Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Property Value

I’m proud of where I come from. Granted, I grew up about three miles south of Greens Fork and spent very little time in this town of 363 folks. The town has two claims to fame: Firstly, childhood home of outlaw Johnny Ringo and secondly, home to the largest drug bust in the state...until meth came along and took that title away from us. We generally stick with only telling people about Ringo; the second claim just doesn’t have much “substance” anymore. But even though I’m a proud resident, I surprised even myself when I moved back - in to the town - of Greens Fork after leaving Washington DC. This tiny burg is full of “characters”, many of which you’ll meet along my journey, and recently I had an interesting conversation with yet another...
I was walking to my mailbox to get my mail when I heard a neighbor yell my name. 

Right out of his garage walks Pete, my harmless, very helpful handy-man neighbor.  Pete knew the ins and outs of my property before I bought it - the year it got new windows, the reason the flag pole leans and the exact acreage of the yard. After about 30 seconds of small talk, Pete begins walking across my yard to the area where (I’ve noticed) it dips a bit. 

“You know this house used to utilize this dry well we’re standing on right now.” 

Dry well? Not only did I not remember reading about this in my real estate contract, I had no idea the function of a dry well. I was quickly informed. 

“Oh yeah, they quit using it years ago, probably around ‘85. But they still dumped every one of their damn cats and dogs in that well when they expired over the years. Has to be at least 11 carcasses down there, I'd say probably 4 dogs and probably 6 cats (you do the math) - not to mention all of their tacky chew toys and yarn balls.”
Back the Fork up - there are dead pets buried in my yard? 
Obviously a little freaked out, Pete just throws his head back and laughs, and tells me he’s very serious....just before he crosses back into his own yard, still laughing. 
I just stood there with my Real Simple magazine in hand. In shock. Not only had I bought a cute, quaint house on the edge of town, I bought a turfed-over, covered-up, full-fledged, pet cemetery. One, that in my expert paranoid opinion, is caving in (I am the one who push-mows the yard in fear of twisting an ankle when I pass over the Tomb of the Unknown Rover).
Now, Dixie is extremely nervous.
I’d like to thank Pete for really freaking me out, helping me realize the true value of my property (who doesn’t want a little house with a large yard with room for your newly adopted 10-11 dead pets to play?) and enabling me to waste an entire evening leaving after-hours messages at concrete businesses. 
I don’t even like cats.