It was just one depressing headline after another. The real estate market was crumbling, the stock market was a shambles, foreclosures were rampant, recession was imminent.
   I took a sip of my protein shake as I read the latest news on the economy. It was bad. Real bad. I looked across the breakfast table at my wife. Like every American, she was deeply worried. I knew I had to do something.
   I gulped down the rest of my protein shake, sat up in my chair, and pounded my fist on the table. "Letís buy a house," I announced.
   She began choking on her apples and peanut butter, but she recovered quickly. "Are you nuts?"
   "Someone needs to save the economy," I replied. "I know Iím too meek and conservative to do it. This is a job that requires the services of my alter-ego."
   Her head dropped on the table. "Oh, no, you donít meanÖ."
   I squared my shoulders. "Yep, this is a job for IMPULSIVE MAN!!!"
   She looked up, and I could see she wanted to be included, so I added "and his sidekick, WHATEVER GIRL!!!!"
   She rolled her eyes in resignation. "Whatever."
   Impulsive Man quickly determined that the most impulsive place to buy real estate would be San Diego, where two sons would be attending college for the next four years and where the real estate market was particularly horrible. The boys could live in our house and save on rent, which may or may not make financial sense.
   Those were the type of questions that Impulsive Man and Whatever Girl werenít about to analyze. They were on a mission to save the financial structure of our country and asking questions only got in the way.
   They jumped on a plane from their Northern California home and headed for San Diego. Upon landing, they walked into the first real estate office they saw and told the luckiest real estate agent in the world that they wanted to buy a house.
   "Really?" replied Mark, the luckiest real estate agent in the world. "Are you nuts?"
   "I am Impulsive Man, and this is my trusty sidekick, Whatever Girl," said Impulsive Man. "We are here to save the economy. Show us a house."
   So he did. In fact, he showed us a total of seven houses, six of which even a superhero wouldnít touch. But the seventh wasnít too bad. Impulsive Man liked it. He turned to Whatever Girl. "What do you think?"
   She shrugged. "Whatever."
   "We would like to make an offer," announced Impulsive Man to Mark, the luckiest real estate agent in the world. "What do you think it is worth?"
   Mark had to sit down. He was feeling dizzy. When he recovered, he said that the owners had already dropped their price 20%, but he thought they might come down some more.
   Impulsive Man smelled a bargain. He may have been on a mission to save the economy, but squeezing every last dollar from some struggling homeowner trying to salvage their lifeís savings---well, that was OK, too.
   "Take another 20% off their asking price, and weíll have a deal," said Impulsive Man. "They should be eternally grateful that they received any offer at all in this dreadful market."
   They were not grateful. In fact, they were a bit insulted. Impulsive Man was impressed by their resolve. He upped his offer. They refused him again.
   Now Impulsive Man was pissed. "Donít they know this is the worst real estate crisis in decades?" he cried. "Iím trying to save the economy, and this is how Iím treated?"
   "Theyíve already dropped their price," replied Mark, who was cowering in the corner, protecting himself from the superheroís rage. "Itís already a good deal."
   Thatís all Impulsive Man needed to hearógood deal. Thatís what makes him Impulsive Man. He turned to Whatever Girl. "What do you think?"
   "Accept their pathetic counter-offer," decreed Impulsive Man to the luckiest real estate agent in the world. "We have a deal. The American economy is saved."
   Papers were signed and inspections were ordered. Impulsive Man and Whatever Girl hopped back on a plane for Northern California, their mission accomplished.
   "Do you think we did the right thing?" I asked as the plane took off and we tried to spot the neighborhood where the boys could trash our little house for the next four years.
   Impulsive Man was gone, and so was Whatever Girl. Thank goodness for contingencies.

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