’t.
Fortunately, the true owner of the land was Ribby Von Simeon. Ribby inherited
that parcel from his tycoon father Balderdash Von Simeon and he had already used
part of the land to commemorate a cherished voyage on an ocean liner that he and
his mother, the famous actress Sippa Margarita Von Simeon, had taken. Ribby bought
the ocean liner after it was decommissioned. He had the ship hauled here, piece by
piece, and re-assembled on a hillside outside of town. The party Ribby threw for the rechristening
of the ship was the social event of the decade. As they moiled for gold,
the developers figured that their out of town lawyers could bulldoze the deal through.
For them the Enchantment was just a dingy roadhouse, and Ribby was just some guy
who taught horticultural dyontonics at a local community college. But Ribby loves
going to the Enchantment, and when it was threatened he used the Von Simeon
tenacity and the Von Simeon fortune to blast developers and their fancy lawyers out of
the water or, rather, off the land.
-30-

Dr. Larry Day is a retired KU J-School professor and author of Day Dreaming: Tales From the  Forth Dementia available on Amazon.

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Eloise Cleans Up

 

Eloise Simpelkins made herself a pile of money by taking advantage of the fastidiousness of rich people. Folks in Letongaloosa generally disapprove of taking advantage. Letongaloosans feel that taking advantage is not neighborly, and Letongaloosa is a neighborly town.

But people seem to approve of the way Eloise cleaned up financially. She built an enterprise that took advantage of the foibles of people like those who live in La Mancha, the posh section of town where the streets are winding and the house numbers are hand painted on Spanish tile.

Eloise Simpelkins is plain—beginning with her name and continuing with her squat chunky figure, her thick unruly hair, her flat face, her squinty eyes, and her pug nose.

From her looks people conclude that Eloise isn’t smart enough to pound sand in a rat hole. Besides that, the Simpelkinses lived on the wrong side of the tracks. In reality Eloise is very bright. But she didn’t do well in school because of her looks—teachers treated her as if she were as dumb as she looked–and because she had to work long hours after school and on weekends with her mother who was a cleaning lady for people who lived in La Mancha.

When Eloise finished high school there were no college scholarships or government loans for academic underachievers from the wrong side of the tracks. And there were no good jobs for girls who looked like they weren’t smart enough to pound sand in a rat hole.

So Eloise became, like her mother, a full time cleaning lady for people who lived in La Mancha. Things were slow at first, but soon Eloise had all the work she could handle. She cleaned while groups of La Mancha women played bridge, mahjongg, and chatted over cups of coffee.

One day Eloise overheard a group of women complaining. They hated cleaning bathrooms on the mornings that their cleaning ladies were coming. The women didn’t want the cleaning ladies to see the cruddy toilets, the toothpaste-encrusted washbasins and mirrors, and the gunk-spattered showers in the bathrooms of their slovenly husbands and teenagers.

“I’d just die if Ermaline saw Reginald’s poopy toilet,” one of them said.

That gave Eloise her big idea. She would become a cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady. To get jobs all Eloise had to do was convince the women of La Mancha that she would be as discreet about their husbands’ filthy bathrooms as their doctors were about their medical conditions, and their lawyers were about the flaws in their prenuptial agreements.

The women of La Mancha paid Eloise handsomely—much more handsomely for her discretion than for her bathroom cleaning efforts. Soon Eloise was making as much as a cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady as she would have made as a school teacher with a masters degree.

Eloise was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Intuition told her that wealthy women in other upper middle class enclaves around the state and the nation were similar to women who lived in La Mancha. Research proved her right. She saw an opportunity to set up a nationwide franchise business that featured discretion-based pre-cleaning lady services.

Eloise is now CEO of a highly successful nationwide cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady enterprise. And business is about to get better. Eloise went undercover in one of her Eastern seaboard franchises. She was working as a cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady. A couple of women were playing gin rummy.

One said, “Can I confide in you?”

The other said, “Always, dear.”

The first said, “Tell me if I’m crazy, but I’m getting uncomfortable about having the pre-cleaning lady see George’s filthy bathroom.”

“You’re not crazy,” said the second woman, “I’ve been worrying about that for a month or so.”

Eloise hurried back to her company headquarters in Letongaloosa and started work on a new business plan. Next month she’ll launch a nationwide franchise operation that features a very, very discreet and ultra pricy pre-cleaning lady’s pre-cleaning lady service.

Next up: a nationally franchised service that provides come-to-your-home hair dressers who prepare women for their appointments with their hair dressers. -30-

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Stage Too

“All the world’s a stage.

And all the men and women merely players.”

William Shakespeare, “As You Like It,” Act II, Scene VII

Until he learned better, Handley Pringle always thought the word “stage” was a noun or a verb. As a noun a stage was where public performances took place. As a verb, “to stage,” meant to present as a public performance.

Handley didn’t consider the Pringle’s front room a stage, and he certainly didn’t think of his cluttered office as a stage. But that was before he and Regina decided to sell their large home.

The Pringles had bought the older house decades earlier. Letongaloosa was different then. Mitch Kapster, who had been a local real estate agent forever, showed them all the houses in his sparse listings. After several rounds of looking, they bought this particular two-story because it was in an excellent location and because Regina said that the house had “personality.”

Over the years the Pringles fixed the place up a lot. They modernized the kitchen and the bathrooms. Regina completely changed the décor. But it wasn’t until they engaged a real estate agent that the Pringles learned that Shakespeare’s phrase applied to their house.

The Pringles followed along as the real estate agent did a “walk through.”

“That flowered sofa will have to go. Get rid of all those photos on the piano. You’ll have to strip wallpaper in the downstairs bathrooms and paint them a neutral color. Same with the spare bedroom.”

The real estate agent winced at Handley’s office.

“There are major problems here. For starters take down all those framed diplomas, certificates, and citations for merit. The running trophies must go too. Get rid of all those doodads and goo-gahs on the desk and cabinets.”

“But why,?” asked Handley.

“Buyers don’t want to see your personal stuff,” said the real estate agent. “They want to see a generic house. Buyers want everything neutral so they can imagine themselves in the house.”

“But this house has personality,” said Regina. “I designed the décor to fit the house’s personality.”

“Buyers don’t want personality. They want neutral. You’ll need a stager. I can recommend someone who’s really good.”

“What’s a stager?” Handley asked.

“The stager will help you get rid of the stuff that distracts prospective buyers. The stager will help make your house look more like the pages of Nice House Magazine.”

“How much will that cost?” asked Handley.

“It won’t be cheap,” said the real estate agent.

“Forget it,” said Regina. We’ve decided not to move.”

Time passed. Then the people next door put their house up for sale. Their house was the same age and the same type as the Pringles’. They hired stagers. After the house was staged, Handley and Regina walked through it. The house looked a lot like the houses one sees in Nice House Magazine. But the neighbors’ house didn’t sell. They cut the price, and then they cut the price again. Months went by.

One day a tall young woman rang the doorbell.

“Hello. I apologize for the intrusion. My husband and I are going to buy a house. We looked at the house next door, and someone said that you might be willing to sell your house. Could I see it?”

Regina invited the woman to come in.

“In the living room the woman said, “I LOVE the flowered sofa. Everything you see nowadays is so blah and generic.”

As they walked from room to room the woman said she really liked the house. “Oh, that’s a nice touch,” she’d say of some bit of Regina’s unusual décor.

Regina didn’t want the woman to see Handley’s office, but they ended up there.

“Is your husband a runner?” the woman asked.

“He used to be,” said Regina.

“My husband is a runner,” said the woman.

She looked at the framed diplomas, certificates and statuettes. “Those are awesome,” she said.

“Thank you,” said Regina.

Larry Day is the author of Day Dreaming: Tales from the Fourth Dementia(ISBN 978-1-100-18422-2 ) available for Kindle on Smashwords.com. Hard copies are available for purchase on Lulu.com. Retailers e-mail Larry: day_larry@yahoo.com

“This house has personality. I LOVE it. Would you be willing to sell?

“We’ve thought about it,” said Regina.

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