The Old House and the Flip

It was an old house who sat alone on a cliff in the hills and it had gone thirty-seven days now without an offer. In the first twenty days, the kitchen was not small and open and the friends could not come over for the entertaining and the feast and the talking about the soccer coach who would not play little Trevor or Julie even though they should play because they were good. But after another two weeks and the dropping of the asking price and the pretty couple came and saw the house and the pretty wife said “eww” but they looked at the comps and they were in the 410-to-425 range and that was a good range and the pretty wife said “sure.”

And then the old house who had sat so long on and was good and had walls in its kitchen like houses did when the old house was a young house opened its doors to the pretty couple and the fat men with their hammers and their drills and their quotes.

“This kitchen,” said the pretty wife.

“The walls.”

“How will they see their friends for the entertaining?”

“Kitchens should be open.”


“Walls are not good.”

“In the kitchen, walls are bad.

“For the entertaining…”

“With the friends.”

“How will they see the friends if there are walls.”

“In the kitchen.”

“Yes, the kitchen.”




And the flop was flipped and the roaches and the birds and the smell of the dead were replaced with a sense that they should have added an addition so it would have the half of a bath that would help with the loins and the filth. They were in for more money now, and that was good if the staging and the comps and the closing costs and the open house and the offers were offers that should be offered.

“I didn’t know the house could be so beautiful.”

“Houses can be beautiful.”

“This one smelled of the carcasses.”

“And the dung.”

“And the roaches.”

“Roaches have the filth, not the smell.”

“Yes. And eww.”

Up on the cliff, the old house sat new again with the open concept kitchen and the on suite master and the walk-in closet and the crown molding. But underneath the flipping and the flopping was the old house. And the new house sat on top of him. The old house was dreaming of shag carpeting.

- - -

The Short Happy Life of House Hunters

It was now lunchtime and they were all sitting at the Panera pretending that they hadn’t already decided on a house.

“Do you like the townhouse or the place in the suburbs?” The Realtor asked.

“I think the townhouse. For the fun. It’s quite fun, isn’t it? To be around the things to do?” The husband said.

“I suppose it’s the thing to do. The fun. Having the fun. But there is the yard. And the children. We do have the children,” said the wife.

“Yes. We have the children.”

“With the yard.”

“But so far from the fun. And the closeness to work.”


“Oh, don’t be that way.”

“I’m not. I’m worried about the fun and the children and the work and the closeness.”

So, they left the Panera and drove to the houses and they asked the Realtor why they had grown up saying real-a-tor and when had that changed and who made the change. Then they asked the Realtor which house they should buy and if she thought crown molding and open concept kitchens and the backsplashes would make up for the long drive to the work and the children not playing.

“No,” said the Realtor, “I’m a professional House Hunter. We never discuss what our clients should buy.”

“Quite,” said the husband.

“Quite what?”

“I’m sorry. He’s tight,” said the wife.


“I have a living to make,” said the Realtor. “You know, people used to just buy a house and leave the kitchen walls up and the bathroom the same and hang pictures on the wall.”

“Who could live like that?”


As the car drove from house to house, the couple felt their hearts pounding as the pulled into the driveway of the one they had already decided on before they started this charade of filming. The Realtor got out and walked ahead of them.

“I don’t remember this house,” said the husband.

“It’s a house,” said the realtor.

“We’ve seen too many houses. I don’t remember this house. What if its kitchen isn’t open to the living room. What if there’s carpet? What about the crown molding?”

“None of that will be true. Plus, we have money in the reno budget.”


“The renovations.”


The walls of the kitchen stared at them as they stood in the living room and its shag rug and its bare wall tops and its closed in feeling. A coffin would have been more of a home.

“That was a nasty thing to do,” the husband said. “Making us see so many houses that we forgot which one was which.”

“You would have liked this the best," the wife said. “If television didn’t tell you how to think.

“But we are on television.”

“We are all on television.”


“Who the hell wants to see the kitchen all the time?” The Realtor growled. “The dishwasher’s on and the stove is hot and the pots are banging. I can’t watch my stories. And like what if I just want one moment to myself to read Twitter and drink coffee. Why do you need to see me? Can I just sit??”

“Look at these walls,” the wife said. “Where’s the crown molding? And is this a rug? A rug?”

“None of these things will make you happy,” said the Realtor.

“Except for the kitchen island and the backsplash.”

“Yes, of course, except for those,” the husband said.

“Oh,” said the Realtor. “Isn’t it pretty to think so.”