Thursday, March 30, 2006

Captain Tony Morgan the Soul Patch Realtor

So I've been messing around on one of those internet real estate sites. It has good listing information and is frequently updated. When I signed up, I had to give a real email address to verify the account, but naturally I didn't give my actual phone number because -god forbid- that would mean I would actually have to speak to a live person and pretend that I'm interested in working with them to buy or sell a home when really I'm just using their resource for free and would really appreciate it if they would let me leach off their resource for free. I mean, that's the whole point of the Internet, right?

So this web site assigns a realtor to you when you sign up, and they have a few different strategies to make you eventually cave and initiate live contact. First thing they do is post a picture of your realtor-designate on the upper left corner of every single page of their site. You cannot get rid of the pic. Lucky me, I got this guy named Tony G.

Now if you've ever web-shopped for a house (no I do not actually go look at the places in person- I am much too lazy for that), you know that it's easy to spend a ridiculous amount of time looking at listings. Most of this wasted time is spent clicking on the reload button, hoping that with the next screen refresh the typo that must be in the price column will be corrected, because that crappy two bedroom shack simply cannot be worth half a million of your hard-earned dollars.

So as if the process of house shopping were not frustrating enough, Tony G's mug keeps showing up on every page, smiling at me as if he were mocking me: "HA HA you are too poor for this little shack, you pathetic lee-tuhl pair-sohn..." (Tony G now speaks like the French knight in Monty Python). So as you can see, after hours of surfing the site and having delusional fantasies about earthquakes and market crashes, Tony's headshot can really start to grate on you (what is it with realtors and headshots anyway? Are they all aspiring actors or something?). If I knew even an inkling of web programming, I would seriously devise a bit of JS code to force my browser to cancel Tony G's picture before it loads, sparing him from being the focal point of my real estate market-induced rage.

But of course this is me we're talking about. I am incapable of doing anything remotely productive, let alone learn Javascript (funny how I have loads of time to waste by posting on this blog- I guess my only skill is knowing how to touch type). So a simpler solution to my desire to inflict some sort of twisted revenge would be to dunk Tony G in a cyanide solution (ok, maybe just the picture and not his actual face...that would be mean). But I don't have any spare cyanide lying around, so I am forced to resort to digitally do what sixth graders do to yearbook photos of girls who won't go to the spring dance with them. Because even though I suck at pretty much anything productive, I somehow managed to clumse my way through photo editing software (is that even a word? clumse??? I'm pretty sure I just made it up right now...but I betcha know what it means! ha!). So, how about a little Captain Morgan Mustache and a Tony Almeida soul-patch (Tony Almeida and Tony G share the same first name, after all).

OK, I added the devil horns too. But no tail or trident for those of you who are appalled at my mean sense of humor (or plain mean non-funny humor-attempt, as it may be).

Now, as I mentioned before, I gave my actual email address to register (well, I used my secondary email, reserved sites that I know will spam me...other sites in this category start with a p, end with an n and rhyme with "corn"). However, I did not give my actual phone number. So one day I wanted to see what a house down the street was worth, so I pretended to want to sell it because that was the only way to get a list of comparable properties that sold.

So now Tony's all pumped up. He thinks I'm selling a house. That's like a guaranteed commission for him if he can just land me as a customer. Never mind it's not even my house I put into the system. So he sends me an email. It was something cordial like "Hey! I tried calling but I think I may have the wrong number. Anyway, I'm all ready to help you sell your house! How can I reach you?". I delete it. (what else would I do, respond???). Then he sends me another email. And another. And another. Each with an increasing amount of frustration in his tone. His commission is going to go to another broker. Heaven forbid. Last email is something like "Dude, just email me back you dimkus. I did a whole workup for you made up 99% of flashy looking, irrelavent boilerplate material and one page of crappy info my high school intern assistant put together." OK, he didn't call me a dimkus (what's a dimkus...I use that a lot but I don't actually know what it means...also what's a nifkin? I'll save "nifkin" for another blog entry because what I think it means will gross you out and you need to be prepared with the proper three paragraph setup). But Tony G was clearly frustrated. To the point that the tone of his last email was certainly going to repel me rather than sway me in any way to call him or even reply to one of his emails. So in the end I cancel the sell entry and he hasn't contacted me since. I think he gave up on me. Why o why Tony would you give up on me now??? Just kidding.

I am glad Tony doesn't have my actual address. I can just picture it now. Lazy Saturday. I'm watching tv as usual, lying like a sack of potatoes on the couch, probably developing a pressure sore on my tailbone. The doorbell rings. And on my front porch is *gasp* Tony G. Maybe he'll simply smile and introduce himself. Or maybe he'll work in construction on the side (Iiiiii dunno....his last name *could* be Italian....and two Sopranos I know from HBO are named Tony), and force me into his car and dump me in the East River (o wait, I live in SoCal...make that "dump me in my swimming pool").

OK enough grief to Tony G. He doesn't deserve any of it. He's just doing his job. He and his company have provided a fine resource for all of us house hunting fools. I am just venting the frustration we all share about the current state of the SoCal real estate market. Maybe I'll give Tony G a call tomorrow to discuss my real estate hunting needs with him. Or not. For fear of being thrown into the East River.

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