The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary

“Professionally decorated.” So busy you’ll be dizzy. Demons running amuck with your money bang on the door of the DSM-5 with striped wallpaper and floral print curtains (or vice versa), a border here, a chair rail there.

“Storybook home.” A tale that ends with no beginning, middle or closets — AKA “a real dollhouse.” Another shrimp for Barbie.

“Unique property.” Electric baseboard heat, down a dirt road with flooding from a creek.

“$1,000 carpet allowance.” Their pets pissed everywhere — yours will discover the particulars.

“Your own private retreat.” No one will hear you scream. Has that “In Cold Blood” feel.

“Cozy.” That iron lung feel.

“Great location.” A half-mile from a major mall — which you can drive to in twenty minutes.

“Larger than it looks.” Twice as much dump for the money as you originally thought.

“A steal.” Can’t give it away.

“Won’t last long!” Freudian slip.

“Backs up to a wooded area.” Trespassing hunters, bears sorting through the trash cans, KKK bonfires in the clearing.

“Relax by the inground pool.” An oasis before purchase, a mirage after.

“Owner-financing available.” I can’t unload this damn thing. You’re a financial fuck-up. Maybe we can work something out.

“Land contract.” To re-wire it, shore up the foundation and kill the termites would cost more than it’s worth.

“Majestic shade trees.” Year-round gutter cleaning and Alien-like roots that clog the basement drain and push up the sidewalks.

“Historic home.” Hop out of bed on cold winter mornings and run down the steep narrow stairs to the sole bathroom on the first floor. Fight for months with the local Hysterical Society about which color to paint your dream. Scare up the money for ornate ironwork to keep the junkies out of the carriage house. Deathbed utterance: “I think the neighborhood is starting to turn around.”

Randy Shields can be reached at music2hi4thehumanear@gmail.com.

Randy Shields can be reached at music2hi4thehumanear@gmail.com. His writings and art are collected at RandyShields.com.

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