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Thursday, May. 05, 2005
I offer this follow up to the previous entry where my big bad dog drove some potential house buyers right out of his domain and into the land of contract offers.

My Lab is a good boy, an ancient and wheezing sort. But I have a feeling he’s gonna be pissed when I break the news to him. He isn’t getting a commission.

The following day as I wheeled the large truck down a water bordered highway somewhere south of lunchtime, the cell phone rang yet again. It’s been doing that a lot lately.

Brriiinnng!

“Uh?”

“Outfoxed? Broker Bob here. Seems we have two offers on the house now.”

“Izzat so?”

“Yup. Need to get up wi’ ya. 2 o’clock okay?”

“Done. See ya.” click

Now, having not signed any contracts of any kind, and having succumbed to the traipsing of many feet through the house for the past two weeks, to have not one but two offers on the table at the same time is sort of liberating. Sort of empowering, if you will. And Broker Bob sounded a whole lot happier about the second one than the first. The fact that he nearly shouted the word ‘TWO!’ kinda gave it away straight off.

He might be a man of few words but vocal inflection goes a long way with a Watering Hole real estate broker. You ought to hear him order a draft.

So 2 o’clock rolls around and I headed over to the Broker Bob Corporate Office, a tidy little two story brick number set back amongst the trees not a mile from where I live. Sure enough, Broker Bob was in, and he paused his online Texas Hold’Em game long enough to kick feet off the desk and casually drop two stacks of paper in front of me.

“Now ye see Outfoxed, this here offer says you close near the end of June. And they might want an appraisal. And they didn’t like your dog overmuch.”

“Right. That much was made clear.”

“But here . . .” And he made a great show of ruffling pages and displaying the second stack at a cunning angle. “Here is the one I got hold of this morning. This sumbitch wants to buy your house and renovate it. Got a million dollar line o’ credit. All cash deal. No contingencies whatsoever. And ya know what the best part is?”

“Bob, I can’t imagine.”

“He’s a broker!”, Bob shouted with just a bit of triumph. “He’s in the game! Big deal in town! Wants to close in 3 weeks!”

It was enough of a bombshell to distract Broker Bob from Texas Hold’Em, and that’s saying something. The screen beeped insistently in the background as he twirled in the office chair and jabbed a cigarette excitedly into an ashtray, pointedly ignoring the No Smoking signs festooned throughout the room. A cracked window blew a heavy cloud of smoke lazily at the ceiling line as I stared unbelieving at the forms, but it breathed in like honeysuckle in the little office.

Little moments, and how we remember them.

I took a pen in hand that mysteriously appeared from nowhere and scribbled. Here and here. Initial all 7 of these. I signed, and quickly. There wasn’t much of anything worth discussing.

But it did cross my mind, in a way that clouds might make sunlight a bit more bearable on a bright day. The days spent in that place of ours, and 13 years of child raising there, and the plain and keen quickening that will happen in 3 weeks. That certain lack of things that comes from not seeing the dirt of a backyard, or a crooked window shutter anymore. Or needing to learn a new way to get home of an evening in the large truck.

Or maybe of a very old Lab, crippled old with hips that work poorly now. Finding his way around new grass and trees.

It was a thin cloud indeed, and it puffed away as I gently closed the office door with a happy voice in the background picking up the phone and saying, “Broker Dan? Broker Bob here. We got a signed deal . . .”

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