``Why should I get a life inspector?''
``Safety! You wouldn't buy a house without having a building inspector look through it, would you?''
``Actually, I did once, back in the mid-90s.''
``Came to regret it, didn't you?''
``Yes and no. The house turned out to be a Monopoly piece placed on an artfully arranged square inch of ground. It looked great in photographs.''
``You didn't even look at it in person?''
``Sure, but it was very artfully arranged. It came across as cozy, and a steal at only $463,000.''
``So you must have learned better.''
``That part turned out well. I moved it to San Jose and in the first dot-com bubble sold it as a five-unit apartment complex in exchange for Zournk.com. You remember, that was the company that changed the way we Zournked.''
``I do. I'm disappointed; I liked the old way we used to Zournk.''
``Me too. That's why it was such a mixed experience.''
``Well, a quick building inspection probably would have turned up how you were buying a thimble-sized blob of moulded plastic, and a life inspection can be no less useful.''
``It's hard to imagine, but I haven't come into possession of any moulded plastic lives.''
``They've been hard to get since we decided plastic was just fine as long as we heard there were probably recycle bins somewhere in town.''
``But you'd get a life inspected before I close the purchase?''
``Always. Oh, it's fun putting on a new life and finding you've got an aptitude for painting, or speaking in nautical jargon without it sounding weird, or being very skilled at your hands not looking awkward in photographs.''
``I wanted a life where I wouldn't have Post-It notes written by other people all over my computer.''
``But a professional life inspector would investigate the life and identify just what didn't work. I remember one fellow thought he was getting a bargain, but it turned out the new life came with a compulsive habit to say 'Absotively posilutely'.''
``That's got to be fixable.''
``Sure, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars, if you can get a contractor before people stop asking you to be certain of things.''
``Not a job for do-it-yourselfers?''
``Only if they don't mind sounding wishy-washy. Now, I know another case where the new life seemed great except he insisted he didn't pick his nose.''
``But he insisted on picking someone else's?''
``No; he insisted he only picked his other nose.''
``His ... ''
``Don't try figuring it out. Just, it wrecked his standings in the community and his other nose is still not willing to talk about it.''
``Has it got to be a professional life inspector? That word 'professional' carries this air of ... ''
``Expense. What do you have in amateur inspectors?''
``Any particular site?''
``Nah, just go anywhere and let people rate stuff.''
``Oh, I get the wishy-washy gag.''
``Never mind. How is the amateur inspection, as a general thing?''
``Mostly an Internet community will identify how you're being hypocritical. And have bad taste in liking things.''
``I was always suspicious about liking things.''
``And there's one of the commonest defects, easily correctible, if they're caught. Think of those lives where every time you say you like a thing you come across as sarcastic. With warning you can arrange the furniture so you look endearingly curmudgeonly instead. ''
``Say, would a professional inspector be able to do anything about identity theft?''
``Most should be glad to do a title search for a reasonable fee you still think is somehow too much.''
``And keep you from buying a fenced life?''
``Not perfectly, but if the prospective life comes with a title you'll be one of the people to know.''
``Did you ever buy a life without getting it inspected first?''
``It's a little embarrassing.''
``Ended up selling life inspections, didn't you?''
``Nope. Reinsurance insurance.''
``I was expecting an ironic or hypocritical answer there, you know.''
``Sure, but I've had myself inspected recently.''
``You know, I should have suspected something about the Monopoly house when the seller insisted I roll doubles before closing.''
Trivia: The decision to whether it should be Rockefeller Center or Centre was given to Standard Dictionary editor and Words We Misspell In Business author Frank H Vizetelly, who determined that ``Centre'' had Norman-French roots, but ``Center'' was preferred by Shakespeare and Burns, with Milton using ``center'' in Paradise Lost and ``centre'' in Paradise Regained. His obituary in the New York Herald Tribune would spell his name with an ``s''. Source: Great Fortune: The Epic Of Rockefeller Center, Daniel Okrent.
Currently Reading: Johnny Appleseed: The Man, The Myth, The American Story, Howard Means.