Shock Therapy – Condors and Townhomes



Chick monitored for evidence it ingested trash.

That’s the headline this morning in the San Diego Union Tribune’s article about the threatened California Condor. Naturally, I immediately saw a real estate parallel in this.

Real estate agents, it would seem, have a lot in common with the California Condor. Case in point:

Condors need large swaths of remote country for foraging and nesting. The birds may fly 150 miles a day in search of food.

Not unlike their Realtor counterpart, wouldn’t you agree? The problem it seems is that the adult condors are bringing trash back to construct their nests, and the unsuspecting yet curiously trusting chicks are eating it up – Rroken glass was cited, but one must assume that the real culprits were thousands of previously door-dropped flyers from their “Neighborhood Specialists”.

Biologists have come up with a solution involving electric-shock therapy for parents, the deliverers of the garbage. Zoo officials have begun connecting small items of trash to a panel the emits a “mild” electric shock when first contact is made. “We had to get creative”, one bird curator said. “This is one of the biggest challenges facing condors.”

And our real estate industry. This is pure genius. My own front porch has been the nesting ground for foraging agents for years, and the trash comes at an increasingly steady clip. With the slowing market and the species feeling threatened, the garbage on my doorstep seems to spawn yet more garbage in logarithmic proportions.

Everyone enjoys a good “comp” now and then, but the content of the refuse delivered to my nest, this in our increasingly technologically savvy world, is becoming counterintuitively more inane. This is my call to arms: Let’s find a way to design a device which will deliver an electric shock the moment the crap hits the welcome mat. Zap-worthy offenses would include material containing any of the following popular catch phrases:

  • “High-Tech, Soft-Touch” – I just got a website.
  • “Your Realtor for Life” – 25 Years to Life.
  • “172% of My Business Comes From Past Clients and Referrals” – I don’t really have any business at all.
  • “I Sell (San Diego, Simi Valley, The Northern Hemisphere)” – People are just so gullible.
  • “Call Me for a FREE Market Evaluation” – An original idea has never entered my head, yet I am certain you will choose me to market your home.
  • “Thinking of Buying or Selling?” – Just askin’, in case it hadn’t occured to you.
  • “Combined 88 Years of Real Estate Experience” – Sum the “years licensed”, for self and buyer’s agent, inflate by “ten”, award bonus years for personal assistant and guy who fixes computer viruses, carry the “eight”.
  • “Enter the Free Drawing” – So I can add you to my mailing list and spam you silly until retirement.

Why stop with the written word? I submit that the following are heinous, joltable oral offenses:

  • “My People” – As in “My People really like the home, and they are My People, and I command respect because I have People”.
  • “I’ve been in this business for…” – As in, “I have been in this business since the Eisenhower Administration and, therefore, am to be revered”.
  • “Relator”, “Relastate” – As in, “I am a Relator, I practice Relastate, and I am an Idiot”.
  • “This home Shows Like a Model, is Model Perfect, and is Better Than the Model” – As in, this is my first listing, and I am really proud, and I don’t know what the h— I’m talking about.

And, on the voicemail:

  • “I am either out showing property or on a listing appointment”. Meaning: “I am out dropping flyers in Kris’ bushes”.
  • “All calls received after 5:00 PM will be returned the next business day”. Meaning: “I don’t really work very hard”; or, “I am out dropping flyers in Kris’ bushes”.

As for the Condor program, “It’s not really something that shocks you so that your feathers stand up”, they say. Too bad. I think some feathers need to be ruffled. My trash-o-meter is set to “Stun”.

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