Wednesday, March 6, 2013


The first time I ever bought a home, the realtor brought over an enormous pile of paperwork.  There were legal forms, tax forms, affidavits that I hadn’t been treated badly because of my race, and a map of the LUSTs in the area.
Ten points if you get the joke in this picture.
After a few hours of staring gleefully at the map, I realized that LUST stood for Leaking Underground Storage Tank.  I wasn’t buying a home in the middle of a hotbed of sexual promiscuity.  But, you know, I bought the place anyway.

I read the disclosures next.  Disclosures are all the things the previous owners are required to tell you about.  For example, if there’s some unrepaired structural damage or a body hidden in the basement.  One of the required disclosures in California is “has anyone ever died in the home.”

I asked the realtor why that disclosure was there.  I mean, if the person died as a result of some kind of local toxin or structural failure, I would want to know.  However, those kinds of problems were covered by other disclosures.  Why just a simple: yes/no?

She told me it was for Chinese families.  They don’t want a house that has a ghost in it.

I don’t know all the details of how this disclosure came to be or even if it was to appeal to Chinese mythology.  I can say, however, find this one blisteringly stupid, but not for the reason you might think.  It’s not because I don’t believe in ghosts.  It’s because I don’t think ghosts have been proven to exist.

“Potato, poTAHto,” I hear you say.

First of all, who says “poTAHto?”

Second, this concept is the crux of all logical thinking and the main reason I get in arguments with my liberal friends about homeopathy, organic food, and all the other touchy-feely stuff that drives me up the wall.
As opposed to the reason I argue with my conservative friends.
There are an infinite number of things that aren’t true and only a finite number of things that are.  How do we tell them apart?  Evidence.  What do we do if the evidence is beyond our understanding?  Scientific consensus.

So why don’t I accept that organic farming is better, that GMOs or cell phones are killing honeybees, or that tax cuts for the rich benefit the economy?  They haven’t been proven and there isn’t scientific consensus about the issue.  On the other hand, global warming, evolution, and my own amazing sexual prowess are incredibly well documented.

So, until we can prove that ghosts are both real and harmful, keep it off the disclosures list.  Also, I want a map of nearby, kinky hotspots when I buy a house.

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