Even far back into the ancient days of early trading, in Egypt and Mesopotamia and along the trade routes of the Nile and Tigris Rivers, the weary traveling traders sat down and talked with one another and swapped stories of their cities and homelands as they ate and drank and traded their goods.
And it’s no different today really, when our clients do their tradin’ of property at the closing table. People love to share stories about where they came from and where they’re going. And it’s a sweet thing to see a seller pridefully set up a buyer with “the tastiest bagel shop in town” – and which butcher block is the best or which nail salon to avoid.
People generally love their towns and like to brag on them. But sometimes, even though we all speak the same language for the most part (this isn’t Britain trading tin for China spice, after all), communication will still falter. Sometimes simply because some folks have a thicker southern drawl than others.
I’m about to tell you a tale from the closing table that is all about the nuances of a good ole’ southern drawl and what happens when a southern belle is too polite to question what she has just heard… and so the story just rolls on…. and on.
So in this particular closing, I have six men and only one very sweet woman of retirement age. She is one of my sellers. Her agent is a Georgia-born guy and he is about as country as can be. Now please don’t get me wrong, he is a fantastic Realtor – and smart as a whip. But when he gets excited telling a story, he may as well be speaking Mandarin Chinese in some parts. And in this particular case, he is very, very excited to tell the buyers about Downtown Woodstock.
“Man o’ man Woodstock is growing. They got this new topless bar. Open rooftop & everthang. I love topless bars. Woodstock ‘as needed a good topless bar for a long time.”
This dear, lone woman in my closing is completely nonplussed. Her hand goes to her open jaw. Eyes wide. “Oh …. My…….”
One other guy and I see this joyous moment unfolding and decide, with just a knowing and devious glance, to let this 25-car pileup continue. The other two guys seem to actually think they are hearing about a new topless bar Outside The Perimeter.
Our Realtor has more to tell. It gets so much better.
“So yeah! They put the topless bar where that old wiener place used to be. What was that old wiener store called? Hot Dog sumpn’ or other….?”
My poor, dear seller woman actually made a sound that was something like a pigeon cooing, or maybe a worried laugh.
Ok. At that point my devious partner and I lost our cool. I started laughing –through my nose – and my buyer friend nearly fell from his chair.
I said to the Realtor: “You know she thinks you’re saying ‘topless bar’, right?”
You could see him running through the story in his mind with – that. Hand goes to the open jaw. Eyes wide.
And then the whole room busted wide open with several sustained minutes of laughter. Mentions of pants being peed.
When we could finally speak again, I explained to our dear seller that Georgia Boy was telling everyone about Rootstock & Vine – Woodstock’s new tapas bar. And yes – it’s in the building formerly known as Hot Dog Heaven. The – er – wiener place.
You can’t make this stuff up. And I sure love my job.