This weekend Kara and I found the perfect house. Two bedrooms, two baths. Completely remodeled from the baseboards up. Two-car garage. Nice-sized yard. Brilliant area (in the Heights ... Kara's mecca). The only hiccup might have been the rent (turned out it wasn't).

So we were excited. We could hardly sleep that night, thinking about all the things we would do in that place. Kara had practically decorated it, and I had already figured out the perfect setup for the garage (it was to be my Fortress of Solitude). We figured out all the hard stuff, and we were set to meet with our future landlord Monday at 6:30p.m.

Let's call him Mr. Moore.

He seemed like a pretty good guy. Clearly British ("But I got here as soon as I could," he quipped). And he made a point of telling us that he wanted to rent to a couple he really liked. He liked us, he said. We were his kind of peeps.

So Kara and I hop in the car yesterday and head for the house. We're going to sign us some papers and get this kitten purring! My signing hand is all a-tingle and I'm ready to get my garage in order.

I call the confirm that he'll be there.

"I have some bad news," he said. "I had another couple come by yesterday and offer me the full rent. They could also move in next week."

Admittedly, Kara and I had asked for a slight reduction in the rent (I'm a bargainer ... what can I say?) and we had said we had to give 30 days notice to our apartment manager (reasonable, isn't it?). But Mr. Moore had told us he'd hold the place for us, no problem. "I won't even entertain other offers," he had said with a smile, "until we settle on whether or not you want the place."

I pointed this out to Mr. Moore. "I'm really sorry," he said. "But this is business for me, and I have to think about what's best for that business."

Fine. Finefinefine. We didn't want your stinkin' ol' house anyway, ya Limey.

Ok, that's a total lie ... we SO wanted that house. But hey, we can deal. We can live with it. We won't be living with it in the perfect house, but at least we still have our crappy apartment.

Anyway, the moral of the story is, "Kick over the FOR RENT sign before you leave."

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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at


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