A Man’s House Is His Hassle

There comes a time in a young man’s life when he must make a decision about just how important to him a special someone is. Does he take the plunge and commit to a lifetime of shared joys and sorrows, coupled with joint engagement in the great financial capitalist system of the United States of America? Is now the right time to commit, or will better opportunities come along down the road? How will we handle it, this young man might wonder, if, for example, we disagree on the color scheme for a new suite of kitchen appliances?

The young man in question, in case you were clenching your seat in suspense, is I. And I’m clearly talking about selling my girlfriend’s house in Albuquerque.

The story is old as time, but since you insist, here’s the dossier: my Toothsome Lady bought this house in her past life. Then the market sank like a brick with another brick tied to its leg. She and I got together, skipped town, and ended up in Durango.

But it turns out houses aren’t like children: they don’t go away when you abandon them. So, like cats stalking a crippled cricket, we’ve waited patiently for the moment when the cricket is no longer upside-down and we can sell it to some other suckers.

That moment arrived this summer. Yet the buyers did not flock, and the house is still on the market! I finally understand the old James Dean saying, “Dream as if you’ll live forever, because that’s how long you’ll be stuck with your mortgage.”

Some English lord is still paying off his estate in Ireland.

Some English lord is still paying off his estate in Ireland.

Needless to say, these last few months have been so very trying for a patient, sympathetic, understanding fellow such as myself. I’m sure these are tough times for my Toothsome Lady too, but she is at least acquiring something called “equity” while I ask for and receive nothing in return for my struggles.

How do I handle such hardships with such grace, you might wonder? Well, here is my secret, which I read in an actual printed book so it must be legitimate: I should be grateful more often to lower stress and increase joy. So let me tell you about how grateful I am to be selling a house that’s not even mine!

I am grateful for handymen who don’t show up after they promise to. Sure, this means I had to sacrifice an entire weekend to tightening sink faucets and landscaping a yard. But in their magnanimous flakiness, these handymen saved us enough money to cover the expenses of pizza and beer for the friends and family who helped us.

Let’s give a shout-out to real estate professionals everywhere, who are truly not at all to the housing market what pimps are to the horizontal entertainment industry. Without them, who else would add all the whimsical apostrophes’ to your brochure’s? (Come on. Everyone knows it should be “you’re brochures.”)

But be careful who you listen to. Whatever the “liberal media” might have you believe, real estate agents are genuine people with families and emotions of their own. I’m particularly grateful for one real estate agent—let’s call him “Dick” because that is his name. Dick has taught me all the Sven and Ollie jokes I need to awkwardly end an otherwise rollicking social gathering. But when it comes to actually selling your house, boy, that’s when these professionals make me so very grateful.

I’m starting to think that our best hope of unloading this house is a natural and/or manmade disaster that the insurance company cannot write off as an “Act of God.” (As if God has time to worry about private housing when S/He’s busy bringing about the End Days through human destruction of the planet.)

Actually, that’s where we’re in luck. Potential housing disasters happen now more than ever!

I’m not just talking about sinkholes in Florida swallowing houses whole. I’m talking wholesale suburban destruction that didn’t exist before. The New York Times ran a piece about shifting soils destroying foundations across this great nation, probably due most likely to climate change, possibly, if it exists. Too dry? Too wet? One then the other? Hello, cracks in the walls!

But we want more than superficial signs of compromised structural integrity to get rid of this house. We need Sharknado-style dismantling of the property. Which is why I am now a firm supporter of the fracking industry.

Trust me, it makes sense. States such as Oklahoma and Texas, which have widespread fracking, are seeing massive spikes in earthquake activity. Oh, sure, some officials claim that “there’s no definitive causal link between injection wells and the ground going wobbly,” but my belief in the connection is stronger than any scientific “fact.”

I would be eternally grateful for any large fracking corporation who wants to take up operations in the park just up the road from this house. It’s a win-win situation: the corporation makes an insane amount of money, and the ensuing earthquakes—an Act of Man if ever I saw one—take this house off our hands.

And if that doesn’t work, at least the fracking company will bring in workers, who will need housing, which means one of them might buy the house. Let’s just hope they are grateful for our Realtor’s taste’s in ceiling mirror’s.

This piece originally appeared in the Durango Telegraph.



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