BREAKING: Local Real Estate Agent Only Attends Tour for the Croissants

BREAKING: Local Real Estate Agent Only Attends Tour for the Croissants

Scottsdale, AZ – Real Estate agents have long utilized tour groups to expose their listing inventory to the local home selling community. A forum that allows agents to promote new and upcoming property listings to a group of fellow active area Realtors, the Real Estate tour group fosters the kind of behind-the-scenes marketing that many insist is greatly responsible for their success.

Or their gigantic backsides, at least.

In a stunning development, local Realtor Rich Anful claims that the four hour Tuesday morning boondoggles have added value to exactly one thing: his ass.

“Sure, it’s nice to meet and mingle with my colleagues every week to discuss our new business,” Anful stated when reached for comment at the Golden Corral. “But we’re really here for the waffles.”

Response to Anful’s bombshell was swift. Well, as swift as one could expect from this lumbering community of sauropods.

“Rich doesn’t speak for all of us,” fellow agent Abel Twerkins assured this reporter. “Most of us are here to actually work on behalf of our clients. Maybe his sales numbers would outpace his caloric intake if he put down the blueberry compote long enough to actually do some networking.”

Anful laughed off the criticism, insisting that his colleagues were simply protecting their golden goose.

“Look, all I’m saying is that we wouldn’t be having this conversation if these meetings were held at LA Fitness,” he assured, gesturing at his fellow agents. “Do I look like the only one here who brushes his teeth with a pork chop?”

“It’s glandular,” Twerkins responded, looking down into has own plate of smothered hash browns.

While none of the respondents polled could produce any tangible documentation that demonstrated a clear correlation between the weekly sales meetings and increased production, many assured this reporter that they had put together numerous off market deals as a direct result.

“Yes, I like the danish,” Bridget Waggles admitted, licking her fork. “I like the vendor raffles, too. More than that, though, I like to see the inventory firsthand. I also like to be the first to know about a new listing that might be coming up for one of my buyers.”

“Bridget hasn’t had a buyer in her car in three years,” Anful countered, looking out the window at a pink Mazda Miata. “Good thing, too.”

Reached for comment, National Association of Realtors spokeswoman Iris Knacks stated, “Om nom nom er gah” around a mouthful of jelly donuts supplied by a local title company.

 

Paul Slaybaugh, BSRE NEWS

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Press “0” for Functional Obsolescence

“So let me get this straight,” Samuel Rothwall said, interrupting the twenty-something year old wonderkid with the lime green mohawk. “You’re saying that young people prefer electronic mail for urgent correspondence?”

Bonzai, the assistant manager of the Verizon Wireless store, openly gawked at the old coot in front of him that fit somewhere between Steggosaurus and Woody Guthrie in the fossil record. He could practically smell the mothballs beneath the Barbasol.

“Exactly,” Bonzai replied. “Of course, if it’s really a matter of life or death, we use the pony express or carrier pigeons.”

“Oh, a wiseguy,” Samuel retorted, pointing at his younger counterpart with a shaky wooden cane. “You know, back in my day, we had a name for guys with tattoos on their necks.”

“What’s that,” Bonzai invited, smirking as he rubbed the two-dimensional spiderweb crawling out of his white polo shirt. The small garment was tent-like on his skeletal frame.

“Unemployed,” Samuel finished.

“Whatever, pops,” Bonzai rebutted. “You’re the one who came in here asking for my help, remember?”

“And my date to the junior prom wore those very earrings,” Samuel jabbed, unwilling to let the pissant claim the high ground.

“Thanks for coming in today,” Bonzai replied. “Come on back anytime you’re ready to trade in that Betamax you call a phone.”

The insufferable twit strutted back behind the counter, exchanging fist bumps with a pasty-faced teen who watched the exchange. The pair didn’t weigh two bills between them. Despite himself, Samuel was moderately impressed that either twerp was even aware there had been life before Blu-ray, let alone VHS.

“Alright, alright,” Samuel sighed, his eyes darting back and forth between the obsolete brick in his hand and the sleek new smartphones in the display case. “My granddaughter says I need one of these gizmos so I can watch her piano recitals wherever I go.”

“‘I’m sorry,” Bonzai replied, tilting his head and cupping a hand to his well-perforated ear. “What was that?”

Samuel gritted his teeth.

“I need your help,” he admitted.

“Come again?”

“I said I need your help,” Samuel repeated, louder. “Happy?”

“As a clam,” Bonzai affirmed, sauntering back around the counter with his sunken chest puffed to its fullest. “So where were we?”

“You were telling me when to text, when to email and when to call.”

“You never call,” Bonzai snickered. “You don’t buy a rocket ship to drive it to Sears. Calling requires conversation. The entire point of all this technology is to streamline communication, get your point across without sitting through twenty minutes of bullshit.”

“So if I don’t call, do I text,” Samuel asked, perplexed.

“Or Facebook or Tweet,” Bonzai agreed.

“Tweet?”

“That’s what it’s called when you say something on Twitter,” Bonzai condescended.

“What the hell is Twitter?

“Oh come on,” Bonzai moaned, exasperated. “You’re pulling my leg, right?”

Samuel just stared at the preening peacock, imagining what it would feel like to wrap his arthritic fingers around that scrawny neck and squeeeeeeeeeeze.

Bonzai sighed, shaking his ridiculous head ever so slightly.

“Twitter is a real time social medium that allows users to interact directly with people across the globe,” Bonzai recited, boredom lacing his uninflected voice.

“Like a telephone?”

“Yes, wait, no,” Bonzai answered. “A regular old phone is limited to the person you’re talking to on the other end. With Twitter, you can interact with anyone online by sending them an ‘at’ response or a direct message.”

“Like an email?”

“Yes, wait, no,” Bonzai repeated. “Look, you’re making this harder than it is–”

Samuel waved him off.

“No, you kids are the ones making things more difficult,” he chastised the human Otter Pop. “You could be curing prostate cancer with all this technology, but you’d rather use it to play Pacman on your telephones.”

“Pacman,” Bonzai exclaimed, his shrill burst of hyena-like laughter quickly degenerating into a coughing fit. “OMG, my dad loves that game!”

Samuel turned to leave.

“Hey, where ya going, pops,” Bonzai demanded, his voice strained. “I want to hear all about the phonograph!”

“We give you color television and you reinvent the telephone,” Samuel muttered to himself as he approached the glass front door.

He turned when he reached it, his fingers on the handle. Bonzai’s angular head was buried in his mobile device.

“Now I know why you don’t like talking to each other,” he announced.

Bonzai looked up, waiting.

“Because there ain’t a one of you got a damn thing to say worth hearing,” Samuel finished, wrenching open the door. “All the world’s wisdom at your finger tips, but not a lick of sense to go with it.”

The fifty four year old limped into the daylight, leaning on the cane he had relied upon since being broadsided by a texting driver the year before. The door rattled shut behind him.

“Tag me in that,” Bonzai instructed his co-worker, knowing he had surreptitiously photographed the exchange. “Going to submit it to National Geographic.”

The pair shared a brief chuckle before returning to their phones, casting the room in silence.

 

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REALTORs Released Back Into the Wild

Feb 9, 2013 09:45 AM
Disassociative Press
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SCOTTSDALE (DP) – A four year federal wildlife program to rehabilitate the sagging numbers of a local animal population has proven to be a rousing success, according to Dr. Slade Winders of the Herpetological Society of North America.  Non-indigenous to the Sonoran Desert, Realtus Serpentes is believed to have first been introduced to Arizona shortly after the Gadsden Purchase in 1853 by a traveling circus based out of Toledo, OH. An aggressive reptilian known commonly as “REALTOR,” Realtus Serpentes wasted little time overrunning the desert terrain, specifically the densely populated metro areas, earning the apex predator a fast reputation as a nuisance species.

“Times were you couldn’t turn around without bumping into six of the f&%$*rs,” according to sixty year Scottsdale resident Eli Jessop.

Such anecdotal reports were backed up by hard data. By the year 2000, there were more REALTORs in Scottsdale than all other species combined.

“We hadn’t seen this level of infestation since Menudo, possibly The Bay City Rollers,” said Early Cousins of the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA when reached for comment.

The unbridled population surge was derailed with the bursting of the housing bubble in 2007, however. While omnivorous, the REALTOR’s primary food sources are the Homeownerus Equitablis and Buyerus Solventus. Suddenly deprived of both during the period Real Estate naturalists refer to as the “The Lost Years,” REALTORs that once had their choice of bloated, single-family prey were left to scavenge the picked over bones of short sale carcasses and chase down stray tenants for section 8 tenement housing. The results were devastating. According to Dr. Winders, the population of REALTORs plummeted from a high water mark of approximately seventeen trillion in the second quarter of 2006 to twenty eight within ten months.

“Classic overpopulation model,” Winders noted. “This species was so successful in dominating its environment that it outpaced its food source. The resulting attrition to the Realtus Serpentes‘ ranks brought it to the brink of extinction. That’s when we stepped in.”

In addition to losing numbers to starvation, neighboring markets and social media, the REALTOR has been a frequent target of poaching. Long coveted by boot makers for its leathery pelt, REALTOR pot-shotting spiked sharply from 2007-2009 in tandem with home value degradation and mortgage defaults.

“I got one a’ the sumbiches on the wall in my den,” Jessop boasted. “Probably weren’t the same one that sold me this dump for five hunnered grand, but what do I care? All look the same anyway.”

Placed on the endangered species list in late 2009 after a comprehensive federal wildlife study determined through geo-tagging and tracking that the Scottsdale REALTOR population was down to four REO agents, two short sale specialists and a silverback who had occupied the same bullpen cubicle since the Truman administration, the surviving animals were originally housed in the venomous reptile enclosure of the Phoenix Zoo until a new wing with WIFI and Hannibal Lecter restraints could be erected. Much to visitors’ delight, a microfiche machine and Sanka dispensary were provided to ease the transition of the one zoo staffers would come to affectionately dub “Mongo.”

In the ensuing months, new financing options emerged, interest rates remained low and prices began to stabilize, coaxing Buyerus Solventus to return to its natural grazing areas. Perhaps even more encouraging, members of the sub-species Investorus Gigantus migrated from the plains of the Midwest and the frozen reaches of Canada to take advantage of the unprecedented value bounty before all of the good grass was gone. Before long, the prey numbers had grown so large that the REALTORs began returning as well.

“First one I seen in the wild since 2008 was last March. Thought it was just another chupacabra until I saw the scales,” said Jessop.

Soon enough, Arizona Real Estate schools were operating at full capacity and license renewals picked up as quickly as they had dropped off. An aggressive public awareness campaign helped to alter the image of the REALTOR from mindless equity killer to vital member of the housing ecosystem. Through the Adopt-An-Agent program, thousands of Scottsdale residents learned to live side by side with the misunderstood tetrapod, grudgingly accepting the occasional blood sacrifice in return for the symbiotic culling of the Bankus Properitus, or “bank owned property” herds. The cumulative effect proved so successful that the REALTOR was officially removed from the endangered list in May of 2012. According to Arizona Game and Fish estimates, there are now nearly fifty billion REALTORs in the metro Phoenix area today. The success of the repopulation effort has taken even its most optimistic supporters by surprise.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be standing here today, four short years later, saying that we are ready to release the original Scottsdale Seven back into the wild,” Winders admitted. “Now our children don’t just have to read about these magnificent creatures in textbooks or visit them at our zoos, but will actually get to see them in their natural habitat for generations to come. This is a victory for us all.”

“Horses&$t,” added Jessop.

-Paul Slaybaugh, Staff Writer
© 2013 The Disassociative Press. All rights reserved.
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Update: At 6:32 AM on Feb 10, 2013, the so-called “Scottsdale Seven” REALTORs were released behind a vacant, bank-owned tri-level near McDonald and Granite Reef in central Scottsdale. Two were shot within four hours and one took a job selling mobile phones, but four have been successfully re-assimilated into their packs. When reached for comment, Dr. Winders said he was proud of his team’s achievements and that he was returning to his previous work performing blindfolded root canals on rabid king cobras with overbites.

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Somewhere on an Online Real Estate Forum …

Q & A: Home Buying in 85258




I want to buy a home that is for sale in McCormick Ranch for $495,000. I've heard I can get a better deal if I don't use an agent, is this true? Also, what is the normal amount to take off the list price for an offer? Need help, please! 
 
-Jean, Home Buyer in Scottsdale, AZ

Sat Feb 6 2010, 11:37 - Property in 85258
27 answers

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First Answer

First!

-Tommy Gunn, Real Estate Agent in Sacramento, CA

Sat Feb 6 2010, 11:37

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Hi Jean!!!

First of all, welcome to Scottsdale! McCormick Ranch is a wonderful community with amazing amenities. I should know, I’ve specialized in the area for the past 17 years!!! Should you need any help drafting on offer for this property, I’d be more than happy to help! On average, my clients pay 5.8% less on their purchases than my competitors’ clients do! Visit my website to learn how this is possible!!!!

-Dani Danderson, Real Estate Agent in Casa Grande, AZ

Web Reference: http://WWW.HIREME.PLEASE
Sat Feb 6 2010, 11:38

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Congratulations on your decision to buy a house, Jean. I am a mortgage broker in Pensacola, Florida who has seen firsthand just how advantageous homeownership can be for my clients. If you would like the name of a local Real Estate specialist, I’d be more than happy to refer you to one of my referral partners in the area. Also, I am licensed to broker mortgages in all fifty states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico and parts of the Ivory Coast. Visit my site today to find out what financing option is right for you!

– Geoff Belanger, Mortgage Broker in NYC

Sat Feb 6 2010, 11:41

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Nice that all of these out of area professionals are offering advice for questions that aren’t even in the same state. Can we somehow make it so you can’t answer a question unless it’s in your actual market? Oh, and Tommy? Grow up.

– Edward Alverez, Real Estate Agent in Aspen, CO

Sat Feb 6 2010, 11:43

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Hi Jean, unlike my colleague from Casa Grande, I actually live and work this area. I just checked the MLS, and there aren’t any current active listings priced at $495k in McCormick Ranch. Are you sure the house isn’t already under contract?

– Amanda Hahn, Real Estate Agent in Scottsdale, AZ

Sat Feb 6 2010, 11:47

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Oops, forgot my web address. Remember, I can lend throughout the Western hemisphere and the southeastern quadrant of New Delhi.

– Geoff Belanger, Mortgage Broker in NYC

Web Reference: HTTP://WWW.LOANSINHELSINKI.COM
Sat Feb 6 2010, 11:48

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Make me

Tommy Gunn, Real Estate Agent in Sacramento, CA

Sat Feb 6 2010, 11:52

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Hi Jean. McCormick Ranch Real Estate is good. You should do good with purchasing one McCormick Ranch Real Estate. I can help also in all markets too. Good luck!

– Peggy Summerbottom, Real Estate Agent in Phoenix, AZ

Sat Feb 6 2010, 11:53

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Realtors are crooks and scumbags. Get a real job loosers!

– B Real, Home Seller in Eugene, OR

Sat Feb 6 2010, 11:59

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Jean, the idea that you can somehow get a better deal on a house if you don’t have your own Realtor has been around awhile, and it is a myth. Some seem to think that the listing agent will be willing to shave a percent or two off the total commission if the buyer is unrepresented, but no non-knuckle-dragging homo sapien will take on the added work and risk of handling both sides of the transaction for the same compensation he or she would get if another agent were involved. Besides, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face by looking at that small pile of money instead of the big picture. The listing agent represents the seller and is charged with squeezing the highest price out of you as possible. A good buyer’s agent will save you countless dollars on a purchase, and untold heartache. Find a professional you trust and lean on his/her knowledge and experience to ensure you not only get the home for the lowest price possible, but that you isolate the right candidate to begin with. I’m not trying to solicit your business, just seen too many well-intentioned but misinformed people get burned by minsconceptions. Whatever you decide, I wish you the best.

– Andy Tomson, Real Estate Agent in Chandler, AZ

Sat Feb 3 2010, 12:03

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Oh, and the whole percentage off list price thing is a red herring, too. There is no magic amount to offer off list price from one property to the next as all list prices are not created equal. Study the comps to determine market value, and base your offer accordingly.

– Andy Tomson, Real Estate Agent in Chandler, AZ

Sat Feb 3 2010, 12:04

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Best Answer

Yes, go straight to the listing agent and offer 50% of list price. It’s a buyer’s market.

– Johnny Carwash, Chief Shammy Technician in Pamona, CA

Sat Feb 3 2010, 12:12

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Sexy Russian Girls!!!

Click here for a list of naughty Siberian Hussies in your town!

– XXXXX, Guest in Other

Sat Feb 6 2010, 12:24

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My God, I am surrounded by imbeciles. I have specialized in McCormick Ranch for the past twenty two years and have never heard of any of these so-called “experts” before. I’d check your pockets after meeting with any of these shylocks.  If you want to talk to somebody who actually knows what the hell they’re talking about, give me a call.

– Gregory Mallard

Web Reference: You’ll look it up if you are really serious

Sat Feb 6 2010, 12:48

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Why would you buy a house in this market the prices are going to drop another 40 percent you dummy realitors will tell you anything to buy they don’t get paid unless you buy use your head guy jeez.

– Realistic, Home Buyer in Maricopa County

Sat Feb 6 2010, 14:37

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That is soooooo exciiiiiiiiiting! I live in McCormick Ranch and I looooooooooooooooooooove it!!!! I’m still on shift at the salon (we’ve got wifi – hee hee!), but I do Real Estate on the weekends too! Give me a call when I get off work tonight and I can tell you about all the benefits of working with a professional Real Estate agent! Think of me as two for one. I’ll save you thousands on your home and make your hair look FABO for FREE!!!!!!!

– Dede Beans, Real Estate Agent in Scottsdale, AZ

Sat Feb 6 2010, 15:56

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Why not move to Milwaukee instead?

– Mason Pilsner, Real Estate Agent in Milwaukee, WI

Sat Feb 6 2010, 18:17

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Thank you everyone, but I found out that the house sold back in May. Stupid websites. I’ll post again when I find another house. Think I might actually start looking in Gilbert. They have lake communities down there that are way cheaper. Thanks again for all of your input.

– Jean, Home Buyer in Scottsdale, AZ

Sun Feb 7 2010, 9:49

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According to the community website:
“McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale Arizona was the first master planned community in Scottsdale, Arizona. Incorporated in 1972, it is famous for its lake system, greenbelts, walking paths and neighborhood parks. Home to the top rated schools in the state, McCormick Ranch has grown to over 20,000 residents. Residents earn an average annual income of $87,000, and the majority have college educations. The McCormick Stillman Railroad Park is home to many community events such as Railfair and the Summer Concert Series.”
Hope this helps!

– Benson MacDougle, Real Estate Agent in Lake Tahoe, NV

Sun Feb 7 2010, 19:51
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I know many exceptional Real Estate agents all across the country. I would be happy to provide you with a referral to a local specialist from my network.

Cliff Basehead, Leads R Us in Topeka, KS

Web Reference: HTTP://StuckInTheMiddleWithYou.Com
Wed Feb 10 2010, 6:14

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R U still looking?

– Dani Danderson, Real Estate Agent in Casa Grande, AZ

Web Reference: HTTP://HireMe.Please
Fri Apr 16 2010, 17:38

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Does anyone know how to turn off the comment notifications on this thing?

– Jean, Home Buyer in Albuquerque, NM

Fri Apr 16 2010, 20:51

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McCormick Ranch is great! I’ve been selling here since 1999. Give me a call if I can show you around or answer any questions about the community that you may have!

– Rip Van Winkle, Real Estate Agent in Scottsdale, AZ

Web Reference: HTTP://McCormickRanchHome.com
Wed Feb 2 2011, 10:04

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Realtors suck

– Jaded, Home Buyer in Fairbanks, AK

Thu Mar 17 2011, 13:13

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Anybody seen the new Transformers movie yet? Is it any good?

Darryl, Home Seller in Little Rock, AK

Thu Mar 17 2011, 13:59

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Seriously, how do I turn off notifications?

– Jean, Home Buyer in Salem, OR

Fri Mar 18 2011, 7:42

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Marco?

– Geoff Belanger, Mortgage Broker in NYC / Tripoli

Mon Oct 31 2011, 0:01

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Short Sale Confidential

The clandestine meeting took place at twelve thirty on a Thursday. Two men armed with black briefcases approached each other in the darkness, flanked by muscle-bound henchmen who busied themselves looking tough. The second-hand light refused to fully illuminate either faction.

“You were to come alone,” Drago admonished his older rival.

“As were you,” Arvloski retorted.

A mirthless chuckle escaped Drago’s thin lips, his face a collaboration of sharp angles and shadows.

“You know me too well, Niko,” he confessed. “As I know you.”

“Is that it,” Arvloski asked, pointing at the case with his dimpled chin.

“Niko, my old friend. What is your hurry,” Drago responded. “You seem nervous.”

“Not nervous, Comrade. What is the word … eager?”

“I have never known you not to ask of Katerina,” Drago pressed.

Arvloski swallowed hard before responding. His sallow pallor was made all the more evident by the pronounced puffiness beneath his sleepless blue eyes.

“And what of my dotchka?”

“She grows large with child,” Drago informed him, pausing before twisting the knife. “We think to call him Nicholas.”

Arvloski blanched, his jaundiced skin verging on translucence. He took half a step towards his smirking adversary with balled fists before catching himself. He didn’t feel his jagged fingernails digging into the meaty palms of his giant paws.

“There will be time enough for hugs later, Niko,” Drago taunted. “Let us first do this business that has you so … eager.”

“Open the case and hand it to Sergei,” Arvloski instructed, nodding at the behemoth in the black t-shirt that was no fewer than four sizes too small.

“Niet. You will open your case and hand it to Petr,” Drago countered. “Then I give you mine.”

The two men stared at each other, refusing to blink, before the distant warbling of a car alarm pierced the tense silence.

“We open cases at the same time,” Arvloski suggested, losing the battle of wills. “On count of three.”

Drago withdrew the gold cross he wore around his neck and rubbed it between a calloused thumb and finger as he considered the proposal. Coming to a decision, he tucked the well-worn charm back into the unruly thatch of chest hair that struggled against an overmatched v-neck sweater.

“Da, count of three,” he agreed.

“Adeen,” Arvloski led, unlatching the spring-loaded clasp on his case with a satisfying snap.

“Dva,” Drago followed, unlatching his case as well.

“It had better be in there, Comrade,” Arvloski warned.

“That is going for the both of us, Niko,” Drago replied.

The men nodded and finished the count in unison as their goons tensed for battle.

“Tri.”

As the lids on both cases swung open, revealing the contents within, the group was suddenly bathed in blinding, white light.

“Politsii! Politsii,” Sergei bellowed.

The cases fell to the ground as panic-stricken men fumbled over one another in their haste to flee. A new voice called out above the ruckus, but Arvloski was too focused on the item lying on the ground next to one of the upended cases to notice. Blinking the sight back into his eyes, he reached for it.

“Arlen, just what the hell do you think you’re doing?”

Hearing his name jolted the loss mitigation specialist back to his senses. He looked across the break room at the disapproving female face staring down at him from the bank of switches that controlled the overhead lights.

“Is that my ahi,” Shelby from internal auditing demanded, pointing at the saran wrapped mass lying on the floor. She took in the melting ice that lined the open briefcase sitting next to it with a heavy sigh.

“Not the black market organ syndicate thing again? What is wrong with you people? And who smells like dijon,” she asked.

Arlen dabbed at the yellow streaks on his cheeks with one hand while fingering the spent packet of fancy mustard in his pocket.

“Nice touch. Let me guess, you’re a terminal liver patient this time,” Shelby posited. “Can’t you freaks at least use your own lunch?”

“Oh, relax, Shelby,” Drake said from off to Arlen’s left. He was fishing change out of his pocket as he surveyed the vending machine options. The second case lay open at his feet, a stock approval letter template resting within its felt lining. “Just having some fun. We didn’t hurt your precious tuna.”

“If you two paid as much attention to the poor excuses for files that end up on my desk as you do to these little diversions, maybe we wouldn’t have a six month logjam,” she countered, hands on hips, tapping the blood red nail of her index finger with each of the last four syllables.

“Get back to work,” she ordered the hulking security guards who were doing their best to blend in with the faux wood paneling on the walls.

“Yes, ma’am,” a neckless crew-cut answered, shooing his charges past the skeletal exec.

“The eight hundred line is fielding ten bomb threats an hour, and you morons are in here playing Cloak and Dagger,” she hissed.

“Won’t happen again, ma’am,” Crew-cut promised as he slunk out of the room.

“What’s it matter anyway,” Arlen wondered as he climbed to his feet. “I have seven hundred open files on my desk, for crissakes. Seven hundred.”

“Oh, cry me a river, Evita,” Drake retorted. “I’m sitting on nine fifty, easy. We’re pissing in the jet wash here, Shell. Where are our reinforcements?”

“Upper management is talking about bringing on new staff,” she answered.

Arlen guffawed.

“Yeah, they’ve been talking about that for the last fourteen months. Shoot, when I took this gig, I figured there was a putt putt in the conference room.”

“No kidding, right,” Drake echoed. “I couldn’t believe it when I found out we didn’t have video poker on our PCs. Couldn’t think of any other reason it would take eight months to process a file.”

“I know, I know,” Shelby admitted. “I thought we got off for company scuba trips to the Caymans between approvals.”

“Look,” she relented. “We’re all under a lot of pressure, but you can’t keep doing this stuff. The prank phone calls to non-delinquent account holders, the BPO dead pools, the contests to see which one of you can collect the most four letter words or longest hold times from Real Estate agents … ”

Arlen and Drake did their best not to smile as they shared a furtive glance.

“Yes, I know about all of it,” Shelby assured them. “There are real people out there depending on us to resolve these short sales, no matter how futile it may seem. It’s time you started taking your jobs seriously.”

“You’re absolutely right,” Arlen acknowledged.

“Straight and narrow from here on out,” Drake promised. “Scout’s honor.”

“Good,” Shelby replied. “Now clean up this mess and get back to your phones, would you?”

She turned on her three inch heel and strode towards the door, dousing the confined space in the oddly medicinal scent of hers that had long reminded Arlen of Vicks VapoRub.

“Let’s play pin the tail on the lien release tomorrow,” Drake whispered as he sidled up next to Arlen.

Arlen nodded and the conspirators bumped fists, splaying their fingers upon contact to mimic an explosion.

“Shell,” Arlen called after the retreating auditor.

“Yes,” she responded, turning back to face the grinning pair as she reached the hall.

“Don’t forget your fish.”

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