Our next stop was another golf community. One we had read about recently in the national news. Apparently, one of the housewives in this nice community was either going broke, cut off from her husband’s credit cards or just horny, so she decided to pimp herself out to the neighborhood. Her little business venture was so successful, she grew it into a full-on prostitution ring. Even the gated entry and security guards couldn’t keep out that creepy uncle named Vice that hangs on so many family trees.
Maybe because of the recent problems, this place was extra secure– they practically took blood samples before agreeing to show us a single over-priced home. After our visas were finally stamped, we were met by a smiling realtor. We didn’t catch his real name, but we called him Chip, as in “chip-shot.”
Chip looked like he just got off the links: sweater-vest with pink polo and turned up collar underneath; pleated microfiber slacks; and designer sunglasses on top of his head. As we got into Chip’s leased Mercedes with oversized chrome wheels, the talk turned obviously to golf, and I got right to the point: “So what’s this golf package cost anyway?” “There’s a 25K membership fee, then annual dues, then a small cart fee to play,” Chip replied casually. “And what if we’re not really into golf?” my wife asked from the back seat. Chip did a double-take in the rearview before responding, “well, you can forego the golf membership, but then if you sell your house, the next owner can’t join the club…. but all the info’s in your brochure there.”
Getting out of the car at the first house, Alex pointed to a fine-print fee in the brochure: “Mandatory golf locker fee- $300 per month.” I whispered into Alex’s ear, “what’s the locker come with, a happy ending?”
When we entered the first house, Chip smiled with his full set of veneers. This was his hole-in-one showpiece. “This baby looks over the 18th fairway, across the creek, over the pond to our beautiful newly constructed clubhouse. Have a look around.”
As we stood on the back balcony alone, we took in the peaceful site. This was a world away from the hustle and bustle we were leaving behind in LA. Unfortunately, the price tag was more LA than Atlanta. I walked back inside to the waiting realtor: “How about you show us something a little less, uh… new,” I said.
Chip gave a smirk: “Re-sales are done by other companies, but I gotta’ tell ya’, homes here in Atlanta have become kind of like cars—they lose their value as soon as they’re driven and people trade ‘em in for new ones every couple of years.” “Pretty expensive mobile homes,” I joked with no response from Chip who was already checking his list for a cheaper new home to show us.
“Now this one is a gem,” he said as we walked into one that was surrounded by others like the middle piece in a Jenga block. “A lot more affordable than the last one too.”
We weren’t there for more than two minutes when a lady walked in looking like an extra from The Stepford Wives. Her eyes were open wide with a blank stare. “Oh, I thought you might be the builder,” she said. “No, just looking at houses,” I said. “Do you have kids?” “No.” “Do you golf?” “Not much.” “What church do you go to?” “We’re just moving here from California, so….” “Well good luck,” she said as she backed out of there like I was the Devil incarnate.
Driving back to the sales office, Chip adjusted the rearview mirror and smiled his best smile at my wife: “So, any more questions about God’s country here before you leave?” “Just one,” Alex said without missing a beat, “have you solved that pesky prostitution ring problem yet?” Chip’s veneers almost popped out of his mouth at that one.