“I sometimes think that God in creating man…

…somewhat overestimated His ability.” Oscar Wilde  After events of the past week, I have to admit that I am with the fop-haired, syphilitic aesthete.  To celebrate Valentine’s Day last week, I extended Mrs Cheshire’s contract and as a reward for her endeavours bought her a brand new 2004 Mondeo diesel, (well she believes the descriptor…).  Yesterday, some ne’er-do-well keyed the entire side of her car whilst she was at work. On most occasions of her returning with a vehicle covered in scratches I have learnt to accept the tale of woe of the bollard/tree/old lady on a mobility scooter that deliberately leapt into her path just as she was coming down the road (admittedly on the wrong side).  However, on this occasion, a coterie of vagrants had been seen loitering in the area of her vehicle and if she had flattened someone on a mobility scooter (and neglected to tell me), the amount of damage to the car would have meant she might be facing a small sojourn courtesy of HMP.   The guilty party was undoubtedly the type to feature in a typical hysteria-driven Daily Mail headline or a Channel 5 documentary; on the dole, father/mother of 12 kids, waistband of their trousers sitting approximately half way down their thigh, you get the less than salubrious picture.  But to qualify people’s behaviour by their employment, dress sense and use of contraception is a foolish one; as the behaviour of a professional gentleman -who works hard, drives an executive car, and wears the waistband of his trousers in the area from which it take its name -and who has employed us as the agents to market and sell his property, this week exemplified.  Having willingly signed a contract, that was discussed with him at length, at an agreed rate plus VAT, he has now chosen to renege on the contract in an attempt to gain a reduced fee. This was accompanied by the classic line of, “If you don’t reduce your fee, I’m pulling out”. Ok.  So he is choosing to forsake the sale of his property, (that incidentally has been on the market for an eon, with a number of our competitors, with no hint of a sale), for the sake of £400 VAT.  He clearly believes that he could coerce us into doing his bidding. Wrong answer.  May I take this opportunity to remind one of the legal definition of a contract: “An agreement with specific terms between two or more persons or entities in which there is a promise to do something in return for a valuable benefit known as consideration” [sic] Law.com 2009, New York  We undertook the task of selling his property for the best possible price that could be achieved, and if successful in doing so, he would owe us a specified fee. Yes, he says, but now I don’t want to pay what I agreed to (by signing the contract). Again, Ok.  That is why we have £5million worth of legal expenses’ insurance. 

When not studying the form of the 17.20 at Wolverhampton I have been known to dip into the works of the Confucian philosophers… stop laughing at the back.  In the words of Xunzi, “Mencius said that human nature is good.  I disagree with that”.  So do I.  You should have been in Cwmbran last week Mencius.