HOW WE SAVED
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
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,"
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
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
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
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
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
"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.