Rain Street Blues

Real Estate Agent with Realty Executives

Sergeant Druge cringed against the ungodly screeching that accompanied the last goblin to slink into the squad room. Its spiked, purple tail carved a shallow groove in the ceramic tile as it dragged limply behind.

“Long night, DARTH666,” Druge asked, tapping the lectern in front of him with a serrated claw. A quick glance at the clock on the far wall confirmed the time as 5:02 AM TST.

“Sorry, Sarge,” Darth replied as he found a seat. “Stumbled onto a new site last night.”

“And,” Druge prompted under a raised red unibrow.

“And I hit paydirt,” Darth confirmed. “Social media site for Realtors.”

Deep, wet chortles and high-pitched cackles erupted in the squad room.

“OMG,” a towering, grey-haired beast intoned from the back of the room. “Social media and Realtors? In the same place?”

“Throw in Justin Bieber and you’ve got the unholy triumvirate,” an overly caffeinated troll sneared through rotten, yellow teeth.

“Tell me more,” the sergeant commanded.

“It’s called ActiveRain,” Darth answered. “Supposedly the world’s largest Real Estate network.”

The room grew silent as the assembled throng waited with what could only be described as reverence.

“Real Estate agents, home stagers, loan officers, home inspectors, title clerks, web designers … it’s troll nirvana, sir. No offense,” Darth added, nodding his apology to the actual troll in attendance.

“None taken.”

“Were you able to make initial contact, plant a few seeds for conflict,” Druge pressed.

“I did a hell of a lot better than that, Sarge,” Darth assured him.

“Go on.”

“Well, for starters, posing as a home stager, I wrote a scathing blog post about Realtors who were too daft to enlist my services,” Darth said. “I also managed to get in a few digs about how sellers don’t need an agent if they know where to place the sofa.”

“Any bites?”

“Bites,” Darth scoffed. “Look at my dorsal fin! I haven’t gotten this chewed up since the Craigslist Affair!”

A murmur spread through the room as the ethereal underworld denizens recalled one of the proudest moments in unit history: offering a six month old human baby in trade for an X-Box and a case of Red Bull. Straight up.

“I’m still fielding death threats from that one,” GRUMBLR_00 boasted from the back of the room, his iridescent dragon scales splayed out like a peacock.

“Hell, forget threats. I’m still fielding inquires from that one,” an ashen zombie known by the handle @brainz added. “There are some really sick puppies out there.”

“Alright, let’s stay on target, mutants,” Druge decreed. “Continue, please, DARTH666.”

“After the home stager showdown, I was too jazzed to sleep,” Darth admitted. “So I decided to go back in as an SEO expert who didn’t know anything about SEO.”


“Search engine optimization,” Darth informed the befuddled sergeant. “All of these Real Estate morons are gaga for it. Apparently think it’s the panacea that stands between their past due electric bill and riches beyond their wildest dreams.”


“And lightning struck twice,” Darth informed him. “This time, though, it came down from the skies as if from the hammer of Thor himself. Vile email exchanges, slanderous accusations of slander, threats of lawsuits … it … it …,” he trailed off as his Adam’s appleless gullet choked up.

“… it was the greatest night of my life,” he finally managed to croak.

Completely spent, Darth slumped back in his chair. The small horns protruding from his forehead appeared to wilt with fatigue.

“Great work, six six six,” Druge beamed. “I want you to take the day off. You’ve earned it.”

“But, sir, I can go,” Darth objected.

“Absolutely not,” Druge responded. “Take your purple ass home and get some sleep. That’s an order. We’re going to need you tomorrow bright and early.”

Darth gingerly rose and shuffled out of the room, paws clapping him on the back as he went.

“Assignments,” Druge bellowed as Darth pushed through the door and out of the squad room. “IAMDOOM11, YELLOWSNOWMAN!”

“Sir,” two voices replied; one high, one low.

“I want you two on the Twitter beat. See if you can’t pick another fight with Anderson Cooper.”

“Yes, sir!”



“I want you on Facebook patrol. Follow up on friend requests and spam anyone who recently accepted with erectile disfunction prescription drug links.”

“Yes, sir!”



“You’re on MySpace. See if you can find it in you to call a twelve year old a jerk today.”

“MySpace again, sir? But no one even goes there anymore!”

“Exactly,” Druge retorted, closing his eye in exasperation. “When you two are ready to start acting like trolls, I’ll start start treating you like trolls. Until then, it's daycare duty. Got it? Now go pull someone’s hair.”

“Yes, sir,” the pair sighed.

“I want everyone else on this ActiveRain site from dawn until dusk,” Druge ordered.

“But, sir,” a gorgon named BCSTONER objected, its hair hissing. “It’s my day to pick up the little monsters from school.”

“Better call the sitter,” Druge advised. “We’re all pulling doubles.”

A collective groan rose in the room.

“None of that now,” Druge reprimanded his charges. “This site could make the career of every troll in this room. We don't want those posers at CORI getting there first, do we?"

A few murmured "nos" greeted his invocation of their rivals at the Center for Online Riot Instigation. 

"Do we?"

"No," the group boomed in unison.

"I didn't think so," Druge approved. "Now let’s show the virtual world how we do it here in the Mariana Trench!”

The room burst into action as monsters and ghouls arose to tackle the day, all hesitance forgotten as they shuffled/lurched/slid towards their consoles. Complaints about the long day ahead replaced with excited chatter.

“And hey,” Druge bellowed over the din. “Let’s be careless out there.”


Comments (49)

Karen Rice
Keller Williams Real Estate - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

Great post! ;0)

Apr 01, 2011 03:42 PM
Thesa Chambers
West + Main - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon

I miss the like button - :)

Apr 01, 2011 03:51 PM
Melissa Brown
Helen Adams Realty - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Wild story - felt like I was there in the squad room.  The Bronx Zoo Cobra would have been the icing on the cake!

Apr 01, 2011 04:04 PM
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

From out of nowhere, a ghoul arises to remind us all of how far we've gone, only to drag us back into a mind-numbing abyss of semi-coherent thought.

And I always thought that the dead tell no tales. There must have been a resurrection.

Apr 01, 2011 04:09 PM
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

Tales of my demise were greatly exaggerated be me ;)

Apr 01, 2011 05:33 PM
Robert Courtney
Lihue, HI
Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS

I got lost!  At least there was a happy ending.  8-)

Apr 02, 2011 03:48 AM
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate
There was?
Apr 02, 2011 04:24 AM
Torgie Madison
Quicksilver Real Estate Solutions, LLC - Portland, OR
Websites and Contact Management

SEO.  ugh.

As a web developer, I hear this all the time. "Can you put the SEO on my website? I need more google!" And there are certainly enough goblins out there who take advantage of it.

I mean, it's perfect: these people have no idea what they want, but they REALLY want it and are willing to pay big bucks for it.  It's scamtastic.  Too bad I'm not a goblin, I'd be rich :P

Apr 02, 2011 05:28 AM
Bob Hirsch
The AVD Group - Bellflower, CA

Well this was fun!  I don't know which I enjoyed more--the post or the snarky comments.   I'll make sure to tune in next April 1.

Apr 02, 2011 05:28 AM
Jan Stevens
Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh - Cranberry Township, PA

2nd career as storyteller in your future... this was fun with just enough truth to make it so!

Apr 02, 2011 06:22 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Can someone talk him off the ledge and check what is in his coffee cup.  Very funny :).

Apr 02, 2011 10:36 AM
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

No one checks my coffee cup, Gene. No one. ;)

Apr 02, 2011 01:42 PM
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Paul ~ I know of the staging post you reference, but must have missed the SEO post.

Apr 02, 2011 02:52 PM
Suzi Sandore
RealtyONEGroup - San Diego, CA
North County San Diego Homes

Paul, I think you missed your calling as a fiction writer or maybe screenwriter....I understand there's big money in that!

Apr 02, 2011 04:25 PM
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Absolutely awesome!  I see a writing career in your future :)!  I missed the whole staging post :(.

Apr 03, 2011 04:10 AM
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

Much appreciated, ladies. The bestseller list isn't looking for me, but that doesn't mean I might not someday go looking for it. Kid's gotta dream. ;)

Apr 03, 2011 03:36 PM
Judy Greenberg
Compass - Long Grove, IL
Compass- Long Grove -Buffalo Grove

Haven't read your posts lately... but then again I haven't read many posts lately...  You are very amusing Mr Slaybaugh. 

Apr 04, 2011 03:45 PM
Paul Slaybaugh
Realty Executives - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ Real Estate

Weather's been beautiful here, Judy. Missed you this spring. Maybe next year?

Apr 04, 2011 04:49 PM
Inna Hardison
ha media group - Orlando, FL
Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group

How on earth did I manage to miss this one... Damn it, peeps - what happened to bat signals?

Would have made my day/week yah know.:-)

Apr 18, 2011 03:48 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Have a Great Easter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


P.S. You gotta get halfway accross the page for 25 points !!!*L*

Apr 24, 2011 09:13 AM