Monday, December 18, 2006

Getting housed

The news these days is littered with stories about the impending crash of the real estate market, which is why my wife Kara and I are going to move into a different house as soon as possible: we want to make absolutely sure that we don’t miss out on the opportunity to lose our life savings. So tomorrow, we’re going to drive one town over to meet with a seller’s real estate agent, where we’ll sign a piece of paper that says that we’re all allowed to stop lying to each other. Until you sign the paper signifying that everyone has agreed on a price, the lies just fly around from all sides like we think we’re running for office.

“We don’t want to play back-and-forth over this like a game of tennis, so here’s the lowest we can possibly go,” their agent told us recently.

“That’s refreshing,” my wife Kara replied. “We don’t want to play tennis either, so here’s the highest we can possibly go,” throwing out a much lower number and leaving us all staring into the vast void in between the two. If you had dropped a rock into that void, you could have fixed yourself a cup of hot tea before it hit bottom.

Fortunately, everybody was lying, so after several grueling sets of tennis, we finally arrived at a number with which we were all mutually unhappy.

Kara has been our chief negotiator over the past couple of weeks. I don’t have the stomach for it. She’s our Simon Cowell; I’m our Paula Abdul. This much was obvious even as we took our first walk-through of the house, when you’re supposed to pretend that you would sooner challenge a porcupine to a Greco-Roman wrestling match than live there. Even though you don’t want the real estate agent to smell enthusiasm on you, I still just can’t muster up the guts to say anything bad about a perfect stranger’s house. “Good job, house. You came out here and you did your thing. I’m proud of you,” I’d say, standing up and clapping using only my palms, seeming vaguely inebriated.

Then Kara would chime in: “Oh, this is terrible, simply dreadful. If this house was a lifeguard, a lot of people would be drowning.”

Kara’s strategy was of course the better one, so I tried to keep my mouth shut as much as possible. Besides, it’s just a house. It’s not like it’s a video game or anything, where one false move could be responsible for the destruction of entire civilizations. You need to keep these things in perspective.

So now that we’ve agreed on a price, we just have to worry about what the market’s going to do, which of course nobody can really predict. Several years ago, I was convinced that I had psychic abilities, which would certainly be useful now. Like all the great clairvoyants, my original psychic inspiration came from the old Fox show Joe Millionaire. See, I guessed on the first episode that Joe would end up with Zora, which he eventually did, thereby convincing me of my great powers, which I then used to predict that we were just bluffing about the whole Iraq thing.

So while my powers might be lacking in the realm of the consequential, I can still divine that the next reality show you watch on Fox will go like this: recap of last week, five minutes of new show, Taco Bell commercials featuring people who seem inordinately surprised that they’re full after consuming a 730-calorie burrito, ten minutes of recap of the previous five minutes of new show, GEICO commercials that are better than the show you’re watching, attractive woman’s emotional breakdown, recap of the emotional breakdown for anyone who suffered a severe head trauma in the past ten seconds but is still watching the remainder of the show, then a teaser for next week, which will be a recap of this week.

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  1. congratulations on the award, champ!

  2. I hate house shopping almost as much as I hate car shopping. ugggghhhhhh

    I hate how every channel (fox mostly) has jumped on the morally wrong idea's of reality shows. uggghhh What's next. Who's picking their nose and where will they flick their booger show??

  3. kimu-hates-survivor12/18/2006 12:35 PM

    Dude, you totally forgot the part in reality shows where they forshadow a NEVER-BEFORE-DONE something-or-other, a NETWORK FIRST that promises to be SOMETHING YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE! This is invariably something you HAVE seen before -- something, perhaps, you even PIONEERED somewhere along the line. Like that time you made your second cousin devour a cockroach WHILE BEING DANGLED UPSIDE DOWN when you were eleven, and your cousin was much, much younger. For "immunity," you had explained, right before your cousin puked.

    If only you had put it on television, CBS'd be hunting you down with pitchforks right now to write a new reality script. Tsk. Tsk.

  4. Congrats on the new house! Yeah for you and Kara.

  5. Hey Dawg. See a little more Randy myself. Funny.

    You could use the same formula on cable except replace GEICO with lower class insurance company (daily rates) and more PetMed commercials.