There are rare occasions in which sarcasm is warranted and maybe even welcomed. And then there are the other 364 days of the year. The following will be an example of the latter, I fear.
Recently Sara and I submitted a loan directly to one of our investors. This is not normal protocol – typically our loans are underwritten “in-house” by our own company. We submit loans directly to our investors only in cases where we are uncertain if the loan can be purchased on the secondary market. In this case the culprit was farm loss on a tax return.
About a week after submitting the loan we received a phone call from the underwriter. Unfortunately, the news was not good: he was declining our loan submission. Not one to give in easily, I asked the question that most underwriters dread being asked – “why is this loan being declined?” Sara and I were informed that this underwriter had vast resources at his disposal, including satellite images from google maps. Armed with these shocking images, he was able to determine that our customers’ property was infested with Christmas trees. Rabid, sap oozing, brain eating zombie Christmas trees. The Christmas Tree Zombie Apocalypse had hit Astoria.
Not wishing to cause a general panic, I calmly asked the underwriter how he could tell that the trees were in fact, Christmas trees. Once again, the dreaded satellite images were brought into the conversation. At this point, sarcasm seemed like a good idea. So, of course, I had to ask: “Did the satellite images confirm the trees in question were indeed, Christmas trees? Were there little presents under each of them?” As could be expected, this witty repartee was none too appreciated by the underwriter. I’m glad that he doesn’t realize that these trees may in fact be spreading, infecting other trees all the while singing Christmas carols and stealing sugar cookies.
In all seriousness, there are only a few trees on the property none of which are rabid, eat brains or sing witty versions of the “Island of Misfit Toys” with lyrics that would shock a sailor. The field full of trees is actually just a field. Full of grass. With an occasional horse. And yet, at this point I can’t seem to convince the underwriter that the satellite images are wrong.
Maybe I should just tell him that the field was infested with Christmas trees but that they turned into Zombies and have now left the property in search of brains and hot chocolate.
So if your Christmas tree comes from Astoria, watch out. Keep your hot cocoa and cookies locked up.