By Pete Moss
I take Pedro for a walk.
Imagine that. Just like a regular person, out walking my dog around the neighborhood.
I'll enjoy this house thing for all I can, for a while yet.
And Pedro? He's pretty bright. When he has to take a dump he goes behind a bush. I can pretend I didn't see it and then I don't have to pick it up.
Tell the truth, that's why I never got a dog when I lived in my van. Didn't want to have to pick up after it.
Too bad the real estate goons aren't as clever as Pedro.
First there's Theresa Yang.
"Oh Mr. Donnelly, I so sorry to hear about your bereavement," She says charging at me as I'm coming down the walk. "I'm Theresa Yang? With Gold Mountain Realty?"
She thinks I'm Donnelly. Let her, I don't feel like taking the trouble to clear it up.
"I can get you 650 for the house, all cash. A suitcase full of $100 bills if that's the way you want it. I can have it an hour with just one phone call."
And she's shoving her card at me. Holding her phone in the other hand.
"Why don't you just give me your number and I'll put it in my phone on speed dial?"
"I'll have to talk to the missus," I say. Meaning YoYo. I'm wondering how YoYo would react if she knew I called her 'The Missus' in front of this Yang pinhead.
It's gonna take a week to get my passport and so forth, before I head off to Ireland.
By the end of the week it will be a joy to get away from the Real Estate donkeys.
Patrick won't pay for two plane tickets so YoYo stays behind. She can deal with the RE people. Which is OK cause YoYo enjoys it.
I expect by the time I get back YoYo will have the joint bid up to a mill or so.
After 9 days of non-stop harrassment by the hyenas of the RE industry, finally my papers all ready.
I take the bus to Oakland Airport. I've never been on a plane before.
Pat O'Hanlon booked the cheapest possible trip. So I've got layovers and plane switches and generally inconvenience galore.
I hope I never fly on a plane again.
Then I'm finally in Ireland. Where it is cool and damp and green. Or that's how it looks from the plane window.
When I get off the plane there's some kind of hang-up with customs, even though I only have one piece of luggage, a beat-up courier bag.
Or maybe it's a paperwork problem.
Anyway, I'm pulled aside and then I have to wait in a room, with buzzy lights and uncomfortable chairs.
There's other people in the room. A family of Arabs with some unruly toddlers.
After hours of vacant staring and waiting, I'm released without a word and I head out into the main concourse.
Where I'm intercepted by a elfin black haired female child.
Except when I get a look closer in, she's not a child, but not really a grown up either.
"Pete Mossotti? I'm Spela Byliak. I'm your PI."
"Yes, Mr Patrick O'Hanlon hired me to help locate one Dennis Donnelly."
Spela doesn't have an accent. Most people under 30 don't, these days.
"You're not Irish. Byliak? What kind of name is that?"
"Slovenian, is that a problem?"
"Slovenian? Where's that?"
"In the Balkans. But that's not why you're here is it, to delve into my ethinicity?"
"No, you're right. I apologize."
"No need. It's refreshing actually. Most people are more surprised by my youth and gender. So shall we get down to business?"
"Sure," I say.
And we grab a seat in a Starbucks off the concourse. A Starbucks that could be in Cleveland or Tokyo or Mombassa.
"Starbucks? Can't we go to like, an Irish pub that's all dark and ancient and smells like spilled Guiness?"
"We could, but Starbucks has far superior wi-fi."
Spela has her iPhone out. She spits out a series of queries on Donnelly, feeds my answers into her phone, the phone vibrates and beeps a few times. Spela sets it down. We sip our coffe. The phone makes a peremptory buzz and Spela picks it up.
"Well then, it appears this Mr. Donnelly is back in Oakland, California," says Spela.
"It looks like he got a job on a cruise ship and jumped ship in Miami and rode the bus back to California. He arrived in California not long after you departed for here. Would you like to call and confirm?"
"You better believe it!"
So Spela pokes her phone and sets it on the table. Next thing I know we're having a video chat with YoYo, Patrick and Donnelly.
They are unanimous, I need to get my ass back to Cali on the next plane.
I come all the way to Ireland from California and I don't even wind up setting foot outside the airport.
It's not like Ireland is where my ancestors come from though. If something like this happened but the destination was Italy, well then, I would be ticked.