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7/8/03

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Riding Shotgun  
With Adventure  


by Ron Langston  

Ron Langston

Chapter 46: House Hunting
a/k/a the Most Dangerous Game


The ad said a 4/3, for under $300,000, but what was described as the fourth bedroom now contained stacks upon stacks of rotting porn the likes of which have not been seen outside of Sweden since Ed Meese ran the Justice Department. The stench given off by the decaying magazines and the encroaching stains on the floor indicated that Ed Meese had presumably never been within 100 miles. No central air, the alleged room was really a converted garage, and Dalia, my spirit-guide and Realtor, pointed out that the window-unit air conditioner rattled like a despondent prisoner ready to tell all. And we hadn't even seen the hall bathroom yet.

The vanity appeared to have been installed in 1973, possibly by Rip Taylor. The silver Formica was inlaid with rhinestones in a pattern approximating the braille symbol for "asparagus." A Dominican family was permanently camped out in the shower/tub in supplication to the mildew stain on the wall, which they fervently believed was in the shape of Charo. Dalia agreed that the toilet would have to be replaced, but by what, she would not speculate. The mirror was cracked, and the faded image, reflected in the long-ago stripped silver backing paint, appeared to be that of a young, blonde girl and her improbably dressed rabbit friend.

The master suite was aptly named, as no amount of white wash will remove the tell-tale signs of a ceiling swing and wall-mounted shackles. The instruments of domination may have been removed, but the dominance of the colony of South American roaches living in the walk-in closet had no end in sight. The French doors to the patio seemed to have no other purpose than to allow the vermin to make scouting expeditions to the sacred pet graveyard behind the pool pump.

Finally, we reached the kitchen. "Beautifully resurfaced" apparently was some sort of code language for "sanded down to the original balsa wood foundation." In the pockmarked cabinets we discovered a hoarded stash of prescription medicines and canned goods from the Eisenhower administration. Dalia and I then managed to force open the pantry doors, only to unknowingly release from his domestic bondage Muddy, the owners' one-eyed beagle, who kept quarter in the pantry's water-logged abscess. I struggled to close the pantry doors, but not before Dalia succumbed to Muddy's feral embrace. My house hunt would now continue alone.

Next Week -- Chapter 47: Open House, Open Sores





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