I pulled up in front of my client's apartment building this morning, and slid into the spot next to the fire hydrant on the congested one-way street.
I pulled out my cell phone, and texted him the message: "I'm here, parked out front", and settled in to wait for him to bring down that balance of earnest money check that I'd agreed to pick up from him, instead of having him run it into my office.
There was a fair amount of activity on the street for the early hour. People were hustling about, a lady in what was clearly her pajamas, walking her dog. A young couple jogging, some folks obviously making their way to the train, dressed for work. One of the "young ladie's" attire clearly indicated that her "office" was standing on corner somewhere.
And of course there was the ubiquitous white panel van, just sittin' there, minding it's own business, just across the street.
I started to check my e-mail on my phone, when a small nondescript black car pulled up on the passenger side, and the driver motioned for me to roll down my window. I was a bit skeptical, until I realized it was my client... I wasn't expecting him to be in his car, I thought he'd just walk down to deliver the check.
I rolled down the passenger side window... We said our "Hellos", and suddenly he was passing me an envelope, through the open window, as we both looked suspiciously side-to-side. To the casual passerby, it was clearly a drug deal. The two black cars with an envelope passing between them... and illicit exchange right?
I immediately thought of the ubiquitous panel van, if anyone had seen this exchange, they couldn't help but figure it was a drug deal. I could see the headlines in tomorrow's paper. "Local Realtor arrested in drug sting on north side".
"Now", the officer says, as I squint into the bright lights "what was that $10,000 payment for, again?"
"It was just earnest money, officer.... I swear!"
"Do you have any proof of that?"
"Yes, I have the paperwork at the office, if you'll let me go get it"
"You're not going anywhere, Mr. Realtor-drug-dealer" says Señor bad-cop. "You're not going anywhere."
I'm too pretty to go to jail.