Monday, June 6, 2011

Eleven Dollars

So, as I was perusing our lovely local paper here in Syracuse, the Post-Standard (an extremely boring name, yet perfectly adequate news) I noticed something odd. I was scanning the Home and Garden section trying desperately to tune out my mother and one of her stories with no point that she swears are hilarious (“No, really! He was talking about math! On the phone!!” I kid you not; I had to sit through that story).  As I was doing this, I noticed a house that had been recently bought for $251,935.
Alone, that would have been unremarkable except for the fact that it was in Syracuse. I didn’t know we had houses that classy. However, odder than that was the asking price: $251,946.
Now, I don’t claim to be Pythagoras. I am an English major for a very simple reason- math makes me want to do one of three things: Cry ( Stats 2010), start screaming and throwing things (Algebra, 2008), and contemplate leaving college and pursuing a life of turning tricks in the corner of dusty bars (pretty much every time I sit down to a math problem).
However, despite my diminished brain capacity of the mathematic persuasion, I calculated that the difference between the asking price and the purchase price was 11 dollars. No folks, no typo. Not 1,100 dollars or 11,000 dollars. Eleven.
My writer brain kicked into overdrive and I imagined a really tense scene in a dingy basement with men in pinstripes chewing on fat cigars as they contemplated the deal. Where was the cutoff?
 “No lower than five dollars off that price, Al! Have you seen our wainscoting? Eleven! Are they kidding?? Who do they think we are, Rockefellers? They’ll cover closing? Alright, I suppose we can let it go for eleven less, but any more, they have another think coming!!!”
What, I wonder, did they need to buy for eleven dollars so urgently that they took it from their savings for their dream house? My guess is as good as yours. But after extensive research, I hypothesize the following:
-          A night of Skeeball. Recently, a friend and I went to Sylvan Beach, and spent around 11 dollars playing Skeeball. We ended up with enough tickets for 2 Blow Pops. Maybe they were jonesing for some Blow Pops, but wanted to feel like they earned it. I respect that.

-          Matching umbrella hats for those (I’ll admit it, few and far between) hot Syracuse days. At, you can get two for ten dollars. Do I smell deal, or is that just you?

-          For a limited time only, you can get a set of Samurai sword chopsticks from Because really, eating sushi with regular chopsticks is for squares.

These are my three guesses. I can understand rumbling over the cost of the home if I can get one of these things with my eleven dollars. Oh me, oh my, current homeowner of my future house, you’re going to have fun with my bargaining. Syracuse has taught me everything I know.