You Couldn’t Pay Me

Another early-bird day started at the office, and mostly due to some necessary desk work needing to be done before my afternoon appointments started. It was all the warmer and windier than yesterday, which compelled me to make sure that flowerpot outside my front door was fully watered. Petunias will wilt very quickly if not given the water they need on a regular basis. Now geraniums are another story, because they could be near bone-dry, and still look great.

As much as I wanted to get some research done this morning, it didn’t happen because of the walk-ins and phone calls. I’m not going to worry about it, because as of now, I’m not stacked with appointments tomorrow. Several of my visitors were past clients just checking to see how business has been thus far, and as I’ve told them all, it was a toxic first three months of this year, but now business is clipping along, and trying not to miss a beat in my attempts at playing catch-up.

I was compelled to get up, and then go out to the front of my office to see what all the noise and commotion was about. From my front office windows, I could see four young men from Country Landscapes. Yes, that’s the company who so poorly installed those sidewalk pavers outside my office. You can be sure I’ll never forget the unwarranted sassing I got from that toad worker of theirs with a Brooklyn accent. Nasty creature.

Wouldn’t you know, our illustrious Chamber of Commerce lady was out there directing the installation of another big limestone block on the inside of the sidewalk near The Manor’s parking lot. She must’ve decided our City needs all the more metal “yard art” in our Historic Downtown. All I could think of, was how few the numbers of people would be coming to Mason City to go on those “Sculpture tours” they offer.

When are people going to understand that things are NOT going to return back to being the way they were before this China-virus pandemic arrived. There’s no question in my mind that even if there happens to be a vaccine created for certain mutations of it, the bulk of our general public is not going to be wanting any more “crowd” interaction, and especially in strange places. Unless there was a specific grant given to add more of those stone platforms, I’d say “management” needs to do some real-world forecasting.

One of my colleagues mentioned just yesterday, that she’d heard that the recent sales of recreational vehicles had skyrocketed 600% since the beginning of the coronavirus. I’m still in a bit of disbelief, but if those numbers are correct, then it’s telling us that people are now shying away from staying in hotels, and certainly not traveling by air. I know it’s going to be disastrous for the hospitality industry, but in a way, I’ll be glad to see more taking road trips where they’re forced to spend more time together. For too many years, families have grown apart, and perhaps this returning to extended family vacations via recreational vehicles, will be a very positive by-product of this pandemic.

Ever since the bedbugs returned to our States, I’ve been all the more wary of staying in a hotel, and even more so now with this pandemic. I absolutely could not believe reading where our City Administrator insisted that the hotel WILL be built, along with the more millions being spent on that silly Music Man Square. How could someone who’s supposed to be watching out for our City’s best interests, so freely throw caution to the wind by saying “They WILL get built.”? I think if I were our City’s Finance Director, I’d have all my hair pulled out in frustration by now. Where is the money coming from, and who’s going to be on a very long-term hook to pay for it?

I’m surprised the powers that be out in California who’re the trustees of the Meredith Willson Foundation, haven’t already said, “We’re turning our faucets of financial support off NOW, because it’s been a loosing proposition for us from the time it was Carl Miller’s brainchild.” When thinking back about how he was so insistent on building the Music Man Square, I believe he was so possessed by it, that he wasn’t going to allow anyone to stand in his way. Where is he now? Last I heard, he’s enjoying his golden parachute retirement up in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

My first showing at noontime, was an acreage that just got listed not very far north of our City. As I was driving past the other two homes that happen to be its neighbors, I was a bit concerned by all the cars and “stuff” in their yards. When I pulled into the driveway, I was taken back in time to a home I was very familiar with some years ago. Because builders back before the turn of the century usually copied from others, I knew when I walked in that house, the rooms would be where they were in my “familiar”. Sure enough, they were where I expected them to be.

I will say, those sellers deserve a gold star for how well they’ve taken care of that old girl, as well as how clean they’ve kept it. Because of its size, I’d say it’s meant to be owned by a couple with no more than two children. Of course my buyers who have more, thought it too small. The wife was very upset by the online photos making her believe it was large, but I had to remind her, as I do many, there are Realtors out there who’re using those fish-eye lenses on their cameras, and their numbers are growing.

One of my afternoon appointments took me to a home I had that “feeling” again, which was making me nauseous and sad. By the time I walked out, I knew there was something there which I couldn’t see, smell, or touch, yet still being very much present. Something very strange happened while I was inside waiting for the buyers to arrive which startled me, but not long afterwards, someone else who’d been within, mentioned another odd occurrence. After hearing that, you couldn’t force me to spend a night there.

Tonight’s one-liner is: The short words are best, and the old ones best of all.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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