Tuesday, January 12, 2010

House rules...

Uncle Woody used to have a real estate business in Hagerstown. He liked telling the story about a man who decided to sell his house so he could buy a nicer one. Woody wrote a glowing description of the property, and when the listing was published in the local paper, without an address, the man came into the office and said the home described in the ad sounded just like what he was looking for.

When my wife and I started looking for a home years ago, we saw a lot of that. Sometimes the homes didn't quite measure up to the description in the Sunday paper. Sometimes they weren't even close. Sometimes a third bedroom in a newspaper ad turns out to be a stair landing in the house.

I imagine we've all been guilty of embellishing a story or two from time to time, if circumstances warrant such. And probably if the truth were told, we've all down played certain events when it seemed appropriate.

I'm thinking the Republicans have probably been guilty of getting a little carried away over Harry Reid's colorful description of President Obama's complexion and enunciation. The Democrats, on the other hand, have decided to describe it as a meaningless gaffe. On one occasion it was even called a compliment. Same event, but quite a variation depending on who's telling the story.

I suppose if you're telling the story, you can tell it however you like.

I saw a couple of stories the other day about a horse thief. This is how one person told the story:

"Remus Reid, horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Montana Flyer six times. Caught by Pinkerton detectives, convicted and hanged in 1889."

Another person, possibly one of Remus's descendants, chose to tell the story this way:

"Remus Reid was a famous cowboy in the Montana Territory . His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Montana railroad. Beginning in 1883, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Remus passed away during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed."

I don't know what Harry Reid was thinking when he made his comments. But as an outsider looking in, I'm not going to put much stock in the story the Republicans are telling, and I'm not going to put much stock in the story the Democrats are telling.

And I'm not going to look at any houses described as a "handyman's special".

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