Day after day, a man sat outside his house beside a large, white sign with bold, deep orange letters. EVERYTHING FOR SALE. His street saw its share of traffic and the home's ornate façade attracted many to stop and have a look.
"Is this a yard sale?" they'd ask. "A garage sale?" Their eyes would search for trinket covered tables to peruse.
Eventually the man would explain to his visitors that he didn't have dolls or tools or knickknacks to sell, that in fact all he had was the house itself.
Some would ask, "Why not list with a realtor? Why the funny sign?" implying that they'd been mislead.
So the man would further explain that the entire house wasn't for sale all at once, but rather any of them could purchase any piece of the house they liked. He'd invite them inside to see every room and every room had its own unique features: cherry wood baseboards and paneling, maple crown molding, solid mahogany doors. He told them that any part of the home they liked could be carefully removed and they could take it with them or have it shipped.
The house was cavernous, so the man expected to live the rest of his years selling it off little by little, spending less than he earned.
Word spread about the man and his house with EVERYTHING FOR SALE, all of the antique wood from which the home had been built. Soon his customers weren't just casual folks who happened to pass by; people came from surrounding towns to shop the man's home.
One morning the man awoke to find his bedroom floor flooded. He easily found the source of the leak: an area of the roof from which he'd sold the old tin shingles. He thought to hire a roofer, but realized his meager savings were only enough for his weekly bread. The realization came to him all at once that all he had left of his once beautiful home was the attractive façade and his own bedroom, now uninhabitable. He walked outside and removed the sign and wondered what went wrong.