More Front Than Margate

After an almost biblically wet weekend in Hay-On-Wye, it’s back to business as usual. This is my Friday Fictioneerssubmission for 30th May. I like to think it’s the sort of thing that could’ve been written at any time in the last fifty years-and probably rejected for being passé. I haven’t checked the word count this week but I suspect it’s over, although probably not by much.

Thanks to Jennifer Pendergast for the photo.

Incidentally, for American readers, an estate agent is a realtor.

-So, how long’s this house been on the market?
-Not long.
-But the asking price is in guineas.
-Well, it’s been a tough market
-For 43 years?
-It’s in an up-and-coming area.
-Nothing to do with it being a facade, then?
-A facade? I can assureyou, this air of permatanned bonhomie is entirely natural.
-I mean, the house. It’s a facade…It’s all front.
-Well, it is deceptively cosy.
-Without a roof?
-It’ll bring the homeowner closer to nature.
-It’s the sort of thing you’d find in a spaghetti western.
-The Italianate style’s very popular nowt
-But it’s not Italianate, is it? It’s a facade.
-Hang on, you can’t be insinuating that I’m being disingenous? I’m an estate agent.
-Anyway, the last time I did a viewing here, the house had its full complement of floors and ceilings.
-So, what happened?
-I don’t know, they must’ve…gone.
-But how?
-Maybe they built it on a sink estate.



Filed under Flash (General)

25 responses to “More Front Than Margate

  1. Hahaha! I was wondering how much tap-dancing the agent was going to do to unload that facade. Reminds me of an old America show (I know you had it, too) Candid Camera. The stunt was of a realtor showing off a house with no bathroom.
    The buyer: So, the former tenants, where did they go?
    The realtor: I think they went to Florida.

    Fun read!

  2. I agree with Kent – about the tap-dance. I almost spewed my tea all over the computer when I read that the roof was gone and it seemed to be OK with the agent! Nice.

  3. Had me giggling all the way through, ending with a groan at ‘sink estate’ – you might need to explain that to our friends across the pond!
    This line might be an error (or might be northern?): The Italianate style’s very popular nowt – did you mean ‘nowt’ or ‘now’, or even ‘not’!?

  4. Etienne, Your story was hilarious. I was laughing out loud. XD Then Kent came along with his memory of Candid Camera and I kept laughing. That was fun. 🙂 Well written. XD —Susan

  5. Oh, dear–I looked up “sink estate.”

    I enjoyed the estate agent ‘s slimy repartee! This was a very creative interpretation of the photo prompt 🙂

    • Thank you. I was going to do something about the compromise of youthful idealism but thanks to a trick of perspective you’ve been spared that. I’d always assumed that ‘sink estate’ was a phrase we’d imported from America so I’ve learned something, too.

  6. I like the polite yet cutting humor. Everyone has something to sell.

  7. Sounds like a typical estate agent to me 🙂
    Very amusing story.

  8. You’ve been listening to the Happy Song too much. I keep asking my husband “Why would I clap along if I felt like a room without a roof?” Your story made me chuckle, so thanks for the smile this morning!

  9. Ha. yes — the price set 43 years ago.. it must be a sinking estate. I must say the estate agent sounds quite patient.

  10. Love it! I’ve personally known a few agents like that. 🙂

  11. Dee

    This is brilliant. I think we have all met estate agents like this at one time or another, you have set him up perfectly. Still chuckling.

    PS Hope you enjoyed the Hay Festival – we are there tomorrow to see Dame Judi Dench and I can’t wait.

  12. Dear Etienne,

    Here in the states a realtor might refer to it as a “real fixer-upper.” Cute story.



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