This was done for stpaulrealestateblog.com. All references to “The Lorax” can be denied by a really good attorney.
In the bad part of town, where the sidewalks are broken
And the windows are cracked and the junkyard is smokin’
There’s a bench by the road with a pic fading grey
That says “Onceler Real Estate – Call us today!”
If you call on his office in an old busted store
You’ll find out what happened, and just a bit more.
For this is the story he’s eager to tell
While he shows you some houses he’s desperate to sell.
“It all came so quickly, the real estate boom
I sold twenty houses each day before noon.
Everyone loved it – the parks and the school
And all of the homes had a huge swimming pool.
They’d start bidding wars; they’d go ten over asking.
All my staff and myself ran around multi-tasking.
Then one day it just happened, right out of the vapor
When we all had discovered we ran out of paper.
It was trouble at first, but we all learned to cope.
Inventiveness gave us all reason to hope.
It was simple, you see, since they were through the ‘hood –
The trees in the yards were all pulpable wood.
So we hacked and wacked them, and cut them all down
Thought we knew they were why people bought in this town.
We pulped them and stacked them all up in a box
And used them to print all the real estate docs.
Then one day it happened, a man very small
Who was only three and one quarter inch tall
Came and yelled at me just as loud as you please,
‘I am a Hopneg, and I speak for the trees!’
He was dressed rather gaudy, and though tiny and pink,
Was not like that other, but legally distinct.
‘You cut down the trees like they don’t really matter
But look at this town, see how much it looks sadder!’
I told him, “Now see here, we need all these forms
We’re licensed and bonded to comply with the norms!
There’s disclosures and closures and thousands of facts
And don’t forget mountains of real estate tax.
There’s the tax on the buildings, the tax on the land,
There are tax forms to sign ‘til you cramp up your hand
There’s transfer of title and transfer of deeds,
And that’s what the government minimally needs!’
Then the small little Hopneg just shook his head slowly
And said, ‘I’m afraid I must disagree wholly.
So many young trees are cut down for the closing
That the town is no longer so clean and imposing.
I can see it’s not pretty, it’s surely not good
For trees are what give you a great neighborhood.
It may be too late, and your boom might be crashed!’
And just as he spoke the last tree …
… the last one of all …
… fell with a THUD!
Since that day it’s been nothing but downhill for us
The real estate market went totally bust.
Without trees all the people had constant exposure
And slowly gave up all their homes to foreclosure.
And the Hopneg? I’ve seen him sometimes.
He doesn’t say much, doesn’t crow, never whines.
But he did say what makes for great neighborhoods
Isn’t piles of paper, but people and woods.
Copyright © 2009 by Erik Hare