Top of the Deck

The Real Estate Poker Game So Far

This is C.M. Coolidge’s most famous work of commercial art, “A Friend in Need”, painted just after the turn of the 20th Century.  He painted nine of dogs playing poker and another seven of them performing other manly pursuits like playing pool.  His images became so iconic that 50 years later another commercial artist named Arthur Sarnoff became popular doing paintings of dogs playing not only poker and pool but golf, and since then several others have gotten into this meme.

I couldn’t have guessed at the complexities that would occur in the behaviors of the buyers competing to purchase our CA house, so your guesses were certainly as good as mine.  The second offer, which had been above asking, was accepted but it fell off after the buyer revealed that he was writing multiple offers and that ours was not his favorite.

Meanwhile, the first offer which had been easily revealed to be a low-ball bluff (priced under asking and with a deadline) also came back with an offer above asking and no deadline – same quick escrow as before.  We accepted that offer, but we are still going to hold another Open House next weekend to get back-up offers in case some unresolved deal-breaker might occur during the 30-day escrow period.

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge was an interesting specimen of an early American “go-getter” type.  He was born in 1844 and in his long and varied career he superintended a school district, owned drug stores, founded a bank, wrote various kinds of humor and travel pieces for newspapers and even wrote a comic opera that was produced and performed.  He also invented those “comic foregrounds”, the things where you stick your head through to become part of a picture of a muscle-man or a lady trick-riding a horse.  He patented that idea.

Coolidge got the contract to create 16 paintings of dogs doing things when he was 59.  When he was 64, he married (for the first time) a woman 35 years his junior and they had a child the next year.  When Coolidge was in his seventies, interest in his art and writing dropped, so his wife went to work and he became a house-husband, a highly unusual thing in 1916.  He died in 1934 a few months shy of his 90th birthday.  I couldn’t have met him, but he sounds like my kind of guy.

If our CA house closes successfully, we might be in Casa DeLuxe in time for the Fourth of July fireworks, viewable from our new front windows.  However, you never know with poker or real estate while the hand is still being played.  You could have four aces and still lose to a well-hidden straight flush.

Wish me luck!


Filed under debt, Emotions, Ethics and Morality, humor, Money, symbolism

15 responses to “Top of the Deck

  1. Dang, I was for choice 3 yesterday, but didn’t think of the other 2 being bluffs. Just dang.
    I wish you infinate good luck!

    • Thank you, Lisa. I didn’t either. It never occurred to me that someone could offer over 3/4 of a million dollars without ever seriously meaning to pay it. Though quite legal, it’s freakishly immoral to me.

  2. I am following the great house hunt Mikey but as you have this black theme it’s a hell of a challenge to do so. 😦

    • I apologize for my lack of consideration toward your differences in visual adaptation, TT,

      Since you subscribe, you could just read the email version. The pics would still be there, and then the background is white. I don’t think the re-arrangement of text matters. The only difference is that I often find some typos or chose to change a word or two after I post, but overall they are very slight changes.

      In your case, I would even send you Word .doc versions if you like, since that’s the form I use to write the originals.

    • NEW THEME SELECTED! *poink*

  3. Mikey, I’m relieved that your posts are in the main shorter than mine. I’ve had three posts of yours to catch up on tonight. I commented on the last post before I read this one, and sure enough, it turned out that as I predicted, the options I was most fond of didn’t pan, and the one I was most wary of looks like it might float. I hadda laugh.

    Coolidge’s dogs at the pool table were hanging on the walls in the pool room of my best friend’s basement when I was growing up. I didn’t realize the images were so old.

    I’m excited for you. You’ve made some good fun out of something I consider sort of frightening and nerve-wracking. Eager to hear how it goes…

  4. Thanks, Matt. I had to make it fun for myself to relieve the stress, too. I’ve been working 14-hr days through this process, and in a way I’m glad I only get the pile of back and forth emails once or twice a day. It’s a pretty wild ride. It does look like this offer will fly, though. We are moving forward on making an offer to buy Casa Deluxe “contingent upon closing” – which means so long as our CA house does NOT fall out of escrow. That’s only a 30-day period. We could be moved in by the end of June.

  5. Deborah

    Phew – just caught up with all your recent posts and didn’t want to leave without saying thank you. I hope your house sale and purchase goes ahead smoothly. You should hold a virtual housewarming when you move in!

    I was so interested to read your analysis (in one of your replies to a comment on another recent post) about your ‘invisible’ persona and the role it plays. It would be great if you elaborated on that in a future post.x
    PS. Hope you don’t mind if I just say in a not complaining at all way that I too (along with TT) find the white on black really hard to read.

  6. Since 2 represents a quorum in Mikey’s Book of Order, I will look over other templates in the next few days and select one that is more optic-friendly (though I personally love black & white, so I might just go for a reverse version similar to this one).

    Because others also asked about my nom de plume, I wrote a full post back in January on my philosophy about invisibility, and anonymous writing online, Deborah. Here it is:

  7. Sarah Baram

    Wishing you lots of luck in being able to move in to the new home soon! Sometimes, that is more stressful than doing away with the current home. I know the feeling, my family spent a bit over six months in between. A two bedroom apartment, and sharing a room with a younger brother… Not a good time!

  8. Thanks, Sarah (and glad to see you back at your site). That time should only be one month more. My wife and I parted Feb. 20th, and will probably only live apart until the end of June. Even four months was not fun.

    • Sarah Baram

      Ah, one month is great! And I’m sure the parting with your wife just made your relationship stronger, and give you both a greater sense of appreciation for one another.
      It feels nice to be back! After finals I needed a bit of time to recoup. Being accepted to my top school certainly helped also!

  9. Loving the art you’re displaying and the creative way you’re using it. My grandparents on my father’s side had the first dog print you featured. As a small child I was always captivated with those card playing dogs and have found it interesting to learn the history behind them.

    Hope the house sells quickly!
    Theresa Jane

    • Thanks, Theresa Jane. 30-day escrow began on the 17th. If it doesn’t fall out, it’s a done deal already.
      I love researching iconic images. Glad you enjoyed hearing about it.

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