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There Ain’t No Flies on Us – Just Our Walls

I have this book I read to my kids – Thelonius Monster’s Sky High Fly Pie. It’s a rhyming one, funny and clever and illustrated by the guy who does stuff for The New Yorker. It starts off with this guy, Thelonius Monster, swallowing a fly – and deciding a fly would taste grand in a pie. Etc. And there’s this one line in it that I can’t get out of my head: “and now for the flies”.

‘Cuz we’ve still got ’em. Sewer flies. Still here. Only now they’re bigger and, it seems more resilient. Maybe it’s because we know what they are (and where they come from), but somehow they’re getting harder to kill. Before, when they were just flies, we’d slap the wall and they’d be dead. We’d bat at them mid-air, they’d drop to their deaths. Now, we whack ’em. And guess what? They take a licking and keep on ticking.

I’m beside myself.

I’ve called the exterminators who tried to reassure me, telling not to panic….yet. I asked them when I could start to panic, and they said it takes a couple of weeks for them to die off. Now, I’m no scientist, but if they live for a day and their breeding grounds are gone – how can they still survive? It’s Darwinism at it’s purest form. A true survival of the fittest, ‘cuz these mofos are big and bad and refusing to go gently into that good night.

We say goodnight, and their party starts.

Sickening.

So while my basement continues to lie fallow, the flies frolic. The insurance-approved demo team wasted no time in ripping it out (my basement, that is). All of it – floors are a mess of concrete and nails. The asbestos (yup) is gone so at least we’re no longer the house in the plastic bubble. The walls don’t touch the floor. No euphemism – it just means the walls hang there, not touching the floors. My garage is packed up – most of it upside down. All my kids’ toys, in boxes, upside down in bigger boxes surrounded by enormous, near-impossible-to-move furniture.

And we wait. And wait. And wait. For the big rebuild. And yes, we’ll probably look back and laugh. But that’s of no comfort to me now. Even my baby tells everyone our basement is broken. My Big Boy tells people they can only come to play with him if it’s nice outside because we have no toys in our house. And tho’ it’s not killing them, it ain’t making them stronger either. This is no character building exercise. This is a bloody nightmare.

And so we play outside. Except when it’s cold. Then we watch TV. And we read. And we keep coming back to that book, and that line:”and now for the flies”. Which prompts someone to look around. And spy a fly. And try to kill it. Tiny corpses litter our walls. And the cycle starts again.

“And now for the flies”.

I was told not to panic. So I asked when I could panic. The exterminator laughed and said a few weeks. That makes it June 1st. One week. Then I can really panic. So I’m trying to hold off and just rant a little until then.

And now for the flies.

Perhaps they’ll die.

2 comments:

Anonymous said…

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10:51 PM
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May 24, 2008   No Comments

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Happily Ever After

Location, location, location. The three magic words when it comes to Real Estate. Or are they? I know a couple of others: Just. Listed.

Yep, real estate fever hit me hard. So hard, in fact, I’ve been able to do nothing but speculate – on my house, my neighbours’ houses, your house. The online MLS listings are like porn for me. I need more, more, more. More info, more knowledge. Which sold when. And of course, for how much.

You see, we’ve just bought and sold houses. Out with the old, in with the new. And what a long, strange, trip it’s been.

As anyone who lives locally will tell you, these days it’s better to give than to receive. In other words, don’t even think of putting your place on the market until you’ve made damn sure you know where you’re going.

You’ve heard the stories – lost 6 bidding wars. Had to rent month to month. Got pressured into accpeting an offer they couldn’t refuse and now rent back their own house as they look for something comparable.

Tell someone from the – ahem – previous generation that you’re buying without selling and they’ll look at you like you’re nuts. Rest assured, you’re probably quite sane, but won’t be for long.

You see, we bought a new house after 6 months of looking. Not too bad, all things considered. We only lost out one bidding war – which was in itself a true blessing in disguise – we never could’ve afforded the bills, let alone a reno. Everything we saw didn’t really hold a candle to what we had. Until, of course that magical day when I went to see a home on a street I vowed I’d never live on, and fell in love. And after a bidding war of our own, we found our not-quite-dream-but-good-enough-for-us home.

All that was left, was the sale.

Selling our house? Ha! Pas de problem. Everyone knows the demand far outstrips the supply in our ‘hood. Who hasn’t heard about the crazy bidding wars? The knocks on the door, offers in hand? The private sales? And, hell, if I liked my house enough to buy it, why wouldn’t someone else? Cocky? Maybe. But as everyone knows, “it’s the market”.

So we primped. And cleaned. And tossed out. And cleaned. And vacuumed. And cleaned. And moved out. The whole gang. Kids, cat, dog. We went out, the sign went up and all was well with the world. We were excited. We priced low and were gonna sell high. We started fantasizing: $10K over means a new deck. $20K over, a new bathroom. $100K over, a whole new floor. And why wouldn’t we count our chickens? The dumpy house down the road went for $80K over and that was just land value! OK so we have an irregular lot. But it’s beautifully landscaped. And, sure, the basement is somewhat, erm, moist. But it’s bright. Our kitchen wasn’t renovated, not exactly. But the gleaming stainless steal applainces would surely make up for that. We even did a pre-inspection. But let’s not go there. After all, our house is a little older. Charming. So what would you expect?

We opened for business. And guess what? Someone else did too. The perfect, extra long, no dampness issue, fully inspected and well up to scratch house down the street. Talk about competition. And really, really, bad timing.

On offer night we sat with bated breath. And ordered in. And couldn’t eat. ‘Cuz we got nary an offer. Not a-one, nay, nay, nay. We were done for. Finished. Ruined. Our parents were right! Who the hell buys first, sells later? We could’ve moved in with them. Or friends. Or taken a sabbatical from, uh, life. But noooooo, we were the losers who’d have to re-sell our new house and never leave our old one. Ever.

Now of course things worked out. And, as we soon learned, this kind of thing was happening to lots of people. Friends of friends and actual friends. Mind you, it didn’t happen to the house down the road – it got multiple offers and went for$130K over asking. Looks like they’ll be getting a lot more than a new floor in their new place.

And us? Yeah, we sold. One day later. To a lovely couple who’d endured 2 years of seeking and 9 lost offers. Everyone was happy. Ish. They got their house, we got our price. In fact, we got just voer. Sure we priced it a little on the low side and the big overage is hardly a new deck (or bathroom). But wait ’til you see our new window boxes!

And what’s done is done. And now we can look forward to boxing and cleaning and packing and cleaning and moving and cleaning some more. And then settling in to mess it all up and make it our own.

And next time around? Guess it’ll all depend on the market. But I’ll be ready for it. ‘Cuz I’m still speculating. That house down the road form our new place? You’ll never guess what they’re asking….

1 comments:

Not Afraid to Use It said…

I have to stop watching House Hunters on TV because then we get the real estate itch, and it is dangerous!!! Great pos

June 27, 2007   No Comments

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Blabber Chat

Boy yoy yoing…it has been ages. Sorry children. Been a wee bit preoccupied. Where to begin?Let’s start with some idle….I mean Idol talk.

The telethon – a good cause, natch, but oh so earny earnesto, no? Celebs lipsynching to the Bee Gees? Why, oh why? (foreshadowing, perhaps?) All funny men were funny, but Teri Snatcher? When will America speak and send her back to the c-list? Still, all the power to them, getting spoosrs and regular joes to pay up…and then taking all the credit Idol Gives Back? Erm, no, Idol watchers give back. Idol gave nothing. Only Ellen did. Those Idol folks really are media geniuses.

Loved Blake’s Jon Bon perf. L-o-v-e-d it. With his new ‘do he looks like Bono. Intense stare, pas de lips… Don’t get me wrong, sportsfans, he’s no Bono. But I think he’s awesome and hope he wins the whole damn thing. Read it closely – don’t think he will win, but am living in hope. Last week we said adios to Nasal Beckham Timberlake and, dare I say it, Cancer Boy Phil. (Reference should be obvo, but if it isn’t, don’t fret. It’s not cuz he has cancer, just looks like it.) So now it’s The Ladies v. Blake. And guess what next week is? DISCO. With the king of the tight white pantaloons, Mr Guilty himself, Baz Gibb…..Moment for the Brothers no longer with us. And Andy….And back to the show: Woo hoo! Can’t wait for it!

On other MOAM news, we’re no longer all about the shits at our house. Not as much as before, anyway… #1 son has made it to the toilet. That’s the good news. The bad news? We’ve had, erm, toilet traffic jams. We’re talking grid lock. Stand stills. So now we really need to move house. Who wants to share with a 3 year old who can’t wipe his own ass? Pas moi.

Gee, what a great lead in….

We are moving house! Yes, the real estate gods have been kind to us. We found our dream-for-now home – and only had two other bidders to contend with. Talk about tense. In the end, an acknowledgement of The Princess Bride won us the house…Oh, Wesley… More space, more rooms, more toilets. More house. Now we have to fluff our own.

Tell me, movers, does everyone fluff? Or just purge? Do you stay in you house or hit the road? Once the crap’s out, how do you let it back in? Or do you just start accumulating all over again? Inquiry minds wanna know. And I need to know. I won’t be a moving maven until later this summer, so let’s discuss.

Since I plan on turning from gossip rags to decor mags I’ll share some cheesy-in-a-good-way sites: www.dlisted.com, idontlikeyouinthatway.com, and of course Perez, Lainey and TMZ. Such good wastes of time and will save you big bucks on mags. Unless you double dip paper and web.

Wondering where I’m going with all this? Me too.

Erm….nowhere. Fast.

But the tribe has spoken and I had to give ’em something, so a little ramble should satisfy. For now. When the head’s elsewhere, the typing fingers follow. I’ll be back – on better form for-sure-cross-my-heart – next week. Or the week after. Stay tuned….

May 4, 2007   No Comments

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