Century 21 is running a weird new ad in which a sinister wife pressures her chubby, hapless husband into buying more house than they can afford.
The husband looks miserable. The tension between the two crests when the wife, neck muscles flaring, says: “Suzanne [the agent] researched this.” Then, to our surprise, we learn that the agent has been a party to the entire scene of marital strife via a speakerphone. The agent does nothing beyond chiming in over the phone “you guys can DO this” (apparently she has become an expert on the family’s finances).
In a review of the ad on Slate (“The nasty wife in the Century 21 ad”), Seth Stevenson describes the ad as “terrifying” and concludes: “of course your agent wants you to buy a house you can’t afford — she gets a bigger commission!”
Tolstoy was apparently wrong, the greatest tragedies occur not in the bedroom, but over a speakerphone.