Henry looked at the monitor as the buzzer sounded; indicating someone had come into the front office. He saw a well-dressed elderly gentleman looking intently at the houses for sale photos on the walls. He straightened his tie as he went through to greet him.
“Good morning sir,” Henry flashed his most charming smile as he grasped the man’s hand and pumped it enthusiastically. “I’m Henry Morgan, how can I be of assistance today?”
The elderly gentleman seemed a little taken aback by Henry’s intensity – especially his smile, which seemed just a little too shark-like for comfort.
“I buying house for my son.” he said, staring nervously at Henry’s teeth.
“Good, good.” Henry slipped an arm around the man’s shoulders and led him to the display of the most expensive houses. “What sort of house are you after Mr...”
“My name Secondo Carlinni. I come from Italy for my Giuseppe’s wedding. I buy house for present.”
“Well Mr Carlinni, you have come to the right place. We have some very nice houses here.”
“You take me see some?”
Absolutely.” Henry’s smile broadened again. “Now, how many bedrooms will he need? Single story or double story?” Henry pointed to several houses on the display.
Mr Carlinni pulled a pair of glasses from his pocket to look closely at the photos Henry indicated. “Must have four... no, five bedroom. Also very important must have many statue.”
Henry pulled his jacket on. “Certainly Mr Carlinni, come with me and we’ll have a look at some houses I think you might like.”
Ten minutes later, Henry led Mr Carlinni up the front steps of a double storey house that would look more at home overlooking the Mediterranean Sea than outer suburbia. He proudly pointed out the two life-sized marble lions facing outwards on either side of the front door. Mr Carlinni inspected the house thoroughly, shaking his head as they walked back to Henry’s car.
“No, I not like that one. Must have more statues.”
Henry thought for a moment and then smiled. “Okay, more statues eh?” he started the engine and pulled out into the traffic. “I know just the place.”
“Here we go Mr Carlinni,” Henry’s teeth glinted in the sunlight as he stopped between the wrought iron gates to allow the full impact of the rows of Grecian statues that lined the long driveway to impress his client.
Mr Carlinni allowed Henry to show him through the house, politely nodding as he pointed out each feature but finally shaking his head. “Yes, very nice house, good bedrooms, but more, much more statue; all rooms.”
On the way back to the car, Henry wracked his brain trying to think of a suitable house. He opened the door for Mr Carlinni and as he closed it, he had a brilliant idea. Pulling his cell phone from his pocket, he called his secretary.
“Fiona, get over to Wal-Mart and buy as many statues as you can. Big ones, little ones, I don’t care. Then get over to “The Poplars” and put statues in every single room; every room do you understand? I don’t have time to explain, but a real big sale is at stake here.” He flipped his phone closed, got into the driver’s seat and smiled at Mr Carlinni who was beginning to worry; this man with the big teeth didn’t seem to understand what he needed.
“Mr Carlinni, this next house I’m going to show you is our very best. In fact, it is the best house we have ever had for sale. I’ve been saving it for a special client just like you.”
“The Poplars” was set on top of a hill overlooking the ocean. Six bedrooms, each with its own bathroom. Library, formal lounge room, formal dining room and guest quarters, In fact, everything you could possibly desire. After showing Mr Carlinni through and pointing out the statues in every room – including those in the four outdoor toilets, Henry looked at his client and said, “Well, what do you think.”
Mr Carlinni shook his head and became very agitated. “No, no good. I want statue in all da rooms.”
“Mr Carlinni, there are statues in all the rooms; even in the restrooms.” Obviously, Mr Carlinni was insane.
Mr Carlinni shook his head. “No, no. I want statue in alla da rooms.” He put one hand up to his ear, his Italian accent increasing with his frustration. “You know... ullo, ullo, stat you?”
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