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You Don't Live Here No More
by Michele Christopher
This is Chris Harry's second guest column with us. This is part one of an occasional feature here about the life of a former repo man.
We kind of fell into it, I was working for my dads construction company. This was the mid nineties – not a good time to be in construction. We'd spend days sitting in the office willing the phone to ring, it rarely did. One day it did, it was a contact of ours at a mortgage lenders asking if we knew anyone who did repossessions.
Of course we do. Us. "Really?" he asked. "Oh yeah, done loads of 'em mate" says my dad. Thus we were repo men. Yep you read it right; for mortgage lenders. Not those wussy ass guys who sneak up on cars in the dead of night and tow them away. It's pretty difficult to take someone's house from them, while they're asleep in it. We did the whole knock on the door, meet the folks and ask them to leave routine.
People who are being repossessed are a pretty interesting and diverse bunch overall, there was the hooker who had what I assume to be the worlds largest collection of dildos artfully arranged to cover every available horizontal surface of her home. Seriously, I have never seen so much rubber in one place. Darren, one of our guys who I'll get to later, was fascinated by them. Even picked a few up to see them closer.
There were the average Joes who just weren't making ends meet and there were the professional debters.Then there was the amateur pornographer, he was out when we emptied his place and none too pleased when he returned. Let me explain. We didn't earn much doing this work; about $500 per job. That had to cover a team, of 3 or 4 guys, a truck, diesel, tools and a new lock set for each house. We didn't hang around too long, nor did we spend very long agonizing over how to empty a place with the least amount of damage. Our mandate was simple, gain entry, make sure that no one was still living there, turn off and drain the water systems, turn off the power, change the locks and clear the place out. No one ever said "Ooh, and be careful with the shit they leave behind."
Feet are a very effective furniture deconstruction tools. As are 14lb sledge hammers. Get in, get the stuff out, get on to the next one. – So Mr. amateur pornographer arrives home just as we're closing the roller shutter on the back of the truck. He's a little confused as to what four rough looking guys are doing with a truck backed up to his house. Now bear in mind we've just emptied the entire contents of his house into our truck and we're ready to go. Locks are changed, power is off. We also have a newly
We opened the roll up door on the truck and started loading his stuff back into his house. The blow up dolls, the fruity clothes, photographs that educated even us perverted heathens, the leather and rubber, erm, implements and the home dark room equipment. He was somewhat embarrassed. His once proud press board furniture fragments were stacked in loose piles in the appropriate rooms, you get the picture. He was less than pleased. I understand that he later sued his lender and won a significant amount of money due to their over zealous and too early use of our services.
Next time: Darren.
Chris Harry will steal your pop-tarts like he stole your socks.