Thursday, September 28, 2006
A Cabal of Miami Realtors Caught Burying Giant Statue of St. Joseph
No one really knew how bad the Miami housing market was until the arrest last night of a large number of realtors caught burying a giant statue of St. Joseph in the center of the Miami Circle, a sacred pre-Columbian site at the mouth of the Miami River. Considered to be the patron saint of real estate agents, police were surprised by the effigy's size.
"This is the biggest one we've found yet," advised a S.W.A.T squad spokesperson who wished to remain anonymous. "For years St. Joseph statues have been turning up, but never this size. Usually they're no bigger than 8-inches. This one was over 8-feet tall."
Realtors, long considered a mammon worshipping cult by many theologians, have been burying St. Joseph statues for years in order to hasten a sale. Known as the "underground real estate agent", St. Joseph is usually buried head first in the ground or in a planter on the property. Once the sale is made, it is expected that the sellers unearth the statue and put it in a prominent place in their new home-- not following through on the last part could jeopardize their future good fortune, according to the "instructions" that come with the statues.
Considering Miami has one of the largest Catholic populations in the U.S. and a large number of followers of Santeria, the Afro-Cuban religion that mixes Catholic saints with African gods, it is not surprising that, according to Phil Cates, owner of the website http://stjosephstatue.com/, Miami is the biggest market for these kind of things. Statewide he estimates he's sold 6,000 statues.
And for all the skeptics reading this, Mr. Cates says you can go to his website to read the testimonials on the statue's behalf.
"Sales," he said, "have just gone crazy."
Which may be good for him, but seeing a St. Joseph this size has many financial analysts worried. For the first time in a decade, home prices have fallen in August from sales of the previous year. A report released this week by the Florida Association of Realtors paints an alarming picture. Single family homes fell 34% and condo sales dropped 41% from the previous year.
As two police officers struggled with a realtor who was being led away in handcuffs, he was overheard shouting to anyone who would listen that, "It's not a bubble, I tell you! It's not a bubble!"
According to the Miami S.W.A.T team, most of the rogue realtors were arrested in last night's raid and that the public need not fear those that got away. "Don't worry about them coming into your yards in the middle of the night to bury their statues. They left their shovels behind and we know how to read fingerprints. We'll have them rounded up and put behind bars before you know it."
Asked what law they broke, MVB was told that they had desecrated a sacred site.
"What sacred site?" we asked.
"The Miami Circle."
"'Sacred?'" we laughed. "There's nothing sacred about that circle of holes in the ground. Hell, they only found a shark's tooth and a used condom there. Some experts think it's nothing more than an old septic tank."
"Listen, bub," we were told in no uncertain terms, "As long as our county spent $27 million for it, it's sacred."
MVB can't argue with that.