Friday, July 31, 2009

Money Talks

My older brother recently got a new job and had to move on pretty short notice. Since he didn’t have time to sell his house, he decided to rent it. And it was because of this that we were able to meet one of the most unintentionally funny people I’ve ever met. My brother asked me to help with the prospective tenant interviews because of his long work hours. I told him that he probably shouldn’t leave it in my hands because of our propensity for pranks, but he didn’t listen. So the first guy I met with was a realtor looking for a place to live while he built his new home. And he was one of those people who talks so fast, that you kinda have to squint and turn your ear towards them to catch everything they say (like the guy on those old MicroMachines commercials). But I’ve never heard someone talk so much while saying so little. Every couple of sentences, he would end with “you know what I’m sayin’.” And he didn’t need a response. By the time you finished taking a breath to let him know that you did, in fact, know what he was saying, he was already saying something else.

And I’m not sure about you, but I don’t know how to react when people tell me how much money they make. Whether they’re bragging about their income or complaining, I don’t know what expression to make. If you don’t react at all, then you’re acting like you don’t care. And you don’t want that. But if you act impressed at a high number, you’re further inflating their over-inflated ego. And if you act shocked by a low number, you’re essentially making them feel more poor. Well, the first time the guy mentioned his $7000 monthly income, I just faked a sneeze (mine is very convincing), and I thought I’d skirted around the issue. I was impressed with my own creativity. But he kept mentioning it and pausing as if waiting for a response. So I started to run out of things to do. I took a drink from my glass on the table, I glanced at my watch, I faked a cough (not as convincing). I even yawned. But he wouldn’t relent. I finally conceded defeat and gave him a slight nod with my eyebrows raised. And if I thought that would make the references subside, I was wrong. That seemed to steel his resolve and eliminate his need for inner monologue. He saw my expression and said, “Yeah. I know. A lot of people are impressed when I mention that.” He should have just said, “Yeah, I know. I’m kind of a big deal.

And you know those people that start talking about something at the wrong time? Like the ones who bring up their job selling life insurance when they’re at a funeral, or the ones who mention an anger problem at a job interview? Well this guy was just as bad. He was basically interviewing for the right to live in my brother’s house, but he kept saying things that would be better left unsaid.

Here are some examples:
"I can’t wait to move in, I’m gonna have a huge luau in my new backyard."

"So does the fridge in the kitchen stay with the house? Because if so, I’m gonna move it to the garage and make it exclusively a beer fridge."

"I’m so glad there’s not carpet in here. It’s a lot easier to mop up spills and stuff than to try and get them steamed out."

"Do you do a background check? Because there was this one misunderstanding a couple years ago. I can explain it, though. It’s actually a funny story."

"Hey, where's the nearest morgue?"

"If you want me to do a drug test, is there a way to get it scheduled like a week or two ahead of time?"

By the time he left, my head was spinning. I’ve never met a more obnoxious person in my life. He’s a good tenant though.

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