by Jason Gibbs
“Did you know that this is exactly, I mean exactly, the average size of house in this city?”
“Mean average. Yes, I was aware of that.”
George looked askance at his customer. The man was about 175 cm tall, with mousey hair, brown eyes and a uninspiring suit. ‘Mean’ thought the estate agent, then tried again.
“Here we have the recommended set of security measures. I can assure you Mr Brown that this is a very safe neighbourhood.”
“It is within the norm for this part of the city, quite acceptable. These locks will, I’m sure, be sufficient.”
Did he detect a hint of impatience? George was wondering if perhaps he should change jobs again, maybe something less customer facing? Back to the pitch…
“Please do go in, you will see…” George continued his patter. Taking pains to point out the low energy consumption, efficient boiler and top of the range counter.
“This is not top of the range,” interrupted Mr Brown.
“This is mid-range. No question.”
“Oh, ok. I had thought…”
The man held up his hand, “It is not an issue. I will take the place.”
“Excellent, there is one thing you should know…”
“What is that?”
“The place is only available for two years.”
Mr Brown frowned.
“I thought the median rental time in this area was 3.5 years, why is there a limit?”
“Well, it’s kind of a funny story…” George looked at the man’s face, and decided to go for the quick version.
“The owner of this place is called Mr Jones. He is an averagist, in that he wants everything in his life to be average, which is why he lived here.”
“And he’d reached 3.5 years?” interrupted Mr Brown.
“Oh no, he won the lottery.”
“But as an averagist he would not have played.”
“I see you understand, no, it was a gift. From a friend. Me in fact. I’ll be honest, he was rather angry when he won. Accused me of having destroyed his life.”
Mr Brown just looked at him. Most people expressed amazement, but no response.
“So I told him to give it away.”
Mr Brown shook his head angrily, “He couldn’t do that. That’s not the average response.”
“No, that’s what he said… are you an averagist?”
“I am not an ardent follower. And therefore I will take this place. I have all the paperwork…”
“So he’s gone on a cruise with his wife and… don’t you want to know why it’s two years?” asked George.
“No. That is obvious. The average lottery winner spends all their winnings by the second anniversary of their win.”