Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Business Marketing

Real Estate Caravan From Hell Revisited


A few months ago I told you about the caravan with bats in the fireplace, but this story would make you wish for a bat…maybe even a pterodactyl or two. It takes place in Los Angeles of course. What better place to get a healthy heap of crazy on a sunny Tuesday morning? My friend told me the story, and I swear she’s not a candidate for re-hab. Of course, after this incident she would have had justification. Please enjoy:


Yes, it was a sunny Tuesday morning and agents were gathering for a lovely L.A. caravan day. Jan was doing a second brokers’ open, as her listing just wasn’t getting any action. In order to re-new interest, Jan had ordered the usual nice luncheon to entice hungry realtors and their (hopefully) hungry buyers. The bill of fare included a selection of Mexican dishes from La Salsa and home made guacamole. Jan was humming, birds were singing, and the bougainvillea was bougaining. You get the picture.

Jan was nearly ready to go when Neighbor Nate blew in like the fresh scent of septic. Nate padded through the door wearing mangy bedroom slippers, gym shorts and a Tee shirt that looked like a death shroud. He said he was a neighbor, but he wasn’t sure what direction he had come from. Jan, sympathetic to the challenges of the elderly, could not see past the wreckage that was Nate, or she might have been wary of the crazy captain of his shriveled ship. But noooo, she asked him to make himself at home and have a bite to eat while she set out desserts.

Bring on the Entertainment

Nate crammed a mini taco past his mine field of yellow teeth and mushy gums, and he was reaching for another when his body thanked his hostess with a loud bit of rumbling, accompanied by an odor that made the burritos smell like hibiscus. Assessing the sitch, Jan moved quickly to steer the gas-filled octogenarian away from the Mexican food and toward the cookies. Alas, whatever he swallowed was accompanied by a hearty gust of flatulence that he either couldn’t hear, or just heartily enjoyed. Jan said the fumes were so bad they could only have been covered with formaldehyde. She may have even momentarily considered blowing out the candles due to the flammable nature of Nate’s gift that kept on giving.

Jan, always quick on her feet, did a body blockade of the table and thrust some carrot sticks at the old relic. She plastered a smile on her face and cheerfully insisted that Nate and his internal fumigation machine go look at the rest of the house. Nate complied, dragging his shriveled frame out of the kitchen and down the hall, his spindly legs lost in his baggy gym shorts like abandoned Popsicle sticks. He left her with a whiff of Nate before moving on his merry way. As the first group of cars pulled up out front, Jan heated cookies in the oven to create a delicious fragrance to try to disguise Nate’s toxic cloud.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Always Keep the Party Lively

When the first group entered, they signed in and proceeded to head for the table like buzzards on carrion. The group was friendly and conversant, so much so that Jan forgot about her other visitor. When a second wave entered, the first group proceeded on a tour of the house, and Jan continued the friendly banter.

Suddenly there was a scream in the bedroom. In a flash of memory so vivid that Jan thought she was passing into the Light, she remembered Nate. She said she doesn’t remember her sprint down the hall, but she does remember the scene awaiting her. There on the bed, stripped of all his clothes, lay a beaming Nate. As the group stood in horror, Jan tried to pull the spread around him, but his seersucker body was anchoring it down. Several agents came to their injured senses and fled down the hall to head off any newcomers while Jan picked up Nate’s shirt and threw it over his deflated package. Unfortunately, Nate did not WANT his package covered, so he kept tossing off the garments faster than she could retrieve them and telling her to “get out of my room or I’m calling Celia.”

Good Manners Can Go a Long Way

Her patience shot, Jan ran back to the kitchen to call the police. Before they could arrive, Nate appeared back in the kitchen, carrying his clothes. He grabbed a cookie and flashed a crumpled grin. “Thank you for a really nice time,” he said. “I’m going to get Celia and bring her over to say hello.” Nate turned as Jan stood speechless, watching while the sun reflected off two atrophied buns as they dutifully followed their master out the door.

Of course, this was aptly timed with the arrival of Dan, an agent from her office who heard Nate’s expression of gratitude. Dan sized up naked Nate and grinned at Jan like a fourteen year old who had just gotten his first glimpse of his teacher’s cleavage. Red-faced Jan didn’t bother to explain, knowing that the story would take on a life of its own back at the office.

Ever the dutiful agent, Jan went back to straighten the bedroom and noticed that poor Nate had left a carrot stick on the pillow…and a urine spot on the bedspread. When she glanced out the window, she saw a policeman gently guiding Nate into the back of a police car, hopefully to help him find his way home.

Of course, no one ever found out who Celia was, but if she’s hiding from Nate, who could blame her? And if Jan now has a fear of old men in gym shorts, who could blame her?

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.


I think we can all learn something from this story. 1) If someone seems dyspeptic, usher them toward the door, not away from it. 2) Always keep track of your guests, especially the ones whose eyes are like Jack Nicholson’s in The Shining. 3) If a guest cannot remember where they came from, or what they came for, chances are they won’t remember why they should keep their clothes on. 4) Never let anyone leave without your business card. The one odor worse than flatulence is the odor of an old listing!

Thank you Jan, and all my friends at Nelson Shelton, Sotheby’s International Realty and Keller-Williams for your great stories. Please visit for more tales from the trenches of real estate.

Written By

I wear several hats: My mink fedora real estate hat belongs to Sotheby’s International Realty on the world famous Sunset Strip. I’M not world famous, but I've garnered a few Top Producer credits along the way. I also wear a coonskin writer's cap with an arrow through it, having written a few novels and screenplays and scored a few awards there, too. (The arrow was from a tasteless critic.) My sequined turban is my thespian hat for my roles on stage, and in film and television, Dahling. You can check me out in all my infamy at LinkedIn,, SherlockOfHomes, IMDB or you can shoot arrows at my head via email. I can take it.



  1. Lani Rosales

    June 5, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Gwen, I LOVE that your articles are always appalling, entertaining AND make me cringe every time!

  2. Joe Loomer

    June 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    note to self: Do not – under ANY circumstances – ever, EVER, eat or drink anything anywhere near your monitor, keyboard, cell phone, desk phone, or any other item that may be damaged by the involuntary snort of whatever is in your gullett when you read Gwen’s posts.

    I also had a momentary pang of sympathy for Nate. Maybe it wasn’t a pang, maybe I was laughing so hard I pulled a “Nate.” At least that’s what I’m calling it from now on – thanks GWEN!!

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  3. Gwen Banta

    June 5, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Unfortunately, I have the same effect on men, Lani 🙂

  4. Gwen Banta

    June 5, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    I’m not sure that “pulling a Nate” is appropriate for an officer and a gentleman, but I won’t tell. Your visual was great, Joe. I hope I can continue to ruin small electronic equipment for you. Perhaps I will add that to my resume. I’ll call myself a “Loomerator” and give your name as a reference. I look forward to your comments every week – thanks so much.

  5. Joe Loomer

    June 5, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Sorry Gwen, i figured “pulling a finger” would just be too risque’ for this forum…..

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  6. Gwen Banta

    June 5, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    But oh so appropriate for fragrant Nate-the-odorator…

  7. Karen Highland

    June 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Oh my, what a hoot! I needed that laugh, thanks. I have a story about an agent in my office who must have eaten whatever Nate ate, and unfortunately she was with some buyers when she released her ‘gift’ to the basement of a townhouse. The good news was, the buyers were good friends, but years later the story is retold to anyone who meets her friends. The moral: save the spicy food for after the showing.

  8. Gwen Banta

    June 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Oh my gosh – I have heard from several people today regarding stories of contrails following their offenders through open house events. One of my visitors did that once, then he bailed out the front door leaving his gift inside with me. The next visitors of course thought that I was the dyspetic offender. How do you even bring that up, let alone explain it away???

  9. Joe Loomer

    June 6, 2009 at 8:19 am

    I could write volumes about my aircrew days. I can’t even begin to explain the effects air pressure has on a person’s body when you’re flying in a plane older than you are. Most famous of them all – Mikey B.

    My first ever flight in the Navy was out of now-defunct Hellenikon AFB in Athens, Greece. Show time was 0300 (3 a.m., ladies) for a 0500 go (take off at 5 a.m., 12 hr mission, land at 5 p.m).

    Mikey led me over to the air terminal snack bar – affectionately called “Filthy’s.” As I ordered typical wee hours fare – milk, cereal, cup of coffee – I took a look at Mikey B’s tray. Two hours-old bratwurst covered in chili, saurkraut, and cheese. All lavishly dressed in what appeared to be a half-gallon of hot sauce.

    Needless to say, I got my “Baptism by Fire” later on….

    The EP-3E Aeries aircraft is a four-engine, propeller-driven plane designed for intelligence collection duties. It – like it’s mother the P-3C Orion – is designed for airflow to go from the cockpit, through the cabin, and out through a vent in the rear galley (kitchen).

    But Mikey B is the spawn of Satan. The simple law of postive air flow does not apply to him. By 0900 (9 a.m. ladies), four hours into the mission, the pilots where on oxygen, the rest of us either unconcious or wishing we where. The Aircraft Commander actually gave Mikey B a DIRECT ORDER to stop (his derisive, laughing response somehow did not net him the court martial he so RICHLY deserved).

    I somehow spent another nine years flying – off and on – five of those with Mikey B. I must have killed some olfactory nerve that first flight.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  10. Gwen Banta

    June 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I LOVE your stories, Joe. I should let you know, however, that even we “ladies” know military time. We can be late in twelve or twenty-four timing – it’s a gift. Incidentally, did Mikey B. retire and change his name to Nate? 🙂

  11. Richard

    June 6, 2009 at 6:41 pm


    You should be a writer. Oh wait a second, you ARE! 🙂 I love your writing style. So descriptive and humorous. I bet if you wrote a book it would be a page turner! Keep it up.

    – Richard W. Bailey

  12. Joe Loomer

    June 7, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Funny enough – Mikey B – also known as “Big Mikey” is in a band – the Jeremy Graham Band. He also moonlights as an Arabic linguist in a hush-hush job. I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. Or I can just bring Nate, uh, Mikey B over to do it.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  13. Gwen Banta

    June 7, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks, Richard. I did write a novel or two, but finding an agent for fiction is as difficult as finding a unicorn in a top hat!

  14. Gwen Banta

    June 7, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I’m a trained assassin, Joe – known as Snuff Daddy by the trembling masses. So warn him before he gets here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Business Marketing

The Blemish Effect dictates that small, adjacent flaws in a product can make it that much more interesting—is perfection out?

Business Marketing

This formerly bankrupt restaurant is getting a second chance, and the crowds are flocking to the nostalgia of Casa Bonita.

Business Marketing

Airtable presents the drawbacks of your current marketing strategy and what changes need to be made to make it work efficiently.

Business Marketing

The cannabis market is growing across the US, but Texas especially has a need for skilled employees to enter the field. Here is how!


The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.