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Opinion Editorials

More Poopers, uh “Bloopers”

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Back By Popular Demand: More Agent

Bloopers You’ll Love!

Here’s the list of this week’s best bloopers, which will surely make you all go running to your Spell Czech…uh, I  mean Check:

You’ll get a great feel when you enter. (Can I get that address again?)

Need one moth to close escrow (Moth must produce tiny moth license.)

Home of the famous Rose Bowel Parade (They must think their s__t doesn’t stink!)

Enjoy the fragrance of the Cherry Bottoms (Cherry or not, I’ll pass thank you!)

High volted ceilings (For added spark, no doubt.)

Enjoy the sparkling Poo in the back yard (Only if we can smoke the grass afterward.)

Agent will work on the sellers regardless of their price. (You should get a bonus for that, girlfriend!)

New Breakfast Bra with extra storage  (How uplifting!)

Big Built-in Panty (In case the price scares your bloomers off)

Bonus toom – great for children. (Thank you, Joan Crawford.)

Agricultural tutor (At least it wasn’t a “tooter.”)

Arked doors (Can I get a break on flood insurance?)

Trial Floors (I’ll be the judge of that!)

Fully Equipped Jim (Wow – Is Jim single?)

Handicapped rump in back (I’m restraining myself here.)

Everything is hand rubbed (Is this the same place where you can get a great feel? …And is Jim involved?)

Some Great Selling Points: 

Coved ceilings & dark mold throughout (Try penicillin)

Fish in the nearby fouling river. (Third World Fish and Game Preserve for Sale?)

Kitchen nooke is not permitted (Darn! Call me anyway, Jim.)

“Nice split level located in cuddle-sac” (Don’t tell me about your cuddle-sac, tell Jim.)

Ski Resort and Slop nearby. (From the highs to the lows)

Wool burning fireplace (Did a shepherd live there?)

New crapet throughout (Apparently the shepherd DID live there!)

Naughty pine floors (Acting out due to “crapet” overload, I’m sure.)

Hardwool floors – (Someone needs to sell that shepherd a stable!)

Beautiful new sherry cabinets (For serious drinkers only.)

Pool Table Included – Husband doesn’t know yet. (Balls in side pocket?)

Stuffed heads in library available for purchase. ( How ‘bout the stuffed shirt on the couch?)

Frigideer  (Maybe “Fully Equipped Jim” can solve Deer’s problem.)

Seller notes some irregularity. (Too much information, thank you.)

Call your neighborhood realator. (Then call your Docator.)

Thank you for your patients. (Realtor by day, docator by night?)

Lowballs ignored. (That could be a serious problem – is there a docator in the house?)

Heated seller. (Agitated by lowballs I’ll bet.)

So close to freeway you can see it. (Life in the Fast lane.)

24 Hour Back Doorman ( I won’t even touch this!)

Puding Green (Puh-leeze – I can’t go there either!)

New sprinkles in back yard. (Will someone please wrangle those *!@*&^! sheep?)

Trampoline and fool not included. (Need I say more?)

Thankless Water Heater (Oy Vey! Listed by a Jewish grandmother it seems.)

And My Three Faves:

Seller will pay to Dislocate Tenant (An alternative to eviction – popular in Newark.)

Wine and Hors Ovries Served at Twilight (Booze with a hysterectomy chaser.)

House has Extra Porking space behind studio. ( Yay – Now I know where Jim lives!)

Thanks to Sotheby’s International Realty and all those eagle eyed readers who contributed. (Please accept my apologies, but there were too many to list individually.) And special thanks to the L.A.Times, The Mountain News,  and The MLS.com for unwittingly contributing to the fun. For more funny posts, check out Sherlock of Homes.com.

 

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, LAhomesite.com, SherlockOfHomes, IMDB or you can shoot arrows at my head via email. I can take it.

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Michelle DeRepentigny

    April 24, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Just because of you, I check my MLS comments on my listings every week 🙂

    Now I just need to talk someone else in to proofreading after I do, I never want to be featured in your post!

  2. Ken Brand

    April 24, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    MLS Bloobers or Blog boobsers, the bane of too fast fingers and a lighting fast “submit” stroke.

    Bunny stuff.

    kb

  3. Brandie Young

    April 24, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    LOL funny. BTW – do let us know when you find Jim!

  4. Ken Montville - The MD Suburbs of DC

    April 24, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    OMG. I’m laughing so hard my eyes are watering. Stop it! I can’t take it anymore. 🙂

  5. Gwen Banta

    April 24, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Thanks so much for your comments. I laugh each time I discover one of these beauties. A friend just called me to tell me he read an ad this week that announced a “hug price reduction” ( I guess some folks charge for a bit of affection);and another that said, “Don’t enter fenced yard – bull in back.” I can only assume it was a “pit bull,” but one never knows… I am guilty of making mistakes like that myself. I once typed “club foot tub!”

  6. Missy Caulk

    April 24, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    This is so funny…comic relief for me on Friday night. Keep um coming….

  7. Gwen Banta

    April 25, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. If we can’t laugh at ourselves, then we need to get out of the business!

  8. Joshua Dorkin @ BiggerPockets.com

    April 25, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Great list . . . it is just sad that this type of stuff makes it out there. Thanks for the laugh!

  9. Gwen Banta

    April 25, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I agree, Joshua. Of course we need to remember that for a lot of people, English is a second language, and even Spell Check does not pick up everything. But perhaps a bit of proof reading would eliminate a few goofs…but then we couldn’t have nearly as much fun!

  10. Joshua Dorkin @ BiggerPockets.com

    April 25, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Gwen – For many, English is certainly a second language, but sadly, we’re also witnessing the rapid decline of the English language as the education system breaks down and as websites like Twitter force a transition from proper use of words to shorter slang.

    That’s just my $0.02

  11. Gwen Banta

    April 25, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    10-4 on slang, im sure FittyCent would roger your 2cents cuz nothin makes sense anymo.

  12. Ken Brand

    April 26, 2009 at 6:51 am

    Gwen/Joshua – “word”

  13. Joshua Dorkin @ BiggerPockets.com

    April 26, 2009 at 8:11 am

    @ken @Gwen – Thx 4 d cmnts, yo! lol

  14. Lisa Sanderson

    April 27, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Too funny. My eyes are watering too. Forwarding to many real estate peeps right now!

  15. Paula Henry

    April 29, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Gwen – Funny, but sad you actually found this in print. I wonder if clients actually look at their listing online?

  16. Shannon Ware

    May 2, 2009 at 2:33 am

    One of my residential favorites from my MLS:

    “Garage comes complete with wench for engine removal” (her name is Brunhilde?)

  17. Matt Stigliano

    May 3, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Gwen – I’m behind on my reading and I just got to this one. I can barely type because I’m still chuckling at this one:

    Call your neighborhood realator. (Then call your Docator.)

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Opinion Editorials

Ways to socialize safely during quarantine

(EDITORIAL) Months of isolation due to quarantine is causing loneliness for many, but joining virtual social groups from home may help fill the need for interaction.

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quarantine

Quarantining, sheltering in place, staying home. We’re tired of hearing it; we’re tired of doing it. Yet, it’s what we still need to be doing to stay safe for a while longer. All of this can be lonesome. As the days turn into weeks and weeks into months, the alone time is getting to even the most introverted among us.

Solitary confinement is considered one of the most psychologically damaging punishments a human can endure. The New Yorker reported on this in a 1992 study of prisoners in detention camps in the former Yugoslavia, as well as Vietnam veterans who experienced isolation. These studies showed that prisoners who had experienced solitary confinement demonstrated similar brain activity to those who’d suffered a severe head injury, noting that “Without sustained social interaction, the human brain may become as impaired as one that has incurred a traumatic injury.”

We aren’t meant to be solitary creatures. Your “pandemic brain” is real. That fogginess, the lack of productivity, can be attributed to many things, including anxiety, but being kept apart from other humans is a big part of it too. Be kind to yourself, give yourself grace, and join others virtually. Be it an app, a class, a Facebook group, a chat room, or a livestream, someone somewhere is out there waiting to connect with you too.

The good news? We are lucky enough to live in an era of near limitless ways to interact socially online. Sure, it is different, but it is something. It’s important. The best thing about this type of social interaction is being able to hone in on your specific interests, though I’d caution you against getting caught in an online echo chamber. Diversity of interests, personality, and opinion make for a richer experience, with opportunities for connecting and expanding your worldview.

Here are a few suggestions on ways to socialize while staying home and staying safe. Communicating with other humans is good for you, physically and mentally.

Interactive Livestreams on Twitch:

Twitch is best known as a streaming service for video game fans, but it offers multiple streams appealing to different interests. This is more than passive watching (although that is an option, too) as Twitch livestream channels also have chat rooms. Twitch is fun for people who like multi-tasking because the chat rooms for popular livestream channels can get busy with chatter.

While people watch the Twitch hosts play a video game, film a live podcast, make music or art, mix cocktails, or dance, they can comment on what they’re watching, make suggestions, ask questions, crack jokes, and get to know each other (by Twitch handle, so it is still as anonymous as you want it to be) in the chat room. The best hosts take time every so often to interact directly with the chat room questions and comments.

Many Twitch channels develop loyal followers who get to know each other, thus forming communities. I have participated in the Alamo Drafthouse Master Pancake movie mocks a few times because they are fun and local to Austin, where I live. Plus, in my non-quarantine life, I would go to Master Pancake shows live sometimes. The chat room feels familiar in a nice way. While watching online is free, you can (and totally should) tip them.

Online trivia in real time:

There are some good options for real-time online trivia, but I’m impressed with the NYC Trivia League’s model. They have trivia games online on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The NYC Trivia League seems to have figured out a good way to run the game live while keeping answers private from the other teams. They run games on Instagram Live with a live video of the host, and participants answer via the question feature. Clever!

Online book club:

First I have to shout out my Austin local independent bookstore, BookPeople, because they are fantastic. They run book clubs throughout the year, along with readings, book signings, and all things book-related. BookPeople hosts several online book clubs during these lockdown days, and most people will find something that appeals to them.

I’m also impressed with this list from Hugo House, a writer’s resource based out of Seattle. This list includes Instagram and Goodread book clubs, book clubs for Black women, rebels, and poetry lovers. The Financial Diet recommends the Reddit book club, if you are comfortable with the Reddit format. Please note that it’s a busy place, but if you like Reddit, you already know this.

Cooking class or virtual tasting:

This is doubly satisfying because you can follow these chefs in real time, and you end up with a meal. There are a couple on Instagram Live, such as The Culinistas or Chef Massimo Bottura.

You can also participate in virtual tastings for wine, whiskey, or chocolate, though you will have to buy the product to participate in the classes (usually held over Zoom or Facebook Live). If you are in Austin, Dallas, or Houston, I recommend BeenThere Locals. The cost of the course includes the wine, spirits, or cooking kit in most cases, and all of the money goes to the business and expert hosting the class.

Look for your favorite wine, spirits, cheese, chocolate makers, and chefs that are local to you to find a similar experience. Most either prepare the class kit for pickup or delivery within a local area.

Quarantine chat:

To interact with another quarantined person seeking social interaction, there’s Quarantine Chat. Quarantine chat is one of the ways to connect through the Dialup app, available on iOS and Android devices. Sign up to make and receive calls when you want to speak with someone. The Dialup app pairs you randomly with another person for a phone conversation, at a scheduled time, either with anyone or with someone with shared interests.

Quarantine chat takes it a step further with calls at random times. When your quarantine chat caller calls, you will not see their number (or they yours), only the “Quarantine Chat” caller ID. If you are unable to pick up when they call, they will be connected with someone else, so there is no pressure to answer. It’s nice to hear someone else’s voice, merely to talk about what you’ve been cooking or what hilarious thing your pet is doing.

Play Uno:

Uno Freak lets people set up games and play Uno online with friends or strangers. Players do not need to register or download anything to play. Uno Freak is web-based.

Talk to mental health professionals:

If your state of loneliness starts sliding toward depression, call someone you can speak to right away to talk over your concerns. When in doubt, call a trained professional! Here are a few resources:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 am–6 pm, ET, 800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org.
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to this text line 24/7 for someone to text with who will also be able to refer you to other resources: U.S. and Canada: 74174, U.K. 85258, Ireland: 50808.
  • Psych Central has put together this comprehensive list of crisis intervention specialists and ways to contact them immediately.

There are many ways to connect even though we are physically apart. These are just a few real time ways to interact with others online. If you want something a little more flesh and blood, take a walk around the block or even sit in a chair in front of where you live.

Wave at people from afar, and remember that we have lots of brilliant doctors and scientists working on a way out of this. Hang in there, buddy. I’m rooting for you. I’m rooting for all of us.

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Opinion Editorials

Working remotely: Will we ever go back? (Probably not)

(OPINION / EDITORIAL) Now that the pandemic has opened the door on working remotely, there’s no way we’ll put the genie back in the bottle. But, here’s some ways you can adapt.

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Woman working remotely on her couch with a laptop on her lap.

When it comes to working remotely, will the toothpaste ever go back in the tube?

Mark Zuckerberg recently said, “We are going to be the most forward-leaning company on remote work at our scale…” By 2030, Zuckerberg anticipates that over half of Facebook’s workforce will be remote. Many other companies are jumping on the work from home bandwagon. Working remotely has helped many businesses manage the pandemic crisis, but it’s unsure what form remote working will take over the next 10 years.

We know that employees are responding positively to WFH, as reported in this article – Employers: Lacking remote work options may cause you to lose employees. As offices transition to a post-COVID normal, here are some things to consider about your office and remote work.

What does your business gain from allowing workers to WFH?
The future of remote work depends on a conscious application of WFH. It’s not just as easy as moving employees out of the office to home. You have to set up a system to manage workers, wherever they are working. The companies with good WFH cultures have set up rules and metrics to know whether it’s working for their business. You’ll need to have technology and resources that let your teams work remotely.

Can your business achieve its goals through remote work?
The pandemic may have proved the WFH model, but is this model sustainable? There are dozens of benefits to remote work. You can hire a more diverse workforce. You may save money on office space. Employees respond well to remote work. You reduce your carbon emissions.

But that can’t be your only measure of whether remote work fits into your vision for your organization. You should be looking at how employees will work remotely, but you need to consider why employees work remotely.

The work paradigm is shifting – how will you adapt?
The work environment has shifted over the past century. Remote work is here to stay, but how it fits into your company should be based on more than what employees want. You will have to work closely with managers and HR to build the WFH infrastructure that grows with your organization to support your teams.

We don’t know exactly how remote work will change over the next decade, but we do know that the workplace is being reinvented. Don’t just jump in because everyone is doing it. Make an investment in developing your WFH plan.

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Opinion Editorials

The truth about unemployment from someone who’s been through it

(EDITORIAL) Unemployment benefits aren’t what you thought they were. Here’s a first-hand experience and what you need to know.

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unemployment

Have I ever told you how I owed the government over two grand because of unemployment in 2019, and only just finished paying it back this year?

This isn’t exactly the forum for memoirs, but this is relevant to everyone. So I’ll tell y’all anyway.

It all started back in 2018 when I came into work early, microwaved my breakfast, poured coffee, and got pulled into a collaboration room to hear, “We love you and your work, April, but we’ve been bought out and you’re being laid off.”

It was kind of awkward carrying my stuff out to the car with that Jimmy Dean sandwich in my mouth.

More awkward still was the nine months of unemployment I went through afterwards. Between the fully clothed shower crying, the stream of job denial, catering to people who carried rocks in their nostrils at my part-time job (yes, ew, yes, really), and almost dying of no-health-insurance-itis, I learned a lot!

The bigger lesson though, came in the spring of the following year when I filed my taxes. I should back up for a moment and take the time to let those of you unfamiliar with unemployment in Texas in on a few things that aren’t common knowledge.

1: You’re only eligible if you were laid off. Not if you had quit. Not fired. Your former company can also choose to challenge your eligibility for benefits if they didn’t like your face on the way out. So the only way you’re 100% guaranteed to get paid in (what the state calls) “a timely manner”, is a completely amicable split.

2: Overpayments have to go back. Immediately. If there’s an error, like several thousand of Texans found out this week, the government needs that cash back before you can access any more. If you’re not watching your bank account to make sure you’re getting the exact same check each time and you have an overpayment, rest assured that mistake isn’t going to take long to correct. Unfortunately, if you spent that money unknowingly–thought you got an ‘in these uncertain times’ kinder and gentler adjustment and have 0 income, you have a problem. Tying into Coronavirus nonsense is point three!

3: There are no sick days. If ever you’re unable to work for any reason, be it a car accident, childbirth, horrible internal infection (see also no-health-insurance-itis), you are legally required to report it, and you will not be paid for any days you were incapacitated. Personally, my no-health-insurance-itis came with a bad fever and bedrest order that axed me out of my part time job AND killed my unemployment benefits for the week I spent getting my internal organs to like me again. But as it turned out, the payment denial came at the right time because–

4: Unemployment benefits are finite. Even if you choose to lie on your request forms about how hard you’re searching for work, coasting is ill-advised because once the number the state allots you runs out…it’s out. Don’t lie on your request forms, by the way. In my case, since I got cut from my part-time gig, I got a call from the Texas Workforce Commission about why my hours were short. I was able to point out where I’d reported my sickness to them and to my employer, so my unpaid week rolled over to a later request date. I continued to get paid right up until my hiring date which was also EXACTLY when my benefits ran out.

Unemployment isn’t a career, which is odd considering the fact that unemployment payments are qualified by the government as income.

Ergo, fact number five…

5: Your benefits? They’re taxed.

That’s right, you will be TAXED for not having a job.

The stereotype of the ‘lazy unemployment collector burdening society’ should be fading pretty quickly for the hitherto uninformed about now.

To bring it back to my story, I’d completely forgotten that when I filed for unemployment in the first place, I’d asked for my taxes NOT to be withheld from it–assuming that I wasn’t going to be searching for full time work for very long. I figured “Well, I’ll have a tax refund coming since I’ll get work again no problem, it’ll cancel out.”

Except, it was a problem. Because of the nine month situation.

I’d completely forgotten about it by the time I threw myself into my new job, but after doing my taxes, triple checking the laws and what I’d signed, it was clear. Somehow…despite being at my lowest point in life, I owed the highest amount in taxes, somewhere around the 2k mark.

Despite being based on a system that’s tied to how much income you were getting before, and all the frustrating “safeguards” put in place to keep payments as low and infrequent as possible, Uncle Sam still wants a bite out of the gas-station Hostess pie that is your unemployment check. And as I’m writing this, more and more people are finding that out. And even as we enter 2021, there is still more to be aware of – we’re not out of the woods yet.

I’d like to end this on a more positive note… So let’s say we’ve all been positively educated! That’s a net gain, surely.

Keep your heads up, and masked.

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