It was during lunch with my cousin Marcus when my inability to pay for a small kumquat reminded me of all the high interest mortgages out there and the difficulty folks are having in making those payments. While kumquats and mortgages are as dissimilar as Marcus and bathing, I still had similar feelings in that I was agitated, anxious, overcome with profound sadness, and had an incredible urge to play with my slinky. After three hours and a tangled slinky I was calm and tried to recall my own mortgage experience which I vaguely remembered involved the trading of livestock.
Back home I found a document under the bathroom sink next to my blue Mr. Bubble bath bottle and began to read through it. The language was complex and obtuse. I read over every word, dissected each phrase, studied all the sentences, double-checked the meanings, consulted with several websites, and even discussed it with my 80-year-old neighbor Mrs. Alsworth. Finally, after several additional minutes of deep thought, I completed the application for Publisher’s Clearinghouse. The crazy thing is that I didn’t do any of that when I signed the papers for my home mortgage and that beast was longer than the Magna Carta. My mortgage contract is pages long, full of unintelligible gibberish, as interesting as watching my Uncle Ted pluck his nose hairs, and yet it’s one of the most important documents I ever signed.
Whoever created such a document ought to be forced to watch re-runs of Hee-Haw until they develop an unnatural desire for hay. For those of you who don’t know, Hee-Haw was a country music based variety show in the eighties whose name was derived from the sound a mule makes when it brays. If you don’t know what “bray” means it’s not important anyway since I’m writing about mortgages. Now, don’t lose focus and stay with me. (Author note: No mules were bothered during the writing of this article.)
Have I ever really read my mortgage documents? Are you kidding? Of course…I read the line where it says, “Sign here” and listened to my cousin Marcus rattle on about all kinds of inane legal issues. The document and Marcus made as much sense as a goose in a girdle, but then again Marcus rarely made sense unless he was talking about his fish. It’s quite unsettling to witness a forty-five year old man discuss his profound love for an angel fish named Agnes. I guess I can’t complain too much since I was in a bit of rough spot financially and the only collateral I could offer Marcus was a sheep I had swiped from a nearby farm. Marcus quietly accepted the sheep with an odd grin and approved my mortgage application.
Since that traumatic episode with the kumquat I was forced to reevaluate everything in my life including my recent change in hand soap and have become worried that the increasing interest rate on my adjustable mortgage would cause me to end up in further debt or force me to pawn my slinky.
I’ve learned that the government is trying to help folks like me and “fix” the current mortgage mess which is quite amusing. The words “government” and “fix” in the same sentence make me chuckle. Not in a deep grab your sides chuckle, but in a shake your head I-can’t-believe-they-think-they-can-fix-this-mess-when-they-can’t-even-balance-a-budget-chuckle. The government plans on allowing troubled borrowers to get cheaper home loans so they can keep their current home. Heck, I’m all for cheap government loans and I’m definitely for letting folks keep their houses, but I think maybe all these people with high interest rates on their loans could talk to the same mortgage lender that a certain senator used. Maybe the senator offered the lender two sheep? Heck, I’d even offer a goat or a chicken if it meant getting a good deal. I guess I’ll have to figure out my best option and hope it doesn’t involve anymore livestock.