Over the weekend, my wife and I visited an open house at a home for sale near us.
“Thank you,” I said, removing my shoes. “Is that… Is that smoke I smell?”
“Hmm, I don’t really smell anything,” the realtor sniffed.
“I definitely smell smoke,” I said.
“Ah, well that must be the natural wood-burning fireplace,” he said. “It’s quite charming.”
“Well, I can see it right there,” I pointed towards the living room. “There’s no fire in it. I still smell smoke.”
“It must be your cologne,” the realtor said.
“I’m not wearing smoke scented cologne!” I said.
“It must be my cologne?” he asked.
“Why are you asking me what kind of cologne you have on?” I asked.
“Let’s move on to the huge kitchen with real granite countertops,” He said.
“Have you ever sold a home with fake granite counter…” I stopped and listened closely. “What’s that beeping sound?”
“Beeping sound?” he listened. “Oh that. You were listening to the radio too loud on the way here.”
“I wasn’t listening to the radio on the way here,” I replied.
“Your wife was talking too loud then,” he said.
“Hey!” my wife interrupted. “This is the first time I’ve talked in this entire story.”
“What does that mean?” he asked.
“There’s definitely a beeping,” I said. “It sounds like a fire alarm.”
“It’s definitely not a fire alarm,” he said. “It’s probably my pager.”
“You still carry a pager?” I asked, skeptical.
“Yes, what of it?” he asked.
“You carry a pager and when it goes off, it sounds like it’s beeping from another room on another floor?” I was growing annoyed.
“Yes.” He answered.
“Why don’t you turn it off?” I challenged him.’
“Because,” he began but immediately changed the topic. “Let’s go check out the master bedroom.”
He led us down the hall, towards the master. On the way, I noticed smoke pouring out from behind a closed door.
“There’s clearly a fire inside that room,” I pointed out to him.
“Haha, this guy and fires, what is it about this guy?” He asked me wife.
“There’s smoke, pouring out from behind the door,” I said.
“Oh, that, that’s just the sauna.” He answered.
“The sauna.” I replied.
“Just breathe in that fresh steam” he inhaled, closing his eyes, but he immediately began coughing.
“That’s smoke, that’s not steam. There’s no mention of a sauna in the disclosures of this house. It is clearly on fire.”
“Is a fire something you’re looking for in a house?” he asked.
“No!” I replied.
“Well, you’re in luck bec….” But he started coughing profusely again, before being interrupted by a loud pounding on the door.
“Excuse me,” he said.
The realtor opened the front door. It was the fire department.
“Hello,” he greeted them warmly. “Come on in, I’ll show you the first floor library.”
“Sir, this house is on fire,” one of the firefighters said to him.
“Yes,” he replied. “It is one of the hottest properties on this street.”
“Sir, there are flames shooting out of the roof,” the firefighter said.
“Well, the roof was built in 2009. An inspector can tell you if that’s a problem.” The realtor replied. “Let me show you the breakfast nook. You’ll love it.”
“Sir, we need you and everyone in here to evacuate.” The firefighter commanded.
“What?!” The realtor asked, incensed. “But I’m about to close a sale!”
“No, you weren’t!” My wife and I walked out of the now partially engulfed home.
The firefighters made short work of that fire, but the house was a complete loss.
The realtor sat on the curb with his head in his hands.
“This was my last chance,” he said. “My last chance to sell a house, or the agency said I would be out of here.”
“Well, look, the breakfast nook was nice,” I tried to make him feel better. “Tell you what, you could be our agent if you want.”
“You really mean it?” he asked.
“Sure do,” I replied, but then the realtor spontaneously combusted.
“On second thought, never mind,” I said and walked away.