Wait. Again, the wait. Nothing happened. This is a usual occurrence. So was the final short word exchange with Mr. Lawyer. It’s always like that: I utter “the number” and the principal decision maker of the estate responds with a “I’ll let you know” of some sort. I am suppose to squirm? Actually I learned very early in my long career that lawyer speak uses very, very few words. In this case, for example, we’d just spent several hours plus with this guy and his girls in a giant haunted dark dirty bat filled house and… all he has to say at the end is an “I’ll get back to you”?
GOOD FOR HIM. I …learned to ALSO give out very few words AND LEAVE. I mean: IT’S THEIR PROBLEM and “don’t forget to close the barn door” too. This reversal of short words deployment works wonders. Mr. Lawyer has NOTHING from me except a verbal “the number” AND I’m GONE. MY silence is MY final offer. Additionally from Mr. Lawyer’s vantage this is all low priority. HE already “has the estate”; the money, the bank accounts, the real estate, the trusts, the auction and even the “what happened to THAT?” mother’s car. NO NEED FOR HIM to get excited about all that mouse filled junk especially when he just got some moron to offer… quite a bit of money from his vantage… to clean the place out. Yep: He’ll get to it.
He did. After over three weeks had past he, before contacting me, further contacted his real estate connection to firm up the “put the property on the market” directives of estate closure. From that followed a telephone call to me regarding MY OFFER and CLEAN OUT clause. NOT MENTIONING my offer and quizzing me lightly on clean out he endeavored to suggest I needed two days for a clean out. “Ha, ha” I said and stood firm on my two weeks. He rebutted a whole real estate for sale now show the house so must be cleaned out now saga. I rebutted “that’s not my problem”. Another week plus went by. He telephoned again with a… “we are ready to start the clean out of the estate” …communication.
“Does that mean your accepting my offer, I’m buying the estate contents and will have two full unrestricted access weeks to …get it out?”
“Good” I said using shortest word exchange speak and knowing it would not be “good”. There was a silent pause then:
“When can you start?
“Tuesday”. Today was Monday.
“Tomorrow?” he said.
“Yes. At 8:30 in the morning would be best for me”.
“OK… fine …I’ll have someone at the house.”
“Thank you very much. I’ll see you tomorrow morning at eight-thirty”.
I never saw OR spoke with Mr. Lawyer again.
We did arrive five minutes early with three empty pickup trucks and, including myself, six men. With our lunch boxes. We waited in the yard for ten minutes. Then the mother’s car pulled into the driveway and parked up by the shed door. It was not the mother’s car as I remembered it. The old “low mileage an old lady drove it” classic had been fully “shined up” so that it glowed with the aura of “antique car” including a shiny new license plate that said “ANTIQUE AUTO” at its bottom. The not a finger print on its glow and a lovingly purring engine… stopped, turned off and… the fire chief got out. We were all looking at the car. None of my crew knew anything about the mother’s car. I didn’t know anything about the fire chief except the old Blood’s Farm mentions. HE didn’t know who I was or that I knew about THAT car. I assured myself to myself that I WAS GOING TO SAY NOTHING. That always works best if I want to find out EVERYTHING.
It did. Mr. Fire Chief; sometimes called “Brady”, “Rick”, “Buzzy” and “Mr. Richards” over the next two weeks including me managing to NEVER call him by ANY name… was… in charge. HE held the KEY to the shed door and the estate. HE promptly unlocked that and gave me the key asking me not to loose it. He made brief small talk about “the mess in the house” being a “fire trap” and us “cleaning it out” “did we need help I can get some boys from the fire department” “how you gonna do it” “Oh OK LOOKS GOOD I’LL BE CHECKING (every single morning at 8:30 like clock work so we moved our start to eight and he never noticed because he was always at least five minutes late) “where you gonna start first” “Kitchen?” “I always LIKED Mrs. Ardsley’s KITCHEN” “I ALWAYS LIKED MARGARET” “I’VE KNOWN THE FAMILY ALL MY LIFE” “DID YOU FIND ANY VALUABLE ANTIQUES LEFT IN THERE YOU KNOW THEY HAD AN AUCTION OF THOSE I WAS HERE AND HELPED THEM PICK OUT THE ANTIQUES THE HOUSE WAS FULL OF THEM THERE SURE IS A LOT OF JUNK LEFT HUH”.
I figured out what happened to the car. Later on I actually was told the estate “sold it to him for a dollar” in exchange for his ongoing… gonna bug me for two whole weeks… “help”. I never got rid of the guy, room by room, floor by floor, ITEM BY ITEM “huh that’s pretty good isn’t it I didn’t see THAT” including his …I deduced quickly… daily reporting back to Mr. Lawyer’s OFFICE of our progress. He kept talking about talking to “Shelly” that at first I thought was the real estate broker but I then felt out to be one of the two women from the inspection. He never spoke to Mr. Lawyer. Just this “Shelly”. I figured that out too. YEP: HE stayed on top of ME and SO DID MR. LAWYER. I was not phased. He usually would hang around most of the mornings and then disappear… just before lunch. “YOU EVEN WORK WEEKENDS HUH” he said the FIRST Sunday morning. On the second Sunday morning I had to remind him “WE STILL HAVE TOMORROW” (meaning Monday) because we “STARTED ON TUESDAY REMEMBER WE HAVE TWO FULL WEEKS UNRESTRICTED ACCESS”. Evidently Monday morning Shelly told him that was true but he sulked around all day Monday and “want the key back Tuesday morning”.
“You can have it at 4:30 this afternoon” I said. I actually gave it to him at ten of four …and left. We’d closed and locked the barn door AND every other door except the …shed door. That was HIS problem.