“The Point of the Shaft”



Gregory V. Boulware

Many of us are well aware of who gets it up the a…excuse me, the sharp end of the shaft. And we know who’s holding the stick. Yes, you got it – the poor! It seems like a continuous and endless scenario throughout the planet. One may well wonder, do the rich and well-to-do always win over the poor? Surely there are many stories where the unfortunate and downtrodden folk get to see and tell of a silver lining…but not today!

Ok, picture this…you are a forthright, honest, and simple living working class married couple. The both of you have endured many hardships while struggling to raise your family in a residential household for more than thirty years. Many happy times were spent there. Yes, the happy times outweighed the bad times. The journey to successfully bring up your children while many other families did the same was enjoyable. Albeit, there are many folk who were not successful. The recession has claimed many victims. The experience of seeing the changes throughout the area, most times were fulfilling – the changing of the seasons, the wildlife, and the children grow into adulthood. They’ve brought forth Grandchildren. Happiness has filled the home over and over again with the newness of life – in spite of the real estate turmoil that has flourished throughout America. The disease of home loss and foreclosure has progressed to the point of rearing its ugly head in your neck of the woods. It knocks at your door. What do you do?

The sight of this beastlike monster has forced you to take up arms and fight the good fight of defending your home and family. Many battles have ensued…and you’ve won many of them. Now once again you find comfort and security, where from before the knock has morphed into a pounding. Once again, you look out of the peep-hole of the door. You find yourself peeking out of the windows as well. You peer down the street…out the back door and all around. Damn, its another assault by another monster accompanied by cohorts. This one, stands alone, has fangs, a dagger, a fast racing mouth, and a nosey-nose to boot. It attempts to stab you in the middle of your back and anywhere there is blood and anguish to be spilled. The adult children have insistently urged and continually encourage you to pack up all your stuff and move – relocate. Your decades-long-life-partner and you decide that maybe its time.

Digging out old baby clothes, toys, and scholastic report cards, birthday cards, Mother’s and Father’s day cards, cards of congratulatory praises, and yes…sympathy cards too – come to the surface from the basement, cellar(s), and attic. Sadness and time lapsed awareness sets a dead weight on both sets of shoulders. Items you haven’t seen in years suddenly appear with the packing and removal of personal goods from the abode into that of another. Tears begin to flow. The soulful departure overshadows all involved. The Grandbabies cry with you – “Grandmom, Grandpop – we don’t want you to leave your house!” Tearful eyes view one another…the soul aches and more tears fall. All know its time to go…

Elated with the agreement of sale, a new life emerges. Bureaucracy throws its best punches while you parry, block, and duck – returning a few very good punches of your own. The returned blows were tough to deliver but you’ve landed several dozen, right on the nose and chin. The fight over the paperwork completion is won. The purse containing the prize is not delivered. Every member of the team is dumbstruck. What happened? What the hell has happened?

The guy, who signed the contract, urging a short and quick as possible transaction, has changed his mind. The mind of the individual has been poisoned. The illness was brought upon the wealthy individual by a villainous and vile usurper. The pointy-fanged serpent with its oversized nose sat and watched as you have shared your prosperous posterity laden happiness with others whom you call neighbor(s). Oh yes, a neighbor…a neighbor who not only wanted to keep up with the Jones’ – but aspired to be the Jones’! The villainous and spiteful vindictive action of the neighbor who looks like you and me…struggling as well with America’s economical onslaught, has dealt the family a terrible blow. A blow delivered as a sucker punch. A blind-sided punch. A punch that was never seen…

A person who hates to think of other people’s happiness has been lurking like the serpent in the “Tree of Life.” This person has made no bones about a life mission to kill the happy and joyous spirit that resides in many of us. Perhaps this person was not always anointed with evilness and the deeds set forth with hatefulness. The individual started out as a new and friendly person who wished to contribute and participate in the betterment and uplifting of the immediate block and neighborhood. Somewhere along the line…the individual went bad. The burden of taking on the chores of a block-captain can be fulfilling as well as a tedious and time-consuming hindrance. No one else wanted to take on the responsibilities of the assignment other than this individual. Many of the neighbors felt they did not need a block captain because the collective was as capable of tending to block affairs as any individual. However, the group did allow this person to become what she wished. The post was highly desirable to this individual.

As time passed, the collective unit began to see flaws in the captains thinking and planning behavior. The law of the land became her law and she felt endeavored to deliver it…in her own manner and be damned to those who opposed its implementation. The family, who wished to relocate, opposed many of the decisions made concerning the block activities. They suddenly became the mortal enemy and the target of revenge and cynicism.

Prior to the meeting between the seller(s) of the property and its buyer, the self-made block captain approached the purchaser. The captain filled the mind of the purchaser with many falsehoods, contradictions, and misconceptions. This is a practice that has been performed on several occasions concerning several other houses on the block. The woman injected herself into the personal and business affairs of property owners up and down the block – “I’m the Block Captain and I need to know what’s going on!”

Many sellers were not aware of her invasive maneuvers and were indeed blindsided with marketing/purchasing hurdles along the way. The buyers were certainly aware…she made it her business to let all who approached aware that it is she who is in charge. With workers tending to the repairs at hand, the woman walked into the homes and made presentations to inquiring minds. The workers were caught unaware of this individuals intentions…they weren’t the owners, just workers. However, when one of the foreman became wise and confronted the tour guide, she simply replied, “I’m the Block Captain!”

Needless to say, she and her party were immediately ordered from the dwelling. Now, the cavalcade and dominating onslaught has reared its terribly ugly head at the front door and windows of the family who wished to relocate. Outside of the family’s presence, the self-ordained captain injected enough poison and rhetoric upon the interested and perspective buyer to cause immediate if not delayed paralysis to bring down an elephant. The buyer ran and did not walk to the nearest exiting route out of the neighborhood. The deal was off! No Sale! Deposit monies became an issue. Law suits were discussed. Requests for assistance were sent forth to the governing city council. One state representative, his assistants, a congressman, two city beautification representatives, and eight councilmen and women were contacted.

Only one of the city council representatives replied and responded to the call for help. His name is ‘Bill Greenlee.’ Mr. Greenlee’s assistant/representative was Johnny on the spot with highly positive and pertinent information and support to the distraught and targeted family.

When the other neighbors on the block and surrounding community heard of this embarrassing and villainous deed, they were enraged. The city councilperson’s assistant communicated with the real estate professionals handling the case and jumped to action. A letter of reprimand was sent to the captain advising her of the circumstances to which she has placed herself. The uninvited intruder has been put on notice that it is she and her family who could very well find themselves out in the cold in lieu of a lawsuit for damages and loss revenues suffered by the relocating family. Slander was a viable complaint as well. The individual had no right to inject or interfere with the business of any person conducting business in his or her own property.

Oh yes, this individual did compromise and interfere with the business transaction(s) of this buyer and seller. The interfering statements were reported to the real estate professionals just hours before the settlement was to take place. The report came from the buyer himself, a person of solid financial means who took his business elsewhere.

The selling family was able to relocate in spite of the debacle. Solace was found in the cloud of integrity and support from those that found this a travesty and sided with what was right for the family (and other families). The dwelling remains vacant as it is placed back on the market.

Has this happened to you or someone you know? If it hasn’t…be forewarned, deviltry, disaster, and mayhem could come a callin at your door. Is such a person residing on your block or neighborhood? A person, a neighbor who does not have a life…happy, healthy or fulfilled usually finds comfort in the misadventures of others. It may be such a person who causes the quagmire of turmoil and swills created to feed and bear bitter fruit upon the ominous, dead, and threatening tree with its outstretched and reaching branches. Remember Caesar and Brutus and his co-conspirators? They were friends and neighbors too.

For the best part of this debacle, the family didn’t get the sharp end of the stick or the point of the shaft up the you know where…for a change. They just got a broken stick – and they are and will be okay.

Til next time…


Proofed – Mrs. Virginia M. Boulware, R.N.
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