Home of all things PRODIGAL DAD

Ask Prodigal Dad

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yea! I Dont Have An Expensive House! Yeah!...I mean...wait...

I keep looking for signs that the economy is on an upward slant. Not something huge or neon or "written on the wall by the hand of the lord" as it were. Just a basic sign that says, ...well, that things are "on an upward slant". Simple and to the point.

I wait for the news from Wall Street to brighten, for the sun to break out from behind the silver lining-less cloud and for the birds to sing and the bees to want to do things with the birds - as is my general understand of nature. I wait for smiley faces and scratch n sniffs of flowers to great me when I open my bank statements.

I am still waiting. You don't want to be around these 'sniffs' I scratch sent me now from the bank.

I read today in my favorite news paper (which vacillates back and forth depending on who published my last essay - Go Tribune!) that the value of many homes that once used to be worth $1 million smackos in the Salt Lake area have dropped from 30 to 40% since the real estate market tanked several years ago. What this means, and I got this straight from my 13 year old, is that some of these home owners who wear shoes that are not made out of pleather & corrugated cardboard are still in finantical loan deals that will cost them more than $400.000 than their homes are worth on the market today.

Loan officers say that the high-end homes -- meaning the homes with heated drive ways, servant's quarters, contoured toilet seats and cupboards of canned food -- will be years trying to re-gain their full value, and it may never come back."

These same mortgage-men say that homes worth half the million dollars may be a different can of worms altogether. These homes will most likely see their value return much more quickly than those of the richer homes up the road on Quail Gently Run Parkway and Dedree Darling III Riverside Court.


Fortunately, I am not one of the quality people with a million dollar home. Yeah, ...I am really happy about that. No nice home for me with all the responsibilities and pleasures and joys and dry mold-free walls that stem from having nice-home ownership. Nor I am the slightly less successful though still cheery guy with the "half-a-million-dollar" home which boasts floors and roofs and floors. And lots of stuff one could not live without, which for space, time, and less interest girls have for convents I am going to live without. How sad for cheery me.

I rent. I rent because I lost my home for reasons that I am rather embarrassed to speak about.

I it seems that I was poorer than I had planed on being.

I gotta say that while the banker guys are miffed, I actually understand the "how and why" someone would walk away from a house from which they would lose money. This type of "strategic default" (Like my dads first marriage) would still leave one having to pay the difference between the resale value of the home and the amount of their loan - like there are hoards of folks standing in queue to by the McMansion homes of Utah.
Apparently with the economy as is, these people who have walk away from their home loan won't be able to buy another home for at least four years, possibly longer depending on the color of the mood ring on the hand of the lender.

Four years sounds about right. I wonder if they need a house sitter?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Yes Officer, You May See Her Drivers Licence...

My wife has taken extreme measures to make sure that we are not profiled by police officers due to the new and controversial immigration guidelines in Arizona.

The problem is that we don't live in Arizona. Also, you should know that she is as blond as a polar bear in a snowstorm wearing a blond ski parka. At noon. On Blond Day.

I myself, if I were to be so politically incorrect as to compare my outer epidermis to an actual color, would have to pick Lightest Blue - as in "I-think-found-a-vein-this-time, Doctor" blue.

My children fall somewhere in the middle of Blond and Lightest Blue except for Myelda, my eldest daughter, who is often the color of a fried orange due to what I feel is both excessive and compulsive tanning. Apparently she thinks Lightest Blue with a lightly breaded fried chicken completion is comparable to a cool new purse or a new phone.

My wives latest police-avoiding ploy involves applying a commemorative badge celebrating handicapped & retired officers of the law to the back window just above the license plate. I think it is a good ploy.

Scenario; Gentle Police Officer sees moss-green van speeding or swerving unnaturally or taking undue license with established motor vehicular guidelines. Officer Fluffy puts down his donut and peruses said rolling moss ball. He approaches the van from far enough away to not notice my wife's unnatural grimace, white knuckled death grip on the steering wheel and steely cold maniacal stare. He calls in the plate number, but before he receives a reply from Consuela at dispatch, he takes note of the too-many pointed star glistening on the rear window; a sticker that represents those near and dear to Officer Fluffies's donuts – I mean, heart...

He lets her pass.

Letting her pass is a good thing. My lovely, kind spirited wife & companion thinks nothing of spending an afternoon leading the police in a woman hunt, or entertaining the troops with questionable challenges or mother jokes. Very funny. Don't laugh. The Officers Fluffy toss you on the hood of their car and leave you there for hours.

She calls them names, good wholesome all American names, like “Sally” or “Mary”. And then she asks them if they have put in an new order for larger uniforms. I just smile and try to make panicked and in cohesive sign language to let the Fluffies know that she not only is insane, but that we are only related by marriage and that the opinions expressed by the physio in the drivers seat may not necessarily express the feelings of those she has kidnapped.

I, in direct opposition, have been known to hide in an industrial garage or behind billboards for an entire labor day weekend in order to avoid being “officially” reminded of a passable broken headlight. Rolling red and blues in my rear-view mirror have been the cause of much money spent in wet cleanup at the car wash.

I suppose, to cut to the chase, I am saying that our collective experience with our brethren of law enforcement has not been as warm or as fuzzy as it is with, say, funerals, root canals or sewer exploration.

I guess the whole immigration thing won't really work unless we trust the Fluffies to act in the best interest of "we the people" without deference to politics and positioning.

Until that happens, I will be right here in my van under a camo tarp and a few well placed sage brush waiting until dark to make a diet coke run.