Harrassing People for Fun and Profit

Posted on September 24, 2018


Contrary to what readers may now be thinking, the title of this post has noting to do with our duly elected and self-adored President of the United States. It is, instead, about Life in the Boomer Lane’s Saturday spent getting in people’s faces at a local community celebration.

LBL will start by saying that DC area folks take themselves quite seriously.  They do, after all, live in the epicenter of the planet and are within a stone’s throw to the greatest power ever in the history of mankind.  Ever. Just ask anyone.

DCers work 100 hours a week and have business cards that say things like “Assistant to the Undersecretary of IntraGlobal Relations.” They know in their hearts that the fate of the world depends on whatever it is that they do every day. Even if they aren’t quite sure exactly what it is they do each day, they still know the fate of the world depends on them.

For this reason, LBL thought it would be a swell idea to accost these folks at the annual Clarendon Day celebration in Arlington, VA. Mike in hand, and accompanied by a professional audio technician, she roamed around surprising innocent, unsuspecting citizens with the scary question, “Would you like to answer a question about real estate?”  She would then use all the audio to play on her radio show, “This Sold House.”

Reactions, when she approached people, ranged from abject fear and loathing to outright glee. To help those who recoiled, LBL added, “It’s a really easy question.” In most cases, this didn’t help.  LBL suspected they actually heard, “Would you like to give me your social security number, credit card, and underpants?”  She let these people scurry away.

The ones who reluctantly agreed to answer a question or those acted as though a correct answer would result in them winning a set of kitchen appliances, were in for a surprise. LBL had some fairly off-the-wall questions on hand.  They included “What is something horrible about your house that you wouldn’t want a prospective purchaser to know about?” Surprisingly, everyone wanted to answer that question. It reminded LBL of an ancient TV show,  in which elementary age children were asked, “What is something your mommy or daddy told you not to talk about on this show?”

She also asked people why those who lived in DC hated those who live in Virginia. LBL doesn’t think DCers actually do hate those in Virginia, but she does think they sort of look down on people on the other side of the river.  Those asked the question either answered “I don’t think they hate us,” or they came up with some compelling and creative reasons why they would.

She asked two people if she thought Republicans had better houses than Democrats. Both were pretty appalled at the question, she she had to quickly tell them it was a trick question. She made a mental note not to ask anyone that question again.

She talked to a few darling young couples. One guy said he moved from DC to Arlington because “she lives in Arlington,” and stared adoringly at his girlfriend. LBL told them their relationship seemed pretty solid and advised the woman that her boyfriend was a keeper and that she expected to be invited to the wedding.

Lastly, because she has a tough time remembering people’s names or faces, a tricky disability for a Realtor, she didn’t recognize a couple of clients, nor her son’s high school friend.

LBL gave it her all.  It was one of the most fun experiences she ever had, in addition to being one of the most exhausting. After a few hours, she returned the mike to the audio technician, went home and spent the next few hours being in a state perilously close to brain-dead. She was sound asleep by 7 PM.

When the show is edited, and if it is actually something LBL thinks people might want to listen to, LBL will tell readers how to access the show. Until then, readers will have to entertain themselves by following the alleged teenage antics of the current nominee to the Supreme Court, as well as the drama unfolding around the fate of the current Deputy Attorney General.