This shiplap is killing me.

I’m in a long-term, heterosexual relationship. That means a few things.

One, it means that I’ve had to learn that there is some truth to all of the clichés, like apparently girls hate it when you leave the seat up after you pee. I always thought that women came equipped with two front-facing eyes. I was wrong, and must guard my mate against accidentally falling ass-first into the porcelain abyss.

Two, it means that my house smells dramatically better than it would if I were a 40-year-old single man. Our house has more candles than a Hanukkah supply store. When you enter my home, it smells of cinnamon, the “ocean” (not the actual ocean, which smells like fish…this is the candle version of the ocean, which smells like coconuts, verbena, and jojoba), and sandalwood.

Note: I have no idea what verbena, jojoba or sandalwood are. I don’t think anyone knows. I think a man in marketing put some made-up words on the label, and the men in the meeting were too embarrassed to admit they didn’t know what they meant.

Candle marketer: We made sure you could really smell the jojoba coming through…but then we added just a hint of verbena and sandalwood to mellow it out.

Candle executive: But of course, I mean, what good is jojoba without verbena and sandalwood, after all?

Both retreat to their respective offices, pour peppermint schnapps into oversized coffee cups, and sob deeply at the inherent misogyny of the candle-making industry.

Whatever those things are, they beat the smell of Right Guard, leftover pizza, and beer. Plus, if we ever need to warn the Minutemen of the Redcoats’ impending landing, we’re stocked and ready.

Third, it means that if a show involves flipping, buying, or renovating a house, seeking a house in this country or any other, buying or constructing a tiny house, loving it, listing it, or two twin brothers or a sickeningly happy couple from Waco doing any of the above, I’ve probably seen it.

It’s not because I want to see these shows, mind you.

It’s because my partner likes these shows (and apparently, so do many other women, given the advertising rotation of these networks). Also, she doesn’t like my choices for our viewing pleasure: MSNBC and Family Guy on endless repeat.

For my partner, that has the appeal of falling helplessly into the toilet while the house smells like Right Guard, pizza and beer.

Having seen a disproportionate number of episodes of Tiny International House Flipping Property Fixer Upper Brothers vis-à-vis my stereotypical straightness, I’ve noticed some idiosyncrasies that need to be explored.

Now, while I could use my fleeting hours of life to read the collected works of James Joyce or start a soup kitchen for the homeless, I think that the best use of my time and intellect is realized in making fun of the programming of HGTV. On a blog that 12 people read.

Takes a long sip of peppermint schnapps from an oversized coffee cup. Exhales a sigh and presses forward, knowing the best comedy comes from dark places. “Dark Places” is incidentally the name of the author’s laptop.

1. There’s hardwood under every carpet.

Every show, every time, they pull back some sea foam green shag carpet and say something to the effect of, “let’s see, we might get lucky and…oh…wait…is it?…it is! There are beautiful original hardwood floors under this carpet!”

Bull. Shit.

There is not beautiful original hardwood flooring under every carpet in America. If the original owners had wall-to-wall hardwoods, I doubt they said, “You know, these expensive, natural hardwoods look a little too beautiful. And they don’t soak up wine or dog urine well at all. We need some carpet to bring the value of this place down a few bucks, and fast.”

Just once, I’d like them to pull up the carpet and find that it’s just dirt. As in there’s no slab. Only soil. The original contractors just built a yurt in the shape of a house.

“Wanna know why you got this house at such a great price? You got the ‘no floor’ discount, sucker. Enjoy your yurt.”

2. Everyone loves to have people over and to entertain!

Maybe it’s just me, but I like to have people over approximately once or twice a year, tops.

Allow me to translate, for the non-committed-relationship set: My girlfriend likes to have people over four to five times a year, and I would be content to sit in my underwear and eat hot Cheetos and Takis while watching MSNBC. But if I did that, it would result in me becoming single. So, we compromise: I wear pants, and people come over occasionally.

But every couple on these shows has to make mention of the fact that they LOVE to entertain. They LOVE to have people over, and this open concept living room and kitchen is just PERFECT for entertaining!

And if there isn’t already an open concept, you can bet that they are going to just knock down that wall and really open it up.

I mean really. Really open it up. As opposed to just kind of opening it up. “Yeah, we’re going to punch a jagged hole in this wall, but we’ll leave the wall’s framework…we don’t want to open it up too much.”

Personally, I would add extra walls to give me more dark corners in which to hide when people visit. Maybe that’s just me. But I don’t think so. I know a lot of you, and most of you hate people, too. Don’t lie.

3. Every woman wants a giant closet for her shoes.

Women, you should get annoyed at this. These shows play to stereotypes.  Every woman always gives the “knowing giggle” about how much of a shoe lover she is, and comments as the rest of us all know it, too.

No, Emma, we don’t all assume that just because you lack a Y chromosome that you obviously need an entire room for footwear. Should I also assume that you are an editor at a New York fashion magazine?

But the male version is just as bad:

4. Every man wants a man cave, at least according to the woman.

Usually, the woman will make some comment about how, “oh, and this could be your man cave!” when they get to some “bonus room” or basement or something. Then, they all do that knowing giggle thing.

“Yep, I do love to have room for me and my other male friends to get together and shoot the breeze about how awful our wives are. But it’s okay, because we’re downstairs and surrounded by wood paneling.”

I don’t necessarily object to having a special room where I can watch football and drink beer. But because I’m not subservient to my partner, I call that special room MY ENTIRE HOUSE.

Plus she likes football and beer, so there’s that. Might wanna look into upgrading that part of your relationship before you launch into a full-scale home renovation.

By the way, what the hell is a bonus room? You’re buying the house, and you’ve undoubtedly walked through it once or twice. The room is not a surprise. It’s not like you’re going to open a closet door and it turns out it’s an entrance to Narnia.

5. The woman is in charge in every family.

I get it. There is a certain amount of deference that chivalry demands. God gave me more natural strength and broader shoulders, but as the poem goes, “the female of the species is more deadly than the male.”

God coupled those realities about me with a demeanor that genuinely does not care what color we paint the walls of the bonus Narnia. So, if my lady wants to take the lead, (a) she’s equally (much more) capable as I am to do so, and (b) she likely has an opinion (and a strong one) on the matter, and I have zero fucks to give about such topics.

The audience is mostly female, and it makes sense that they’d play up the “men are bumbling oafs, women save the day” trope here.

But in reverse, I wouldn’t joke about how I’m in charge and the little woman better have dinner on the table by the time I get home. Namely, because my partner would stab me in the face with a pencil. I also have respect for her, so I’m not going to pretend like I’m in charge and make her look meek on national TV.

Here’s the mind-blowing, unfunny truth. Women, when you laugh at this dated trope, you’re supporting the underlying structure that makes “woman in charge” be a trope in the first place, and not just a possible alignment of how a relationship works. Does that blow your mind? It should.

BAM.  Feminism.

6. Every couple has way more money than anyone would realistically have at their age.

Okay, we’ve all seen the meme about this one. He’s a 27-year-old dog doula, and she’s a 23-year-old who carves driftwood sculptures, and their starting budget is $1.7 million, but they could go to $1.8 million for the perfect place.

Fuck you.

That’s really it. Just fuck you very much.

7. Tiny home buyers always push to get more space.

What did they think a tiny home was? It’s in the name. It’s tiny.  Going to a tiny home and then wishing it was just a little bigger is like seeking out a home in the suburbs and then wishing it was closer to town.  Which, incidentally, I’ve also seen on these shows.

I remember when “tiny houses” were referred to as “travel trailers,” but you don’t see a show called Travel Trailer Hunters.

There’s an underserved demographic just waiting for that show. You could hug it between Fox and Friends and a rerun of Duck Dynasty. Advertise for converting your paper money to gold and Life Alert.

8. Waco is paradise, apparently.

According to Chip and Jo, the little shire of Waco is a slice of heaven, where ex-fraternity and sorority members from Baylor join megachurches and have kids with names like Shepherd and Cooper and Flannel. Where everyone drives a Suburban while sipping coffee from their Yeti or RTIC tumbler. Where your Labrador retriever can frolic with your neighbor’s Labrador retriever, while you both knowingly blame Donald Trump’s struggles on Obama.

I’ve been to Waco. It reminds me of the time I had a colonoscopy: weird and unpleasant, until I was “medicated” enough to stop caring.

They are right, there are plenty of opportunities to live out your 26-year-old former Texas fraternity boy dreams. Chances are, you’ll find a couple that looks just like you, drives a Tahoe just like yours, who thinks school vouchers are the solution to our education problems just like you do. You can all chat about it at one of the 7,000 Baptist churches in town.

Oh, and if you’re looking for diversity, be warned: Jo is one of only three Asian people in Waco. Number 2 is her mother. Number 3 is a physics professor at Baylor. Everyone else is Chip.

Waco sucks. Oh, and Art Briles sucks, too. The only saving grace is that it’s where Dr Pepper was invented.


 

I know what you’re thinking: Rickey, you sure know a lot about these shows for someone who purportedly hates them. And I say to you, imaginary person: it’s like Stockholm Syndrome. Forced to watch these shows against my will, I have started to connect with them and identify with them.

I bitch and complain and make fun of them all the time. I roll my eyes when the remote lands in the wrong hands, because I know what’s coming. I just told you eight things that drive me nuts about these shows.

 

And then I find myself watching and commenting on the lack of accent color in a room they really opened up.

 

 

Pours more peppermint schnapps into Yeti tumbler and laments what he has become.

 

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296 thoughts on “This shiplap is killing me.

      • lol … very funny 😀

        I haven’t watched these shows in a while … but i used to watch them all the time and you are spot on

  1. On your stereotypes:
    1. Believe it or not, I did have beautiful hardwood under my carpet. Lucky, I know.
    2. I hate people over. I’d rather lounge in my undergarments, eat junk food, and shout at 12-year-olds on Battlefield 4.
    3.Luckily, my wife has same desire for shoes I do. Buy a generic sneaker until it gets worn.
    4. My man cave is the garage, crawl space, attic, and basement. All of the unwelcoming rooms.
    5. My wife maintains the estate finances, and I haven’t paid a bill in years. I’d say though, that the largest executive decisions tend to need my weight behind them.
    6. Those shows always do seem to portray an air of wealth, don’t they? I’ve teased my wife on her shows that almost every man is…inherently…inexplicably wealthy. How many Rom Coms are featured in NYC? Where the woman is an artist/journalist and snags the loving affection of an inherently wealthy man? In real life, a very wealthy man would most likely pick a very wealthy wife. Otherwise it is a depreciating investment.
    7. I bought a tiny house because I’m impoverished. I want a bigger one, but can’t afford it. I wish I was in their boat.
    8. Never been to Waco.

    I’m with you. I start watching these shows and get all worked up about this and that investment. Or the return of property in various areas. Or I’ll stand and briefly glimpse some of her dramas and immediately cry “Why would she be WITH someone like that?!” “This show would be so much shorter if people made healthy decisions…” To which she responds by assaulting me with cushions until I vacate the room.

    • I grew up in a “tiny house” for the same reasons as you. I’ve since upgraded to a tiny apartment, namely because buying anything in the DC market requires the kind of money you only get from collusion with Russian oligarchs, and I’m not prepared to go down that route.

      I do a lot of rolling my eyes at my GF when the stereotypical nonsense happens on these shows…so much show that she starts laughing before I even have a chance to look at her now. It’s fun. But to her credit, our tiny apartment looks like a million bucks, so either she already knew how to do all of that, or she’s learned a thing or two from Tiny Property Flippin’ International House Brothers.

      • Just chiming in on tiny houses and tiny house hunters!

        Tiny house owner here. I bought my tiny house out of desperation. I was poor. It was cheap to buy and it IS cheap to run, no doubt.

        There are so many people living in tiny, crowded, painfully insufficient conditions because of poverty, and yet, there those shows are–renegotiating misery. It’s bullshit. I bought the home when my children were 2 years and 6 weeks old respectively, I thought “3 years, and we’re out.” Poverty doesn’t work like that.

        Now they’re 5 and 7. I have tried over and over to “make it work” in 480 sq ft and “really live in our space;” and believe me, I’ve read *every* article on tiny home living–“make the space work for you!” and “make each piece multi-use!” and “minimize!” All totally doable things if 1. you have a carpenter at your disposal to create unique and hand-made captain’s beds and lofts for free and 2. your children don’t actually exist.

        The reality of trying to raise children in the way of tetris-in-a-fallout-shelter is that it suffocates the spirit. And yes, we DO have outside space and use it and yes, we DO get out of the house. Those articles/shows about families making tiny houses work (can you believe it? Amazing!) are such.total.asinine.bullshit. Are you kidding me? So, you’re kid doesn’t have more than the 3 toys that fit in the single 10″x10″ bin you’ve provided? Wow. You’ve maximized on minimalizing your child’s life for them! How radical Sasaki.

        We’re moving next week (cognitive applause). Every time I see a tiny house show, I think of the people that live in tiny houses because they have to. I think of all the children co-sleeping in 4’x7′ rooms because that’s all there is.

        Sorry about the rant, but I loved this blog and felt compelled to hop in here. :/
        Best to you!
        Corinne’s mom

    • You should try watching Lifetime movie marathons some time.

      My mom made me grow up with a constant stream of HGTV and Lifetime movies. It was horrid.

      It’s the same now, but she’s also added CNN into the mix. I don’t know why, either. It’s like she took something that was already bad, and tried her damnedest to make it worse. I truly didn’t think it was possible.

      It was.

      • I haven’t watched many Lifetime movies since Not Without My Daughter, so it’s probably time to reload the ol’ ultra specific reference bank. My dad watches Fox News on full volume with a cat on his lap, half asleep, waking to interject nonsense about “Obama” and “the Federal Reserve” and “melting point of steel.” I feel like I could write a bit on that, but the research would require me to watch Fox News.

  2. First let me say: this is one of the best things I’ve read in years! Thanks! I loved it. Hahaha

    Second, as a hardwood floor professional, I can tell you that too many times I’ve been called in to do estimates for people who are completely shocked when I pull up a corner of the carpet to find subfloor and no hardwood. Based on your post here, you CAN imagine how often that has happened.

    • Haha, I’m glad you liked it! I can only imagine how many people you must deal with who are newly-self-ordained home improvement “experts” from HGTV University. I’m in the restaurant biz…it’s died down, but when Food Network first came on the scene, we had so many guests who, because they watched Iron Chef and Bobby Flay and such, were suddenly restaurateurs with deep knowledge of how to do our jobs better than we did. Oh well. At least it made for good camaraderie in the kitchen as we made fun of them. 🙂

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post and I found it to be exceptional. I always look for the prompt word to be included somewhere in the writing and I hit the LIKE button, because you said that men are bumbling oafs. I liked your take on the scented candle factory and on HGTV and you can increase that number from twelve to thirteen as I plan on following you. My ex-wife watches these shows constantly with the original hardwood flooring, the open concept living and of course those walk-in closets. I think the people that are featured on these shows are probably all drug dealers as who else would have all that time to go around looking for that perfect house. I actually had no idea that a yurt was a portable, round tent covered with skins and used as a dwelling by Mongolian nomads. You need to invest in another TV, so you are not forced to watch all that crap.

    • Thanks so much for reading my post! And we were just talking today at work about how when someone makes way more money than seems logical, they might just be doing something illegal…such as being a drug dealer, or participating in the Russian mafia, or something equally profitable. I’m glad you enjoyed my writing, hope you’ll read more as I post more!

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  5. I enjoy watching house hunters international when it features Caribbean Islands or Hawaii. I open my computer and try to find the featured homes based on the little pins, using Google Earth Satellite Imagery.

    • That’s a good idea! I’ve only ever used it to see where I’ve been on vacation or to see my parents house from thousands of miles away. I’m going to try that next time I watch House Hunters International. Thanks for reading my post!

    • Hi Mary Beth! Thank you so much for reading my post, and I am glad you enjoyed it! I got yelled at for telling my girlfriend to put it back on Fixer-Upper the other day (in the wake of posting this article, which she did not enjoy). To be fair, they were right at the climax, where Joanna says “shiplap” for the third time in succession, and the ghost of an Amish craftsman appears to help them complete the reno. That’s always my favorite part. Hope you’ll follow my blog and see more fun stuff as I write it!

  6. I loved this & shared it on my FB & it was instantly reshared by many of my friends.
    I have a love/hate relationship with those shows. Its interesting to watch & learn how to do some Home DIY things, then annoying to watch those “Home Hunter”shows with all those “20 something’s ” kids looking for their 1st home going through house after house complaining about the smallest things from being a 15 minute drive away from the city center (20 minute walk in most cases) to the size of the kitchens while the rest of us complain that our WHOLE apartment could fit into the kitchen they say is “TOO SMALL” along with those people looking for their 3rd “vacation home” complaining about how things off the coast of Brazil aren’t the same as in America. (DUH, it’s a totally different country it’s going to be different..)
    Sometimes I just want to reach into the tv &
    smack them all. I’ve often joked to my husband that we move to Waco so we could a grand home for the same price as what we pay in rent over the span of a year. (He said NO!!)

    As a man with an LARGE shoe collection, I often find myself drooling over those special shoes closets you mentioned, wishing we didn’t need a roommate so I could turn that extra bedroom into a shoe closet..😉

    • Thanks for checking out my post, Shaun! Yeah, the savings you’d create by moving to Waco would all be spent on antidepressants and/or booze. Chip and Joanna do such an amazing job of making Waco appear palatable. I’m assuming they get kickbacks from the Waco Chamber of Commerce. Or at least free Dr. Pepper. And yeah, as a former NorCal dweller and current DC metro area guy, I’m always blown away when the cost of a house they’re looking at is $180k or some obscenely low number. You literally couldn’t get a 1 bedroom condo for that, and these peeps are buying a McMansion with Juliet balconies, a moat and a live dragon. Insane. Thanks again, hope you’ll pop back in and read more of my stuff sometime!

  7. This was vastly enjoyable to read. Usually my attention span drifts off if it surpasses my mental word limit for WordPress posts! But you held my attention with every meme-like, sardonic paragraph — hilarious. I particularly liked 6; the dog doula thing made me crack.
    Great blog, keep it up, Rickey!

    • Hi metatheresa! Thank you so much for reading my post! I struggle with reading lengthy posts, too. I try to write in a manner that keeps people cruising through my thoughts as fast as their flowing through my noggin, namely because I wouldn’t read something beyond a few hundred words if it didn’t keep me going. Glad it worked for you! Hope you’ll stick around and read more of my stuff! 🙂

  8. Yup, definitely more than 12 people have read this post, since I and many whom I know have shared it across their social media platforms. 😛

    I read it to my fiance last night and he saw himself in your words, for I’ve subjected him to watching said DIY/H&G -type TV shows (given that I consult in the interior design and home improvement industries and my need to be on top of what’s going on for my clients, I come by it honestly!). Know that you are not alone in this sentiment (myself included).

    Thanks for the laughs, sighs and tears shed regarding the present state of home-oriented TV!

    • Thanks so much for reading it, and for reading it to your fiance! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t learn a lot from watching them, even if it wasn’t by choice. Fortunately, my well-appointed condo is well-appointed by my girlfriend, for whom such things come naturally. Left to my own devices, we’d have blank walls and I wouldn’t know how lucky I was that I didn’t have to pull back carpet to find the hardwoods we already have. 🙂

    • Aw, thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’ll try to keep delivering on the funny stuff…I live in the DC area…given the ridiculousness of politics and my geospatial location in the middle of it all, keeping myself entertained and laughing is the best alternative to walking out into traffic.

    • “Sorry, friends. The previous owners built on an EPA Superfund site. I guess that explains the strong smell of benzene when we planted the wax-leafed ligustrum in the front yard. My bad.” – Mr. Drew Scott and/or Mr. Jonathan Silver Scott, who may or may not be a camera trick and not actually 2 people.

  9. I’ve been watching Fixxer Upper religiously lately while praying that Chip & Joanna lose their asses financially on a huge project, thus forcing her to become a stripper in order to salvage any hope of being able to afford their next fix of a Prozac & Ecstasy cocktail before the cameras begin rolling once again. I mean really, what red blodded ‘Merican Male wouldn’t want to watch Jo writhing around on a pole while sitting in the luxury of his $280k recently renovated & really REALLY opened up 12’x20’ “Man Cave” with 16 taps of craft beer and a walk-in humidor with a smoking nook.?

    Nah, seriously though, I have to drink in my garage (I actually really REALLY do have 3 taps flowing though), while sitting in camp chairs strewn amongst mountains of storage totes, tools, and garbage cans, because fuck poverty that’s why!

    • Now I didn’t put it in there, but one saving grace of the show is that Joanna is a pretty lady. And while I am a modern feminist man of 2017, I still like looking at the pretty ladies whenever possible. On the beer front – my old chef was also a homebrewer and a very good one at that. We did a lot of sitting in his backyard with freshly made beer and rock and/or roll on the box. And while his wife was a super-cool lady (still is), we often had to wrap up our day-drinking-a-go-go whenever she came home from work. Namely because we were obnoxiously drunk by then, and there’s no kind of hell like showing up sober when everyone else is knackered beyond acceptable Judeo-Christian norms.

  10. I have no idea how I happened upon your blog, but this post is the funniest, we’ll-written piece I’ve read in a very long time. This just made my day! Brilliant!

    • Thank you so much, Sarita! I’m really glad you stumbled by, and I really appreciate your kind words. I hope you’ll stick around/subscribe so you can enjoy of stuff. 🙂

  11. Great article! I admit, I sometimes throw on these shows for background noise while I’m working around the house. My husband and I once considered using the word “shiplap” as the basis of a reno show marathon drinking game, but decided that it would ultimately lead us down a very dark, 12-step, road.

    • My California is coming out because the first thing I said to myself was, “dude, that’s awesome.” But seriously, dude. That is awesome. I might have to try that game. Good thing we all have two livers, right? Thanks for checking out my post, I really appreciate it! Hope you’ll stick around/subscribe/read more sometime. 🙂

  12. Our go to is the serving of wine and cheese to the grinning relatives as they stand in your “entertaining space”. Or the requirement of full size appliances in a tiny house while wondering if that single mom has the pickup required to move it to the nearest RV park.

    • I stand at my job all day, every day. I am in the restaurant biz. But for some reason, standing in someone’s kitchen, drinking wine and making small talk, WRECKS my back. I think it’s the psychosomatic embodiment of my desire for spontaneous human combustion to take either me or the rest of the attendees. Thanks for reading my stuff, Celeste! I hope you’ll find other good articles here to enjoy. 🙂

  13. Hi Rickey! Really, really funny and so true on many levels. I am the female side of the relationship but your assessment of some of the ‘inconsistencies” of the HGTV shows is spot on. Thanks for making me laugh out loud. ~Kathy

    • Hi Kathy! So glad you enjoyed it. My snark comes from a place of love…I secretly enjoy these shows, just don’t tell anyone. I don’t want to get kicked out of the man cave. Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and I hope you’ll read some more of my stuff sometime! 🙂

  14. I agree with much of what you’ve said. Apparently the magic formula is several more bedrooms than the number of family members, a ridiculous number of bathrooms, a closet the size of a Greyhound bus station in the main bedroom, vast swaths of crown molding, granite counters, stainless appliances large enough for restaurant, an open plan main floor and a twelve acre lot while being within walking distance of shops and restaurants. (Did I miss anything?) Oh yea: shiplap, if you’re a marketing major cum decorator from a small town in Texas.

    But one nit-pick; it’s a plan, not a concept. Open PLAN.

    • You know of what you speak! I am a restaurateur by trade and a lawyer by education, and a residential design aficionado by proxy, so I’ll take your word for it. Thanks for checking out my blog! Hope you’ll stick around and read more of my stuff!

  15. Let me say, I am female and I couldn’t agree more with everything you said! I will admit watching the shows, it’s my way of dumbing things down.
    On a side note but an important one, I am a designer/space planner. I am way over granite, the word “shiplap” is nails on a chalkboard for me and it kills me that people really think you get all of that on their budget!!! I have to set people straight that HGTV is not realistic!

    • Hi Michelle, thank you so much for reading my post! I mentioned it somewhere (here, facebook, can’t recall, too much peppermint schnapps), but I’m in the restaurant business. We dealt with a similar phenomenon when cooking programming went from PBS to full-frontal-assault-all-day-every-day-BAM! on Food Network. Suddenly, EVERYONE was a chef. If you want to experiment and learn to cook, I applaud that. But these peeps would roll in, punchy from watching Emeril dumping garlic all over “the trinity” and Bobby Flay grilling steel-cut oats or watermelon or something. The University of Channel 231 had matriculated them summa cum laude. By god, I know there are 300 guests here other than me, but I need to know who used kosher instead of grey salt on this grilled pear.

    • Sooooooo…what’s the best alternative to granite? We can’t afford granite right now and I’ve been randomly painting our butt-ugly white laminate countertops (and backsplash, wtf builders- you rolled that shit up the WALL???) but if/when we need to sell, I don’t know if we should considering changing out the countertops.

      I can do a lot of the work myself, and I’m not scared of some DIY, so I’m just curious.

      Feel free to not answer- I know you get paid to answer questions like this and I don’t want to ask you to give your work away for free!!!

      • Is there a Floor and Decor near you? A Home Depot? An Ikea? Each sells some type of countertop at a better price than you’ve probably been seeing. You’ll have to be handy to install these options or hire a contractor.

        Floor and Decor has a couple of precut 112″ X 26″ granite countertops for $7 SF ($174 a slab) including backsplash. (There are several more expensive ones.) They also have 96″ X 26″ solid oak butcherblock for $249. Add $57 for the matching 5″ backsplash.

        Home Depot has a small selection of granites for $29 a square foot in many locations (in store only, not on their web page.) I used this to redo countertops in my three bathrooms and I was pleased by the finished product.

        Ikea sells $189 Hammarp 96″ X 25.5″ solid birch or solid oak countertops. No backsplash is offered. Shop carefully and check the product descriptions; Ikea also offers a few wood countertops which are only wood veneer.

  16. Ha ha ha this is too funny. I live in Texas and a “thing” in waiting rooms here is Fixer Upper on a constant loop at all times. I don’t even have cable but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every episode at this point. It’s a great to bond with the other patients/parents by openly mocking some of the statements, though.

    What I really want to know is how they get a loan on a house worth $130k, to do $200k more in renovations. It doesn’t even make sense. Who is loaning them $300k plus on a house worth only 130k?

    There was a scene in an episode though similar to your dirt floor suggestion. They went in the crawl space and found out that the foundation was actually tree stumps. As in, not pillars, just tree stumps!

    • I grew up in Texas and while I haven’t lived there in the last 12 years, I’ve visited plenty and I know what you mean. My mother was in and out of the hospital for a while (she’s great now) and I did a lot of sitting there and at her house reading Better Homes & Gardens and having Fixer-Upper on in the background. And yeah, the valuation/equity thing makes ZERO sense to me. I assume they must show up on the scene with money…which they got from…yeah, I got nothing. Thanks for checking out my post, I appreciate it! Hope you’ll browse around and find some of my other fun stuff just as, well, fun. 🙂

    • There are special loans which combine the actual property purchase loan with construction funds. They’re not common and generally the buyer and/or the contractor will have to have a proven record of working on distressed properties. The bank usually goes over every last detail with a fine-tooth comb and releases money a few percent at a time, after inspecting the property to insure the prior work funded has been completed successfully and is to code. At the end of the ordeal (and it is an ordeal) the loan converts to a conventional mortgage.

      • Well, I learned something today! That sounds like a pain in the posterior. There’s no such thing as easy money, despite what all the flippers would have you believe. Thanks for adding some detail to the convo, Stubenville!

  17. I’m from Texas and I don’t get the Waco thing either. Every time I watch that show I’m wondering, “where in the world are they finding these people that want to live in Waco of all places?!” Also, where are all of those people working? Baylor can only employ so many.

    • I might be divulging too much, but that has never stopped me before. I got into a shouting match in a Walmart in Waco. It was with the snack bar attendant over the lack of availability of Coca-Cola flavored Icee in the snack bar. I don’t remember much, other than (a) I yelled “I’m taking my business to K-mart!” as I left, and (b) I went home a wrote a song about it. The only line of the song I remember is, “I’m takin’ it to K-mart.” Like I said, it’s a weird, unpleasant place. Thanks for reading my stuff, I’m glad you enjoyed it! Hope you’ll stick around/subscribe and find some other fun stuff to read here!

  18. How have I never found you before today? Instead of bloggers who write about making homemade Oreos or creating a mason jar salad, I think I just found my blogging soul mate.
    It’s okay, I’m married too.
    Raising my Takis in your direction.

    Fuckin’ shiplap…..

    • Fuckin’ shiplap indeed! Welcome to my blog, Kari! Hope you find some good stuff here. And about the homemade Oreos: who is sitting there, browsing Pinterest with a souvenir Disneyland cup filled to the brim with a robust 2017 Franzia white zin, honestly considering making their OWN OREOS? Do they realize that the same crippling depression that has them scrolling the endless outback of craftiness and kitsch is going to derail Mission: Oreo halfway through? If you’re really concerned about the cost and don’t have a basic grasp of economics, you could at least buy Parade brand “chocolate and creme sandwich cookies.” #freeadvice But I digress. A lot. Good to have you here, Kari, and thanks again for reading my stuff!

  19. Hilarious! I do love me some house shows, but take the story lines with a grain (or barrel) of salt. Fixer Upper is fun, but I never want a house with the ‘distressed’ look, giant clocks and mismatched lettering on the walls. The idiots on First Time Flippers really make me laugh, the best how NOT to do renovations show. I enjoyed your essay and will look for more of your work.

    • Words on walls are one of my pet peeves. I know I am a family member. I don’t need the wall in the kitchen to say “Family” to remind me. Girlfriend of a former roommate moved in with us a long time ago, and she put up a wall sign in the kitchen that said, “If these walls could talk…” I cracked up every time I saw it…namely thinking of the walls saying stuff about the shit we pulled before a girl moved in with us. Thanks so much for reading my post, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  20. Most of television makes me want to puke, but I can’t even be in the same room as one of the shows you’re talking about. I do like open concept, but mostly because of a subtle claustrophobia. So, knock down that load-bearing wall! Let’s just drink and place bets on when this place will crumble. Maybe we’ll find a hard-wood floor underneath the dirt.

    • I find that if you drink enough and have your bet on the right crumbling wall, you can turn even the most devastating demolition into a fun-filled afternoon. To be fair, if you drink enough, most things become more fun. So, maybe it’s not necessary to smash a wall. But it couldn’t hurt. Thanks for checking out my blog, I really appreciate it! Hope you’ll peek around and find more good stuff to read. 🙂

  21. The other thing that gets me is that the bathrooms MUST have two sinks. WTF? I have been married to my husband for 27 years, have 2 kids and we have never had a time that we both needed a bathroom sink at the exact same time. Besides that we have 2 bathrooms so there is another sink available. Most of the shows the houses have 2 bathrooms. Why do you have to have double sinks?

    • I share a sink with my girlfriend. We’ve been together 5 years, lived together for 3. I’ve never found the ratio of people:sinks to be a game changer in our relationship. Still, I’m afraid that a second sink would rock the very foundation of our partnership, so we’re going to steer clear of demolishing the vanity in our rented condo for now. Thanks for checking out my post, glad you enjoyed it! Hope you’ll look around and find some more fun stuff to read. 🙂

  22. This is hilarious! From your description, I can tell that you HAVE been to Waco. Add another follower to your list.

    • Oh I have indeed. I am originally from Waller, Texas, it’s on 290 between Houston and Austin. As my grandfather used to say, “Waller is a great place to be from. As far from as you can get.” Thanks for reading my stuff, I appreciate it! Hope you’ll take a look around and find some more fun. 🙂

  23. I have to say, my house is the reverse. I hate those HGTV shows for all the reasons you mention. It is my HUSBAND who watches them (and controls the remote)! And he wonders why I go looking for a toilet to clean instead of watching TV with him. 😱

    • My nephew made a video for my birthday teaching me how to clean a toilet. It’s fun when the women in your life gang up and get a 5-year-old to throw shade. Thanks for reading my post, I’m glad you liked it! If you want to get back at your husband, go into his phone and change his autocorrect settings to replace “ok” with “GASP! I, sir, am a lady!” Fun will ensue.

    • Awesome! Thank you for checking my stuff out! Hope you find more good stuff on my blog to keep you laughing/thinking/smiling or whatever other positive manifestation of happiness you choose. 🙂

    • Thank you for checking out my blog! Glad you liked it. I’m sure there’s a joke in my head somewhere about Bernie Sanders and demo day at a bank, but I don’t have enough caffeine in my bloodstream yet. Hope you’ll stick around and read more of my stuff! 🙂

  24. Okay; so despite my wishful comments yesterday regarding the über lusty Joanna, I do have to confess that I’ve spent the past few days stuck on the sofa watching HGTV pretty much from dawn to dusk – rinse, resuse, recycle – for like the entire week. 😱

    I’m a 51 year old guy that has owned a few homes ((the bank actually owned them, but I did keep the lawns mowed and looking pretty while we stayed)), and the one thing that really has me screaming WHAT THE FUCK is all of the “surprises” regarding piss~poor plumbing, compromised roofs, water damage, faulty HVAC, and foundation issues which inevitably requires a phone call to the new owners that have agreed to buy a dilapidated shell for $603,472 more than the realistic value of the roach infested rat hole of a bed-bug breeding facility that some greedy pencil dick loan officer somewhere decided was a good idea to APPROVE the mortgage without requiring a complete inspection!!!
    Not only did each lending company that I worked with require a complete home inspection, using their own guys, but I was smart enough to hire an inspector of my own choosing to provide me with a comprehensive report before ever even getting to the point of needing to sit down with my banker. Why.? Because I didn’t want to get a call from Joanna asking me for more money to fix the things that the seller should take care of! Ohhhhh, don’t get me wrong, if Joanna wants to call me……………. 😛

  25. I wonder if the Gaines’s ever-expanding Magnolia empire will ever acquire the remains of the Branch Davidian compound. Of course, it’s really dated; that charcoal color scheme is so passe. But they could really open it up, and I understand the bonus room is actually a smoking parlor.

    • Oooh, burn! Oh wait, bad choice of words. I remember watching all of that unfold from a hundred miles down the road in the outskirts of Houston. As sad as it was, and as aggro as the ATF was, I just have to ask: why is every cult leader a skeevy douche like David Koresh? Shouldn’t that be your first clue?

      “This guy says he’s got the key to heaven, but he’s wearing those aviator frame glasses where the tint fades from dark to light, and he has a weird perm. I’m going to ignore his otherwise totally sensible rambling and go ahead and assume he’s a cult leader,” said the person who didn’t join the Branch Davidians.

    • Why thank you! I am glad you liked it! It’s way better than the song I wrote about Waco long ago when I was 16. Basic premise was that the Walmart was out of Coca-Cola flavored Icee, and I got into an argument with the snack bar attendant. It’s almost as thrilling of an adventure set to song as you’d think it would be. Almost.

  26. Just came over to your blog because I saw your post on Scary Mommy.
    This post literally had me in tears of laughter. I do occasionally dabble in the watching of HGTV but everything you said was absolutely spot on. Bravo and thanks for the laugh. 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. There’s more fun to be had throughout the blog, and there’ll be more to come…assuming the powers that be never figure out that I spend my afternoons “busy” writing nonsense. Stupid powers that be, always trying to dampen my creativity.

  27. Number 6.

    If number 6 was human, it would be hot and I would want to make mad, passionate love to it.

    Fuck those people good, long, and hard.

    Thanks for making an otherwise shitty day just a little brighter. Get used to having WAAAY more than 12 readers.

    • The good news is, if you were an attentive and giving lover of #6, it apparently has enough money to be your sugar-number-in-a-list-of-nonsense. Bad news, being a dog doula/driftwood sculptor means it has a lot of free time, so it’ll probably expect “companionship” and “love” instead of simple quid pro quo sex for money, like they did it in the good old days. And thanks for checking out my stuff, hope you’ll poke around and find some more fun stuff to enjoy!

  28. I especially liked point #2. If I hear “entertaining friends and family” one more time… Lately the expression seems to have changed a bit–they want to have aforementioned F&F over for “entertainment!” What in the heck does that mean? And who is the said “entertainment?.” Do the hosts polish up on their card tricks and baton twirling? Do the guests come with prepared jokes or a magic act to amuse the hosts? Perhaps Taylor Swift or Jerry Seinfeld have been booked for the evening? Confusing.

    • I was thinking a vaudeville act would go well with this actual-island-sized island. A little tap dancing goes a long way with these cathedral ceilings. To keep it on theme, I’ve prepared some bathtub gin for everyone to enjoy. Please sign this waiver first, as I can’t be held responsible for loss of vision.

  29. Too many other replies to check to see if you have already been reminded of this: It’s “Dr Pepper,” not “Dr. Pepper.”

  30. I’ve gotten to the point where I just watch the last 5 minutes of all of these shows – I miss all the shiplap debates and man cave summits and “where is the walk in closet in this 18th century rowhouse?” traumas, but I get to see the tours of 3 houses or see People cry at the marble bathroom that Chip and Joanna carve out of an ugly ranch house rumpus room.

  31. So. Funny!! Couldn’t stop laughing, then I shared with my wife, then on FB. This post is me (and my wife). You are an excellent writer, and if only 12 people read your blog, count me as 13. ;o)

    • Awesome! Thank you Dustin, I really appreciate that. I hope you’ll stick around and find some more good stuff to read. I’ll try to keep the funny coming. No guarantees, though. I reserve the right to take an unexpected dramatic role in the twilight of my career that causes everyone to elevate me from “clown” to “national treasure.”

  32. This is a great article. Fixer Upper comes on all weekend, hence, I work outside a lot. But, this gal posted something, and I started cracking up. It has to do with the smell at Bath and Bodyworks, and I can’t stop laughing at it. Pretty much the same thing, I stay out of that store. https://youtu.be/aXIs7cAijng

    • That’s pretty funny – I haven’t been to Bath and Body Works in a long time, but I used to get dragged into those stores in a former life. The only good side to it was that the men’s stuff was almost always on clearance, because apparently they overestimate the degree to which we think long and hard about smelling good. The Target body wash I buy works just fine as body wash, shampoo, face wash, conditioner, dog wash, laundry detergent, and a laxative, thank you very much.

  33. Loved reading this! My pet peeve on these shows is when the couple with 3 kids complains that the 3,500 square foot, 5 bedrooms,2.5 bathroom house (bonus room included) is “too small for their family”. I used to watch HGTV while I was sitting in my 950 sq foot, 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment with my 3 children (that I paid nearly $300,000 for, thank you NYC suburbs) No more!

    • I’m with you. I live in a 2 bedroom condo with my GF and my dog. I feel like it’s a spacious country estate, because before this, we lived in a 1 bedroom apartment where I would accidentally hit my head on the opposite wall trying to tie my shoes. I’m guessing most of these suburbanite/rural folks are used to living in McMansions such that anything short of having your own drawbridge and moat is seen as tiny. I envy them, until I remember they usually live in an unnamed suburb of an unnamed town where the Property Brothers convince them to endure the commute in exchange for a bonus room or two.

  34. If it makes you feel any better, I just read the other day that Chip & Joanna are being sued by someone who bought one of their houses because the neighborhood is extremely sketchy.

    • I heard that! I shared that story with a friend of mine, actually. Listen, I’m all for a frivolous lawsuit. It’s the American way. But if you buy a freakin’ house because (1) the pretty people on TV told you it’s a great place, and (2) that’s it, because there’s zero other rationale for your major effing purchase…? Up yours, plaintiff. I’d side with Chip and Jo every time. Caveat Emptor, sucker. Enjoy your yurt.

  35. The one that drives me crazy is double sinks in the bathroom. Why does every couple want two sinks? I’ve been living with my husband for 30 years and it seems we are the only couple that can figure out how to take turns washing up.

    • I love my girlfriend. We’ve been together for 5 years as of tomorrow. And somehow, we’ve always figured out a way to not directly spit our toothpaste/saliva mix directly onto each other in our small bathroom. It’s not that hard, I agree. She does get upset when I pee in the sink while she’s putting on makeup, but I guess I can understand that. I mean, that’s fair. I could wait to pee in the sink until she’s done.

    • F that place indeed! Glad you liked my work, Sdog. Is that your given name? It sounds Swedish. Sdog Vardinkenssen was the lead singer of ABBA. Did you know that? I hope not, because it’s a lie.

  36. I actually marathoned Fixer Upper on Netflix last summer (I’m embarrassed to type that, but there it is). It gave me at least a glimmer of motivation to improve our decorating game, but yeah my husband and I would make jokes and take bets on how many times “shiplap” and “open floor plan” were used in every episodes. We just bought our first house and we were the ones that found hardwood under the carpet, but it’s certainly not beautiful – because who doesn’t love when you find a hidden patch of white spray paint on the hardwood that was concealed by the seller and missed by the home inspector?

    Sigh.

    I’m fixing up furniture right now as a side gig, but I’m trying my best not to become an HGTV trope.

    • Hi Leslie! Thanks so much for checking out my blog. I’m glad you enjoyed it! I watched Bizarre Foods one summer, after I finished How I Met Your Mother. Sometimes it happens, you just get sucked in. The difference is, you learned valuable tips about improving your living space. That comes in handy in life. I doubt that my knowledge of larvae they eat in Madagascar or the ups and downs of Robin and Barney’s relationship over the years is EVER going to come in handy. Unless I’m negotiating for lunch in Madagascar with a die-hard HIMYM fan.

  37. This is gold! The bit about the bonus room was my favorite, since we have a room in our house affectionately named The Narnia Room. When we first looked at the house before buying it, we found a door in the back of a bedroom closet, and when opening it, discovered a room that wasn’t in any of the listing photos. It appeared to be a closed-in porch, and in addition to a futon and media center with tv, it contained a built-in, round, Sriracha red, 4 person hot tub (from the 80s). The best part is the 4 foot wide door that they clearly cut to get the hot tub into the house.

    • That is freakin’ gold, Bev. Gold, I tell ya. I booked a stay in the Poconos on a whim (I live in Northern Virginia, so about 3 hours north of us) at this “romantic” hotel property. When we arrived, the very same Sriracha red 4 person hot tub from the 80’s was the centerpiece of our room. We, of course, did not BUY the hotel before discovering this love bucket. We’re lucky like that. Thanks for reading my stuff! I’m glad you stopped by. Hope you’ll explore a bit and find some more fun stuff to read!

    • Thanks Jake! I appreciate you taking the time to check out my stuff. Hope you’ll explore the rest of the blog and/or subscribe so you’ll get updates when I write more. I’m fueled by nonsense, and being in DC, I have a steady stream of fuel. Expect more fun stuff soon.

  38. Oh jeesh. So much of this. I wish my hubby and I had better documented our travails. In 2004, we bought our 1300 sq ft “fixer-upper”/soon to be condemned house of horror in “beautiful” downtown Beaumont, TX, on almost a quarter of an acre for the princely sum of $10,000. We had a $5,000 budget to make sure it would not in fact get immediately condemned…we barely made it.

    But, oddly enough when we were looking, we did peel back the carpet (honestly we weren’t looking for hardwood, we just wanted to make sure it wasn’t a yurt)…only to find hard wood. We peeled back a couple of other spots and it looked fairly ok. We didn’t remotely expect to find full on good hardwood throughout under that shag carpet, but we were hoping to be able to salvage enough to do at least one room. Yeah, that did not happen, we magically managed to peel up the entire 3 small spots that had stable good flooring. From the entire 13000 square foot house we were unable to salvage enough to do even one 12×12 room.

    Other exciting “features” included ship lap wood under all the sheetrock, each board held to the studs with approximately 792 nails each…all of which had to be ripped off to replace the wiring and plumbing (it was all single wire on spindle wiring and cast iron plumbing, which we were aware of and knew we would be replacing), non-standard 8’7 wall heights, and a magical floating construction that had NO, and I repeat NO specific load bearing walls….not even the exterior walls. On the plus it did make turning our mole hole into an open concept shotgun layout.

    • Outstanding! I lived in the Third Ward in Houston during my college years, where “row houses” are the old city sponsored low-income housing. They are shotgun layouts. I think some rebranding as “open concepts” is in order. Just knock out a wall or two – if none of them are specifically load bearing, it seems you can knock down any old wall you’d like. BAM, you’re living in a modern, open concept in which you can throw a spiral from the front yard to the back without knocking a picture off the wall. Incidentally, “Knockin’ Pictures Off Da Wall” was a huge hit in the Houston rap scene by Yungstar in 1999. I hope you’ll stick around and find more fun stuff to read! And I hope you and your husband recovered from the $10k house in Beaumont…sounds like a giant pain, but I’m sure you guys learned a ton (about what not to do the next time). And if you remained married through that? You’ll make it through anything.

      • We actually knew exactly what we were doing (which means yes, we are insane), since we both have construction backgrounds. We were the only 21 year olds we knew who owned our own home, pit though it was. But only a ton of knowledge, access to my dad who used to be a GC, already having our own tools, and access to contractor’s pricing for materials…plus a willingness to hold off on what could be waited on, made it possible. It was just cheaper to do this way than rent through grad school.

        We actually still live in it and are finally renovating the master suite right now (DEEP red accent wall by the way so honey oak mission style head board really pops), but with it being 3 bdr, we’ve always had plenty of living space no matter what we’ve been working on. It’s a cute little house now so we’re pleased. And hubby and I weren’t even married when we started the project, it was I guess our relationship test. When we got to the kitchen and neither of us had caused a catastrophic nail gun incident upon the other…we knew we were meant to be. Though we did take a break from doing any more renovating, because it turns out that actually having a wedding is way more emotional and relationship crushing than renovating the pit from hell. Took a solid 7 years before we were ready to do anything else to the house.

        • That’s a relationship test if I’ve ever heard one. Well done! I feel like the GF and I would rise to the occasion…though we have been known to almost come to fisticuffs in Costco a few times. But Costco brings out the crazy in most people. If one more person stops in the middle of everything while I’m trying to get to the sausage samples before they run out, I might just snap.

  39. omg!!this is hysterical! Thanks for your post. btw–I am a woman and I hate those shows, but I also like to be clothed and I don’t care for beer…

    • When they say “clothing optional,” that means it’s just as okay to enjoy clothes as it is to prefer the freedom of wandering around in your drawers. I salute your self-awareness, nanciec13 – is that your given name? Weird. That’s my mom’s middle name. And thank you for checking out my stuff, I really appreciate it. There’s a lot more fun where this story came from, i.e. my laptop. There’s also lots of pictures of my dog, Lemmy.

  40. This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long, long time.

    “Tiny International House Flipping Property Fixer Upper Brothers” almost made me spit out my coffee.

    My wife and I were both guffawing over your astute observations.

    Well done, sir. Well done. You can come over to our house (in the Atlanta suburbs, but not too far) to drink beer and watch football anytime you want.

    • Well thank you, Glenn and Glenn’s wife! I am glad you guys…err…y’all enjoyed it! I’m from Texas, but I’ve lived in Nevada, California and Virginia in the last 12 years, and I’ve had to adapt my normal diction (e.g. “elevated hillbilly”) to fit in elsewhere, out in the Territories and such. Seeing as y’all are from Georgia, I’ll address y’all properly. And thank you for checking out my stuff! Hope you’ll poke around and see what else you like here. Most of it’s good, if I do say so myself. And I do say that. Myself.

      • I absolutely loved your observations on Waco, shiplap, hardware floors, the amount of money that all of these kids have to spend…you are witty beyond words, you are very observant and I thoroughly loved seeing you point out the obvious obsession I have with all of these shows…You can watch them endlessly over and over and not be disturbed by the political conflicts, famine, wars, etc… you are so refreshing…..
        Mary August

        • Hi Mary, thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope you’ll look around and read more of my stuff, although to warn you, some of it is about the bad stuff happening out there in the world. I try to put some humor on it, but sometimes that’s easier said than done! At any rate, I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read and comment, and hope to see you here again soon!

      • Rickey, I have just discovered you. A friend forwarded this article on Facebook and I was laughing so hard, tears were streaming down my face. I’m a Texan, born in Waco (we got out as fast as we could), now living in Dallas and my favorite 93 yr old uncle still lives there and we visit about once a month. I watch the HGTV shows and your comments are right on! My husband and I are looking for a retirement home and friends have teased us about moving to Waco so we can get “more house for the money” and live in Chip and Jo territory. So #8 hits home. I am still laughing over #8 because….it is SO TRUE! In fact yesterday we talking about the fact that Chip and Jo are personally responsible for people from around the country moving to Waco, despite the fact these folks from places like San Diego and Denver have no clue what they are letting themselves in for. No, you will not become best buds with Chip and Jo. There is NO-THING to do in Waco and NO WAY to meet people unless you belong to one of the gazillion churches there or attend Baylor football games. Thank you for this blessing of an article and the best belly laughs I’ve had in I don’t know when. I’m now a FAN of yours!

        • Thank you Barbara! If you’re looking for a place to convalesce, I guess it would work, but if you’re looking for a place to retire and enjoy your well-earned time to do what you want to do, I can think of many better places than Waco! Best of luck in your search, and stand firm against the Waco-lovers who don’t know that of which they speak.

  41. Great post! The thing I would add that drives me crazy is when they hold the “open house.” They edit the comments from the people attending the open house to compliment whatever the bone of contention was during the reno (expensive counters, bathrooms, or cabinets come to mind). Then – woohoo – an offer comes in! From someone at the open house! My realtor friends tell me this *never* happens and hate it that their own real life home sellers think it should – based on HGTV.

    Another weird setting of expectations is my own: we had a contractor come in to look at renovating our kitchen and the estimate came in at $40k. I was like – wait on HGTV, they do full kitchen renovations for $15K!!

    • Hysterically, the funniest thing I’ve read. I went to Baylor and love my Dr. Pepper. But, never a diehard Waco person. In ’69- nothing for students to do on campus and not a lot off campus.
      You have the whole story down perfectly! Loved it!! BB

      • Thank you Barbara! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I think Waco has probably benefited greatly from Chip and Jo’s presence. The last time I was there, I got into an argument with a belligerent snack bar worker at the Walmart. She shut down the Icee machine even though it was full, depriving me of a delicious Icee on a hot Waco day. We exchanged words. I respect the authority of the Walmart snack bar attendant, but I would think any God fearing woman in the central Texas summer would have compassion on a young man in need of an Icee. I was wrong, Barbara. So wrong.

  42. Wow, Rickey, this is a hilarious post! Before I got rid of cable tv I used to watch HGTV all the time. Watched those house-flipping and house-hunting shows but mainly to get some ideas in case I ever got a place I could fix up. Until I read your post I didn’t realize how annoying and preposterous most of those scenarios and commentaries were. The one thing I was hoping you’d mention was how frequently the design expert would say, “That’ll really make it pop.” No pops are allowed in any house I will ever live in. Ever. I bet you feel that way too?

    • Sue, you are so right. They are always making it pop. I watch with my dog sometimes, and I ask him, “Lemmy, what do you think about that pop of grey they just put on those grey walls?” And he says, “Dad, I’m color blind, remember?” Of course, that’s when I break it to him that the accent was yellow and the walls were red, but I was trying to protect him from reality. He tears up a little, but ultimately understands that my heart was in the right place. Oh, and thanks for reading my stuff! Look around, there’s more fun for readers of all ages. Well, there’s a lot of cursing. So maybe ages 18+ is a better way to state it. We’ll say ages 18 to “select elderly people who are sufficiently salty.”

    • Be careful, the schnapps, she burns the nostrils. At least your friends won’t know you’re drunk, they’ll just think you have excellent oral hygiene. And thanks for reading my stuff! Take a look around, there’s more snorting of aperitifs to be had. And some digestifs as well.

  43. Someone shared the link to this post on Facebook. I need to send them a thank you. This is the funniest thing I’ve read in ages. I admit to watching at least some of those shows, but I’m not a die-hard devotee. My husband often watches with me and since he is in construction we have a grand time pointing out how ridiculous some things are. “Medicated enough to stop caring…” all I could think of when reading your description of Waco was The Stepford Wives only it’s the Waco Remodelers.

    • Thank you so much, Stacy! Glad you enjoyed it. And thanks to your friend for sharing it! Waco is its own unique little world, that is for sure. I feel like it’s got it all: the heat and humidity of Houston, the pretentiousness of Dallas, the weirdness of Austin, the Baptists of East Texas, and the boringness of the Panhandle. I should be fair: Chip and Jo seem like pretty amazing people, and they are certainly bright lights in that wacko place. Hope you’ll explore the rest of my blog and let me know if you find more stuff you like! Or, you could not, because I would never know the difference. I trust you, Stacy. Do the right thing. 🙂

  44. Pretty dang funny! Of course Waco isn’t paradise! Everyone knows that paradise (at least in Texas) is inside the roughly square shape made by connecting Brenham, La Grange, Columbus and Sealy (but, unfortunately there is nothing available to buy or rent so don’t try to move here).

    Sure, some of us drive Tahoes and want giant closets. Heck, some of us HAVE even been lucky enough to find hardwood floors hidden under 70’s shag.

    I want to build a couple of tiny houses, but not for me to live in…they’ll be for company! 🙂

    Dr Pepper is amazing. Especially the Dublin bottles!

    Doctor Percy medicine comes from Waco too I think, it’s amazing too when you need it.

    Keep up the awesome writing!!
    -B

    • Thank you so much! I am from Waller, Texas, just outside of your quadrilateral of bluebonnet-filled toddler pictures. My dad worked in Giddings forever, and I’ve been all over the Great State many times. I live in Virginia now, and I miss my family and friends, but now that Dr Pepper is ubiquitous throughout the nation, I can at least stay hydrated at 10, 2 and 4. I hope you’ll check out more of my stuff and let me know what you think! Unless you hate it, then just back up slowly into the bushes a la Sean Spicer/Homer Simpson.

    • Well thank you Ann! Much appreciated. Explore the rest of the blog if you have time, there’s a lot of good reading to be had, according to my mom. I know what you’re thinking: she HAS to say it’s good. But she’s actually quite a meany, so if she likes it, it’s good.

    • I actually learned everything about yurts back when I was a nomadic Mongolian goatherd roaming the steppes. Thanks for checking out my stuff! I hope you’ll peek around and explore some of my other articles. There’s something for everyone. Except illiterate people. That’s a demographic I don’t really serve presently.

    • Hi Roman, thank you so much! I’m glad you liked it. There are lots more fun posts around here, and some crappy ones, too. Just being fully transparent, as is all the rage these days in my neck of the woods.

  45. Very funny! My husband is the one that turns these shows on so I am familiar with all of them…also deck builders, lake front property hunters and people that tear down old barns.

    I want to know if people that buy a tiny house are ready to kill themselves or someone else a year later. Do they have no stuff?

    • They should totally do a “where are they now: tiny house edition” so we can see if they are all indeed dead from killing themselves/each other. Oprah could host it, complete with the frosted camera lens and sad music and umpteen teasers throughout. Excellent idea. Thanks for checking out my stuff, I really appreciate it! If you haven’t yet, take a look around – there are lots of good posts here. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry…sometimes at the same time, and especially if you are rapid cycling.

  46. Thank you, thank you, thank you! She said, while House Hunters plays on the TV. I yell at the people constantly and I’m part of the coveted 57 year old lady demographic. Right now the couple is two people who grew up in poverty on the Navajo reservation and they are only spending $300,000, so I’m giving them a pass. With you 100% in the Tiny House thing. It’s an effing TINY HOUSE!!!!!!! Also, I grew up in a 19th c house in Portland, ME and I LIKE walls!

    Oh! Also, qelle scandale, some couple is talking about suing Chip and Jo bc a drunk drove into their house which is across the street from a bar. In a scary neighborhood that Chip and Jo didn’t warn them about. WTF? They live across the street from a bar in Waco, TX. Prolly a drunk Baylor frat boy.

    Anyway, this is the best. And the comments are fab as well! Thanks, man!

    • Well thank you, Anna! I am glad you liked it! Yes, I saw the news about the people suing the Gaines family over that nonsense. What they don’t understand: that is literally the most exciting thing that is EVER going to happen to you in Waco, Texas. Unless you hoard a bunch of guns and start a cult, but they get sensitive about that whole “Branch Davidian” episode around those parts. So I try not to bring up Branch Davidians, David Koresh, the ATF, fires, guns, or any other trigger words around them. Especially not here in the comments section. Too soon, Waconians? (Waconites? Wackadoodles?)? Yeah, probably so. I’m sorry. Can you all forgive me? Which megachurch offers the best forgiveness to tithing ratio? I don’t have a lot of cash to make all of this happen, guys. Sic ’em Bears! (that’s what they say at Baylor football games…as if bears are trained to attack people. They should start with attacking the sexual assaulters on their football team, just sayin’). Thanks again, Anna!

  47. Well that was laugh out loud funny. I have a few more pet peeves:

    1. The woman who looks at the walk-in closet and then at her male partner and says “There is perfect for my clothes. Where are you going to put yours?!” followed by a snicker.
    2. Anyone who wants to live in an historic home internationally and is surprised by the lack of dishwasher, garbage disposal, full-size refrigerator and/or lack of parking or elevator.
    3. The people who must HAVE a gourmet kitchen and are then shown in the wrap-up serving takeout pizza on paper plates and drinking wine from plastic glasses.

    These shows annoy and yet I’m repeatedly drawn like a moth to a flame. Thanks for honest appraisal.

    • I want historical accuracy in places I live. I want to wash my dishes in a traditional 18th century electric dishwasher. I want to live in a dwelling built by George Washington, but with central air. I also want to hang my salted meats in a separate house adjacent to my living quarters as if I am on the softly sloping banks of the Potomac. Is that okay? Do you have something like that in my price range?

      And where shall I retire my horses after a long fortnight on the treacherous footpaths between Richmond and Charlottesville? These are thoroughbreds, my good man. They SHANT be tethered to a common post! THEY SHANT! Sorry, I temporarily became landed gentry from the Virginia Colony. That happens more than I’d like to admit. *taking pills I forgot to take for the last several days.

  48. Thank you for this article. It’s amusing and so true. I have had the exact same thoughts. Your words speak volume.
    “This shiplap is killing me.”
    “The room is not a surprise. It’s not like you’re going to open a closet door and it turns out it’s an entrance to Narnia.”
    “Waco is a slice of heaven…”
    “…their starting budget is $1.7 million, but they could go to $1.8 million for the perfect place. Fuck you.”

  49. Pingback: Saturday Links July 22 – List Mimsy

  50. This is great!! I guess now you have 13 people reading your blog.
    Just a few comments..
    – we bought a house and there was Antigue heart of pine floors under the carpet. Oh, and there was Antigue heart of pine floors under the ugly OAK in the bedroom!! Of course, the house also came equipped with six different floor surfaces on the main floor and an additional six different surfaces on the second level. Any dollars saved in the “find” were spent in triple on all the other crappy floor replacements!!
    – I have a neighbor who just bought their house and they are carpeting over all the upstairs hardwoods!! WHO does that?? Her answer “we like carpet”. We not be able to be friends.
    – no man cave for my hubs…it is my space. My “shop” as we call it.
    – my husband likes those shows more than I do. I get tired of the sameness. But, it is way better than MSNBC or whatever other stupid news show that he would like… or Scarface.
    – yes verbena and sandalwood are real plants. I have their essential oils. (Insert your eye roll, we all know it is coming anyway!)
    Thanks for sharing. I laughed out loud while reading then handed to the husband so he could do the same!

    • Hi Stephanie (and husband)! Glad you guys enjoyed my post, and hope you’ll look around and find some more good stuff on here to read. I think a Fixer Upper/Tony Montana mash-up might be a hit. Rebuild a condo in Miami with unlimited money from dealing cocaine. Call everyone “mane” in a fake Cuban accent. Have Michelle Pfeiffer wander around for some reason. Genius.

  51. My husband and I take drinks from our schnapps everyone we hear ‘French doors’ on those shows- which is a lot.

    • That and “en suite.” Good lord. It’s a master bedroom. We speak American, because we’re in America. Except for when we’re in Canada. Thanks for reading this, I’m glad you stopped by and hope you find some more good articles to read. I mean specifically here. But in general to, I guess.

  52. OMG! Hysterical! My husband and I both enjoy watching many of these shows, but you nailed it. And house hunters in Europe …..yes let’s buy a pile of rubble for millions and rebuild it for fun.

    • Hi Kim, thanks for checking out my blog! I hope you’ll look around, there’s lots more fun to be had. “And you just might learn something!” said Fat Albert.

    • Sorry, you’re wrong. It was invented at the Morrisons Old Corner Drugstore at 4th and Austin in Waco by a pharmacist named Charles Alderton. Dublin was the only plant that bottled Dr Pepper with pure cane sugar after corporate changed to corn syrup. That was the distinction.

      • I want to see you both have an ol’ fashioned duel to settle this. Yell “Ah demand, ah say, Ah demand satisfaction now, ya hear?” and slap him with your glove. *sits back, sips Dr Pepper without the period but with corn syrup, and waits for the duel to begin.

  53. I loved reading your diatribe!! May I add one thing? WHO IN THE WORLD CARES HOW FABULOUS THE BACKSPLASH IS? And I must shout “AMEN” loudly when they jabber on about “entertaining”, and being able to see the children while they are preparing those gourmet meals. Oh the emphasis on shades of gray, and how ugly real wood is—I fully intend to follow your blog, because there is little entertainment on the computer, and you are first class. I enjoy Waco, and agree it is every bit as weird as you stated!

    • Thank you so much, Judy! I am glad you enjoyed it, and look forward to having you as a follower here. I agree with you, I think if we all start taking a shot every time they say “backsplash,” we’ll all wind up passing out before International House Hunters comes on at 10. I am 40 and I think I’ve said the word less times in my entire life than they say it in one episode of these shows.

  54. My ex hubby watched all the building and woodwork shows. And all the Olympics, and he taped the OJ trial… In response, I quit watching TV.
    My current partner is in love with the tiny house idea. I refuse to go smaller than our current apartment, or I would need a separate tiny house for my quilting stuff. Otherwise, most of the place is his cave, and while he does not love football, there certainly is beer.
    Another thing about tiny houses: beds in a loft. No ladders, thank you. We’re both over 60.

    • I’m 40 and I don’t want to climb a damned ladder barefoot to go to bed – or worse, down the ladder in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I agree. I’m totally okay with the idea of living in a minimalist environment. I think it would be awesome in many ways. I just laugh at how many people seem to think it’s a great idea until they realize that the word “tiny” means “smaller than small.”

    • Crystal, you could probably write an entire book on the subject, then. I grew up in Waller, Texas, and have been to Waco enough times to know enough to make sufficient fun of it for a readership of non-Waco-ites. (Wacons? Waconians? Wankers?) I’m glad you enjoyed my post, and hope you’ll look around and find more fun stuff to read around here!

  55. A drinking game could be invented based on the number of times “Let’s do it.” can be heard during house tours. Hilarious post!

    • You are so right. Maybe start with beer and then one shot of liquor…save the liquor for when they say “en suite.” And DO NOT tag the game to “shiplap” or “babies.” Otherwise, you’re probably going to die, and it’s just not worth it, Wendy.

  56. Fantastic article! Especially loved #6 that illustrates one of the worse changes made to HGTV. It’s become so money focused and unrealistic that it is nothing more than sheer entertainment. No more educational instruction and helpful information that the channel was known for. I miss the old HGTV that taught you how to make a lampshade out of a coffee can or create your own clay jewelry, decorate a room on a “real-life” budget or turn a tag sale piece of furniture into something “new” again. Now, all you learn is that you need big bucks and miracle makers like the hosts/stars of these current programs.

    • Hi Ellen, thanks for checking out my post, I hope you’ll look around and find more good stuff to read. Yes, I agree – it’s 100% voyeurism at this point. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that (I watch football and I am not looking for tips on how to read a defense), it’s a far cry from how they started. Of course, it’s a capitalist endeavor, so if being a showcase for voyeurs makes the advertising dollars flow in, can’t blame ’em for doing it. Anyway, thanks again, welcome to my brain/blog, and hope you’ll stick around!

  57. I keep thinking of “entertaining gentlemen callers” when the wife or girlfriend refers to entertaining. And that’s the G rated version.

    I smirk at the utterly unrealistic expectations of people buying beach homes. The kitchen HAS to have granite counters, a Viking and a Sub-Z, otherwise it’s a TOTAL gut job. Oh and the master bedroom suite HAS to have a walk-in closet.

    Really? Your cooking is that fancy? Admit it – you make cereal for breakfast (maybe pancakes on Sunday), cold cut sandwiches and chips for lunch, and throw burgers and dogs on your $2,000 grill for dinner. And how many bikinis DO you own to necessitate that walk-in closet?

    • “Gentlemen Callers” is what Las Vegas should have named their new NHL team. And yeah, I actually cook/run a restaurant, and even I don’t want all of those things. I would like a bigger freezer, because the current one maxes out at about 50 pot pies, and I don’t want to go to Costco every week.

  58. My fav is how they call every damn thing a “space” instead of what t actually is- like a room. or a closet. or a foyer. I usually try to count the number of times they say “space” in an episode, but then I get so annoyed I can’t make it to the end of the episode.

    • They do call everything a space, you are right. I am currently sitting in a space that is conformed to my butt on my couch, in my living space, which is next to my cooking space. Later, I’m going to blast into space. Kevin Spacey is going to do the countdown. [this space left intentionally blank for a space joke to be determined]. I hit space too many times after that last sentence.

    • Hi Richard, thanks for checking out my post! Yeah, it’s tough having a really high IQ, a doctorate, being well-read, and having pictures of my penis in medical textbooks under the section on “gigantism.” Only 3 of those 4 are true. I will let you guess which 3. In the meantime, hope you’ll browse around and find more good stuff to read here! Most of it’s hilarious, according to my mother.

  59. This was absolutely hilarious and incredibly accurate! I saw this article on scary mommy and just had to subscribe to your blog. Great post!

    • Hi Satta, thank you so much! I’m glad you liked it, and really glad you subscribed! I’ll try not to let you down with my future posts. If you’re reading something that isn’t funny or insightful, envision me in a clown costume, riding a tiny bicycle. That usually helps.

  60. I love you. Where have you been all my life. I just knew there was a man for me because all the wives on HGTV shows are whiney b*tches.
    I want someone who can appreciate that I’ve lived 55 years without stainless steel appliances and have managed to SURVIVE.
    Oh wait, you’re already married. Bummer.

    • Ha, hi Deebee! No, I’m not married, just in a long term committed relationship. Although one person went off on me on Facebook after the article got reposted somewhere, telling me that I WAS, in fact, single, because the government only recognizes single, married, divorced, or widowed. My girlfriend of 5 years (celebrated our anniversary yesterday) would beg to differ as to my status. Plus I trained as and used to practice as a lawyer, so trying to paint me into a corner like that is like playing baseball with an erection: you’re either going to get made fun of, get hurt, or more likely, both. Anyhoo, take a look around, there’s more fun stuff to read here. Thanks again!

  61. This was great! Even though I watch less than one hour of TV a year, I have heard about these shows from friends who LOVE them. I don’t get it, but that’s OK, because then I would be them, and I am happy being me.
    However, Waco has really grown on me over the years. We’ve visited a bunch of times since we seem to always know a Baylor student or three. Never visited HGTV Town or whatever it’s called; I hear it’s pretty crowded there. Plus they have a Chuys now (Waco, not HGTV Town).
    Anyway, thanks for a great read.

    • Okay, game changer. I didn’t know they had a Chuy’s. As someone who ate at Chuy’s #1 and Chuy’s #2, before they hit the big time, that might be enough to make things a little more bearable there. A little more Baylor Bearable, perhaps? No? Okay, yeah, that’s lame. Plus their football team is a bunch of sex offenders who stole our coach. Then A&M stole our next one. Then UT stole our next one. I’m bitter, Miles. Bitterer than a couple who got tricked into moving to Waco by Chip and Jo only to have a drunk driver crash into their restored mid-century ranch house.

  62. So funny, but sadly so true. I can truly relate. We nearly got a divorce over a kitchen renovation because she wanted to knock out the (load bearing) wall to make room for an island! Ever drop a dish or glass on a beautiful tile floor? It. explodes and sends shrapnel in every direction, and you find bits for months. But you will find them, when you are at eye level after you slip on that grape. Oh, and then the stainless everything and commercial equipment. I worked long hot greasy hours in fast food kitchens as a teenager. The health department required all of that stainless and subway tiles in commercial kitchens. I don’t need to relive that nightmare in my home. And how often do we need to eat pasta to justify a faucet over the stove? I have Type II diabetes, doc says I am supposed to eliminate carbs.
    Thanks for the laughs. Wow,I can actually laugh about it, now.

    • Paul, thanks for checking out my stuff! Glad you liked it, hope you’ll look around and find more. I still work in kitchens every day, and while there are some advantages to having some of those cool things in your house, the reality is that those of us who cook every day don’t do as much of it when we come home. I heat up refried beans and tortillas a lot. Tuna salad. Cereal. Spaghetti. Frozen pizza. Sure, I CAN cook a bad ass 7 course meal from scratch. But I am not going to do it often enough to warrant re-routing the plumbing or tripling the price of my appliances. But that’s just me. To each his own. I just know that 3/4 of the people on those shows don’t actually entertain, because judging by how annoying they are, I doubt they have actual friends to invite over.

    • Hi Annemarie, thanks for reading! It is indeed. I’m fueled by caffeine and ridiculousness, so as long as there’s crazy stuff happening around me, I’ll keep writing fun stuff for you to read. Check back often, there’s more to come!

  63. Some day I will stumble upon a fortune and have Chip and Joanna and the Property Brothers fight over who gets to create my dream home, complete with woman cave and enclosed dog park.

    Until then, pass the pizza.

    • Dude, if I could have a house with an enclosed dog park, that’d be it. I’d just hang out playing with dogs all day, every day. I have one right down the street where I take Lemmy all the time. It was, in fact, the dog park next to the baseball field where the shooter went nuts on the GOP baseball practice a month or so ago in Alexandria, VA. I wrote a piece on that, it’s in here somewhere. But in order to not let the terrorists win, I shall continue to brave the Virginia heat and take my little buddy to the dog park until such a time where I can construct my own indoor one.

  64. Okay, so as someone who MAKES candles, in all the scents you mentioned and more, who loves all things HGTV, and who us married to a contractor who completely feels your pain, I must tell you I ROLLED at this. Thanks so much for this great chance to laugh at myself. And, btw, I agree that it is true and makes me sad about how women are always in charge in these shows and men the bumbling oafs, but the same holds true for Family Guy. It’s difficult for a show to portray families any other way and not end up looking like Archie Bunker or The Waltons.

    • Hi Deborah, glad you enjoyed it! I think the thing about Family Guy is that it’s blatant satire, whereas the HGTV stuff is almost accidental, which in my humble (not humble at all, honestly) opinion makes it worse. But, opinions are like assholes: zero’s not enough and two is too many. Anyway, hope you find more good stuff to read here, check back every so often and see what else I’ve come up with!

    • What’s great about peppermint schnapps is that rather than people thinking you’re a raging alcoholic, they just think you have amazing oral hygiene. You just don’t get the same effect when you reek of bourbon at 9 am, according to HR at my last job.

      • All of this stuff is good, some great, but this made me hoot with laughter. Thanks Rickey for providing this reprieve from the daily dose of the DonaldTrumpDempsterFire. Some days I just want to zip myself into a body bag and OD on Bailey’s. (I hate to leave a mess for anyone, hence the body bag idea.) I watched these programs years ago and all of your observations are spot on. I too was often embarrassed and appalled at the attitude of the “clients”. Words like,”I absolutely MUST have a laundry room, this W/D off the hallway just doesn’t cut it.” This from a 25-year-old who sells tickets at the theater. (Your comment about the guy who is a dog doula was genius. Take a bow. Wow.)

        • Why thank you Stella! Trust me, living in the DC area and being a politics junkie, writing about other silly nonsense has been therapeutic. I don’t understand the giant disconnect between right and left OR between dog doulas and the rest of us. We’re a nation divided by our politics, our incomes, and our opinions on natural pupbirth. Crazy times.

  65. Great article! I’d like to add the hated term “en suite”. I guess we’re just rubes for calling it the “master bedroom”. Also how can that idiot Hillary on love it or list it not have a buffer in her budget when they go over on the renovation EVERY SINGLE TIME? /rant

    • Kerstin, thanks for reading my post! And yes, the “en suite” is so overdone. Do you know what I love most about being an American, Kerstin? It’s that WE DON’T SPEAK FRENCH. That is a master bedroom. It’s a bedroom that has a bathroom right square in it, y’all. No more having to stumble out through the back 40, dodgin’ copperheads and possums at 3 am. When you gotta go, you just roll out of your twin bed that’s 3′ from the Mrs.’s twin bed, and BAM, you’re relieving yourself INSIDE like you’re from the gat-danged FUTURE. Amazing.

    • Charles, stop trying to seduce me. I’m holding out for Joanna Gaines. But seriously, thank you for reading my stuff and I hope you find more good stuff to read around here. “I think it’s pretty good,” said the guy who built the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

  66. So funny. Waco has had worst reputations than it does now.
    The shows were people have jobs like vocal chord massager and birch tree pencil maker with a budget of 1.5 million gets me every time and I’m from Alabama . Ain’t nobody got a need for that trash ’round here!!! 😂😂😂

    • Thanks for checking out my post, Alison! I’m glad you liked it. I agree. Of course, I buy my clothes at a thrift shop not because I’m ironic or trendy, but because I am cheap. I am probably not the intended audience for HGTV, to be fair. And thrift shops don’t usually advertise, either. Hmm…maybe there’s a market for that. “Do you want to look trendy, have no money, and don’t mind wearing someone else’s pants? Try Thrift Shops!”

  67. I wonder how much money a “full time fashion blogger” and a “brand ambassador for a liquor company” make to afford $585,000 mortgage?

    • Most “brand ambassadors for liquor companies” that I know are shot girls that walk around getting you to sample the newest tequila they’re hawking. I don’t think the compensation for that job is great, other than getting to drink tequila on the job. I mean, anyone CAN drink tequila on the job, to be fair. It’s just frowned upon when you’re, say, a bus driver. But how was I supposed to know that? You’d think they’d tell you that in the application process.

  68. Funny…before I sold my home in town, I had cable and saw HGTV. Now I live in, gulp, a tiny house in the middle of a field, no tv. Naw we don’t need more room, what we do is make the tiny size seem like more, it’s a visual trick. But to be honest…I really do want shiplap in here, it’s just if I did, my husband might get the idea to try and float this puppy as a boat. we don’t make anymore money than we did when we lived in town, but by golly it sure goes a lot further in tiny house land. Hum wonder if anyone wants to start a home redo show for tiny houses….

    • Oh don’t get me wrong, Cheryl. I think I could live in a tiny house with ease. My girlfriend and I toured Iceland for 10 days in a camper van…cooked in it, slept in it, drove it…stopped around campgrounds occasionally to shower/refresh. It was heaven. Now take that and add a washer and a bed without a rail through the middle of my spine? I’m in. I’m a total minimalist and have very few “wants” in life. I need AC, and beyond that, I’m fine. My need for AC comes from growing up in rural Texas with a broken air conditioner. Once I was an adult, I made myself a promise: I would forgo FOOD before I’d forgo climate control. Fortunately, I’ve had access to both ever since, so I’m nourished AND I’m free of heat rash between my legs. I call that a victory, my newly found friend. Thanks for checking out my stuff, hope you’ll stick around and read more!

  69. For the record, my male partner makes us watch tiny house hunters on repeat. I’m the one watching MSNBC all day. We do exist!

    • MSNBC is the bane of my lady’s existence. She doesn’t know that I have a crush on Rachel Maddow. And before you tell me that Rachel Maddow bats for the other team and I have no chance, just know that love transcends sexual orientation, Marjorie. This is 2017, okay? At any rate, thank you for reading my crazy rambling and I hope you’ll explore and find more good stuff to enjoy.

    • I just now got that Tiny House Hunters is a show on cable. When I surf the guide, I always thought it was a spin off of the Little People shows, lol.
      Rickey, you are keeping me up way beyond my bedtime–you are hilarious!! So glad to have found you whilst scrolling thru FB tonight!! You are off the grid funny—thank you for coaxing my sense of humor out of its hiding place. Life can be too serious sometimes.

      • Hi Lynn, thank you so much for checking out my stuff! I hope you’ll find more good stuff to read here. And I make that joke every time I see it come on. Are the House Hunters who are tiny? Or are they Hunters looking for a tiny house? Or are they holed up in a tiny house, aiming rifles through the window, patiently awaiting a whitetail deer to wander by? We don’t know. No one knows.

  70. Love this! Some of the best stuff I’ve read in a long time. I have to admit I recognized and have watched each of the shows you mention but I overloaded on shiplap a while back.
    I did see a couple of editing mistakes; “Wanna know why you go this house at such a great price?,” go=got and the biggie, there is no period after Dr in Dr Pepper. But, you probably have to be “from around here” to know that. Thanks for the laughs!

    • Hi Susan, thank you so much for reading my stuff! And I’m glad you enjoyed it. Hope you’ll check back and read some more of my writing. Most of it’s hilarious, according to my dog. He laughs at anything, though, so don’t take his word for it. And thanks for the catches on the errors…fixed both. I’m not sure why the period in “Dr Pepper” is such a thing among the central Texas crowd, but I don’t want to offend y’all, given your collective penchant for rifles and such. So I’ll rob the good doctor of the period. “So I’ll rob the good doctor of the period,” was also what was said right before the first hysterectomy was performed on female medical doctor. Crazy, right?

  71. You sir have made my permanent Bookmark menu. My son is buying his first house, after starting a new business (LoweVintage.com if you love vintage instruments), living at home and saving his money and we will have to help him paint or remodel every single surface. It exhausts me just thinking about it. And guess what, he does not have beautiful hardwoods underneath the ratty carpet.

    • Hey Beth, thanks for this comment/read, too! I appreciate it. And I will check out your son’s site for sure. I’m a guitarist – like all guitarists, I started in order to impress girls in the 7th grade. Literally, all of us started in the 7th grade and for that reason alone. I’m 40 now and I don’t play as often as I used to, but I still love it. And again, glad you stopped by and hope you find more good stuff to read here. 🙂

  72. Rickey. Dude. You are cracking me up!! I’m in a long term heterosexual relationship (married 21 years), but I’m a total enigma – We have no candles scenting the house, my wife watches sci-fi and murder mysteries, and I’m an interior designer. (Think Straight Guy with a Queer Eye 😉 I’ve never watched HGTV for every reason you describe, but have talent scouts from other channels seeking me out for something different. Maybe if I get famous they’ll ask me what show I want to produce, and I’ll bring you on board, because undoubtedly it’d be hilarious.

    I don’t watch football to my brother’s eternal chagrin, nor can I stomach beer, so I guess we can’t be friends, but I like you like every Labrador in Waco, so there’s that.

    Thanks, man.
    Live the dream! 😀

    • Hi Keith, thanks so much for checking out my writing! I’m all about bucking gender norms. In fact, I’m wearing a mumu right now while my girlfriend works on her ’68 Camaro. Okay, I’m lying. It’s a ’69. I drink more vodka than beer, because I decided (incorrectly) that if I reduced the carbs I got from booze, I could eat like a raccoon coming down from a coke binge. My doctor says that it would have been healthier to actually go on a coke binge, unfortunately. My sinuses can’t take that kind of thing, Keith. Not during allergy season, at least. But hey, thanks again and keep in touch – best of luck with whatever comes next with your burgeoning TV career!

  73. “Barbecue” is not a verb. Never. “Barbecue” is something one eats. “Grilling” is a verb, as is “cooking.” “Smoking” works as well, provided it is a big oil drum and has brisket and/or sausage inside it. And keep the Dr. Pepper nearby…

    • Hi Jonathan, thanks for reading my blog! Glad you checked it out, hope you’ll peek around and find more good stuff. On your barbecue as a verb point, (a) I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it [went] astray, (b) don’t take taxonomy of cooking method words so seriously, you might fry your brain, or reduce it to a poached melange of mirepoix with a haughty compote, and oh, don’t forget (c) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/barbecue. #lawyered

  74. There is “travel trailer hunters” but it’s called “big time RV” and it’s full of fashion cupcake bloggers who married motocross drivers and home-school their yorkies, with a 400k budget for their camper.

    • Yorkies are known for their proclivity for oppositional defiance disorder. CAN they go to school with others and succeed? Sure, but it takes a special teacher, and with the way schools are funded, it’s doubtful that just any old school is going to have that truly special teacher. Is it fair? No. But life rarely is, Jen. And we shouldn’t punish little dogs for it. That would be speciesist. And I’m not going down that path. The last time I did, I had PETA camping outside of my door and my girlfriend was doused with red paint. Crazy times, Jen. Crazy times indeed.

    • Thank you Marvin, I’m glad you enjoyed it! There’s a lot more funny stuff here, look around and enjoy. If you don’t find anything good, I’ll give you your park admission price back, no questions asked.

  75. thanks for the giggles! I can’t watch the flip/remodel/relocate shows any more for all the reasons you described 🙂 I like my reality TV to be a little more real ~

    • Hi mew521! Is that your given name? That’s my mom’s name, too! Weird. Thanks for checking out my post! Check out some of my other works, there’s some good stuff in here. “There’s some good stuff in here” would be a great tattoo for a pregnant lady to get across her belly…although it wouldn’t be as great after the baby was born. Then what would it be implying? That her lunch was good? Maybe I should think this through more. Or not.

  76. This was so LOL hilarious I just had to read it to my parents…who love watching HGTV. My 65 yr old father stopped me mid article to let me know that there is a show about travel trailer hunters! It’s call “Flippin RV’s” only its on the Travel Channel and not HGTV.

    • Hi Melissa, thanks for checking out my blog! Peek around, there’s more to see that you might like. I heard about the RV show, I’m happy to know that I invented something out of thin air that turned out to be successful! Sure, it was after the fact, like the time I invented wheeled shoes. I want to watch a show called Flippin RV’s where they actually race the RV’s and occasionally get loose and flip the SOB’s. THAT I would watch. I’m going to submit that to Fox Sports 1 and see what they think.

  77. Oh my goodness! This was great! I used to watch all these shows, but it got so boring and predictable. One thing you forgot to mention is that they have to “tick” all their boxes. That always annoyed me, as well as the need for granite counters and stainless steel appliances. My husband and I always had our differences in what we should look for in a house. He always wanted the open rooms with vaulted ceilings and large windows. I could care less. How I ever got him to live in a Salt Box Colonial is beyond me! It is more chopped up and has no vaulted ceilings. I always wanted to live in one, so how we ended up here, I will never know. Though, I ended up on the dark side and now have granite counters and stainless appliances.

    Thanks for such a humorous side of things. It was so appreciated and I had a good laugh! As much as I love Chip and Joanna, I could never live in Waco, or Texas for that matter. The heat and humidity kill me and I was there in April many years ago. Keep adding humor to life, it makes it more bearable. Will check out more of your blog!

    • Hi BJCarroll! Thank you so much for checking out my stuff, and I hope you find more good stuff to read around here. I agree – it kills me when they’re like, “well, it is 5800 square feet and it’s in downtown, but it doesn’t have a massive yard for our triplet Newfoundlands to roughhouse in. Their names are Newfie, Doofie, and Loofah. They are identical triplets, we had their mother artificially inseminated, and multiple births are a side effect of the drugs that support that procedure. Do they get confused when we call one? Sure. But imagine how much more confused they’d be if we asked them to live in a place with a yard that’s less than 1 acre.” Those poor, poor souls. How will they survive?

  78. The only thing you didn’t mention was the over use of the word “pop” it drives me nuts when someone says “this color is really going to make this room pop”

    • OMG. You’re 100% right about that. Someone needs to offer them a pop of color via a paintball gun. That’ll really pop. And after a few days, the welp it leaves on your rear-end might pop, too. Thanks for reading my stuff, hope you check out some more around here!

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  80. You forgot the part about a drunk driving their SUV into your newly renovated living room shiplap in Waco.

    • That is literally the most exciting thing that will ever happen to you in Waco, if you factor out the ATF storming a cult compound. Don’t bring that up with Waconians, they are sensitive about David Koresh. Oh, and Baylor’s football team being 82% made up of convicted sex offenders. Those two things are ALMOST as sacrosanct as Chip and Jo. Almost.

    • Untie your man bun and relax. No one is going to force your liberal MSNBC loving, Schnapps guzzling self-righteous ego to endure the fly over terrifyng areas of America. Stay in Seattle/Portland/SanFran, and leave the inexpensive, peaceful areas of America for us to renovate at costs affordable enough when you have a job.

      • Triggered much? First off, it’s my blog and I’ll tie my man bun however I want. Second, I’m bald. Third, I’m from Texas, and I’ve lived all over this great nation. Fourth, I have a job, a good paying one…I remove gluten from bagels for millennials with gluten intolerances so severe, they can’t even say it by name. I’m constantly amazed by people getting so bent out of shape over the silliest stuff. If you can’t peruse the Internet without an article making fun of HGTV triggering you into berating someone you’ve never met, I’d suggest you try medication or therapy. No insult intended, I’m on medication and have been in and out of therapy. It helps a lot. “Flying off the handle about a humor article about shiplap” is actually in the DSM-V as a necessary symptom for diagnosing a patient presenting with suspected Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Not to be confused with Spontaneous Human Combustion, which is similar but not recognized by the DSM-V.

  81. My favorite pet peeve of these shows is when they go to knock down that wall to open up the place they are always surprised when it ends up being a load bearing wall. What contractor worth their license can’t recognize a load bearing wall before suggesting they knock it down?

  82. LOVE this! As others have observed – you nailed it!

    [Reading some of your other entries now. Our politics are very different. And yet, weirdly not all that much. Regardless, we have some serious common ground on HGTV!]

    • Hi qwithaview! Thank you for checking out my post and peeking around the rest of the site! I doubt I’m going to change anyone’s minds about politics, nor do I really want to – I just want people to arrive at their opinions for reasons other than petty, negative, self-serving ones. If you do that and come up with a different truth than I did, more power to you and keep it up! Thanks again, check back from time to time and see what else I’ve been up to!

        • Are you Kim or is this a clever ruse? How can I be sure? Can you please forward your ID and Social Security Card for me to inspect to be sure I’m speaking to the REAL Kim?

          And no, I’m not from Waco. I’m from Waller, Texas, originally. Been to Waco many times. I live in Virginia now.

  83. I have a cousin who’s a carpenter, old school. His mantra: “If it’s not wood, it’s not good.” I didn’t tell him I vinyl sided my house. Look at that picture of shiplap and guess why. With a bit of luck it will outlive me.

    • No doubt that vinyl will live forever…unless we’re talking about vinyl records, then it’ll make sporadic comebacks as anachronistic hipsters demand that you understand that everything sounds better on dated media. Plus, wood records sound really bad. Thanks for checking out my stuff! I hope you’ll peek around and find more good stuff to read, share/follow/repost/print out and wallpaper your bedroom with. 🙂

    • Let me educate you about shiplap. It is named after a common building technique used on boats also called ships. It is not called shiplap, it is called lapstrake also known as clinker. Now, this building technique works wonderfully and will last a lifetime as long as you do maintenance. Which is important to do such as painting or varnishing. CPES if it gets bad. Newer boats are made using glued lapstrake construction which is mahogany okoume marine plywood free of any voids and marine epoxy.

      Now, I can tell you that a boat in saltwater has to survive much harsher conditions than your house unless your house floods every few weeks. So, while your vinyl siding might last longer without maintenance, it will look like crap when you put those icicle lights up that only manage to accent your vinyl siding. Meanwhile the nice wooden lapstrake construction on your house would look lovely and if properly sourced is way better for the environment (And properly sourced doesn’t necessarily mean non-rainforest).

      Anyways if it isn’t wood, it is not good. And while those vinyl boards might come with a construction manual, the shiplap if done correctly (key word) will not only enhance the house, might actually protect it better. Because wood choices matter. Pine is not good for shiplap, Douglas fir is decent. Cedar is great. Teak is even better. But, when people decide to do lapstrake house construction (a term I hearby coin), they think that shiplap is always better and don’t realize that those cheap pine boards will rot and cause house issues. Also those people don’t really understand that shiplap is not the best if you don’t want to take care of it. It will devalue the house quickly, just like if you leave a boat open in the rain, it will slowly start to rot in the years to come without care.

      So, shiplap is better than vinyl, yet people don’t fully understand properties of wood or what “shiplap” is or what is actually required for it.

      How do I know this, because I am building a glued lapstrake boat in my man cave behind my house.
      Sorry for the rant, I like boats.

      • You lost me at “Let.” But, I am glad that there are people who understand the ins and outs of creating seaworthy vessels. I say that to myself each and every time I take a ferry, which is approximately once every five or six years. Oh, and I’m glad there are people out there fishing on my behalf, because I do enjoy tuna. Thanks for checking out my stuff! Hope you’ll peek around and see some other fun stuff to read! 🙂

  84. The Author of this piece has invaded my own psyche and stripped it of all the things which have been stated in this post and which I sincerely believe and have learned through personal experience. On HGTV I just love it to the max when Elizabeth is handed a sledge hammer to start knocking down walls. One swing and she is done and probably broke a nail and got a blister at the same time. Then the guy takes over. It also amuses me, as it did yesterday, to watch one of these expert destructors lay into a wall and break out a fair size piece of wallboard and then carry it through 3 rooms to a dumpster and pitch it. Comes back and does it again. Not very efficient. And why no Hispanic workers doing this, the breaking and the disposing? Just unrealistic as hell and generally stirring up in me a strong urge to vomit.

    • Don’t let the court system know, I was specifically banned from invading others’ psyches in 2014. Still…these shows are, to borrow an adjective from my former life in northern California, hella predictable, yo. Glad you enjoyed my writing, and hope you’ll subscribe and stick around to read more! I mean like more of my stuff, not just to read Good Housekeeping while your browser is open to my site.

  85. For a heterosexual male who seems to have a feminist bent, you have a lot of sexist crap flying around. Candles? HGTV? Not putting the seat down?? Seriously, I thought those complaints went the way of the dinosaur. With all of the fantastic programming out there on TV and Netflix why for the love of all that is holy would anyone watch tiny house crap or property idiot house flippers unless they had a gun to their head, female or otherwise? Tell your girlfriend if she wants to see a real home improvement show she needs to graduate to the real deal, the original, This Old House. I can promise you you won’t see anyone pulling up shag, and as far as I remember, not one episode takes place in Waco. It is a show where you can watch a bunch of middle aged dudes struggle to take out a rusted boiler for a half an hour….Woot! It is so cool I can even get my hetero-normative husband to watch it with me, if he isn’t busy cooking us dinner or playing Smash Bros with our daughter.

    • Listen chickenpig2…and I mean that solely as your email address and NOT as misogynistic dig…what I wrote here is called “comedy.” It’s where someone with quick wit takes a little morsel of truth and expands it to the level of absurdity to engender chuckles, guffaws, snortles, and laughs, though not necessarily in that order, from the audience. In other words, JOKES, friend. JOKES. If you liked them, good on ya! Stick around. If you didn’t, I’m sorry to inform you that unlike Netflix, there are only 2 websites available on the internet: hittingthetrifecta.com, and google. We wiped out everyone else. OH WAIT, I’m sorry, I meant to say there are 1,000,000,000,000,000 pages out there. I’d suggest you take a look at one that makes you happy if mine doesn’t do that. Life’s too short, otherwise. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go make a sandwich and put on some makeup before my girlfriend gets home.

    • and . . . as a former Yankee living in Georgia for the last 33 years, I get to hear my very much missed New England accent! There are times I watch it just for that purpose! LOL

  86. I too am guilty of watching the majority of the shows you mentioned. The thing the bothers me the most when you see the great reveals at the end is…..WHERE ARE THE TVS???? No tv in the living room, no tv in the master bedroom, no tv in the kids room! Come on now, who doesn’t have a tv in their bedroom?? Weirdos, that’s who.

    • Absolutely. Who the F has a house with no TV’s in it? Now to be fair, I lobbied against having a TV in the bedroom for a long time, but that’s because I have a wicked case of ADHD. The girlfriend doesn’t really like it when we’re “enjoying each other’s company” and I’m watching a rerun of Hogan’s Heroes over her shoulder. So picky, women these days. JEEZ. 🙂

    • Well, I don’t have a tv in the bedroom, but that’s because it’s in the living room. I can watch Netflix (etc) on my 23 other devices in the bedroom.

      • True – ain’t technology grand? I can read the news on my watch, watch a movie on my phone, and my toilet can walk into the kitchen and cook dinner. I don’t let it, on account of the poor hygiene. But I’m still impressed.

  87. #5!!!!! clap, clap, clap. andddd, I’m a woman. Welcome to the millennium, everybody. Stop man bashing. I’m the mother of a son, and so are half of you. Raise them UP, and with that, all of your daughters by giving them credit for choosing smart husbands.

  88. I have no idea what shiplap might be (I’m assuming by the picture it has something to do with sticky-outtie boards on a wall??) but I do know awesome writing when I see it. Kudos on your blog, sir. I’m sharing the hell out of it!

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m not sure what shiplap is, and there seems to be a lot of angst among the HGTV viewing demographic with regard to this topic. It is siding of some sort. What IS important is that if you say it over and over with your eyes closed, Joanna Gaines will appear in your mirror for a split second. Then you’ll giggle and run back to your room. Just be super-quiet so as to not wake up your parents, or this will be the last slumber party you’ll ever have, missy.

    • Check a few posts up… Someone wrote a dissertation on the merits of shiplap, while avoiding the topic of cost.

      Just know to shiplap your house in teak might mean a little OT as a dog doula.

      Great read, sir!

  89. I don’t know… That brunette from Waco has a wicked misandry streak when it comes to how she treats her husband and son. Watch how she treats her daughter. It’s not because she’s a stern tiger mom. She truly doesn’t trust the men in her life. I know this because my Realtor wife likes to watch these shows to see what industry trends she should be aware of. You know like how the fry cook at Denny’s watches Top Chef to keep abreast of his industry.

  90. Regarding hardwood floors under EVERYTHING… In the 80s I bought a home built in the 60s where the clever owners had put vinyl stickum tiles over the oak hardwood floors in the entry. (And two tone shag carpeting over the rest – one shade was red/orange, and the other was green brown.) My patient husband spent several weekends with a heat gun prying those crappy tiles off the wood floors.

    • That’s freaking awful, Kate. Why would anyone do that? Probably the same reason people get tattoos of clothing brands. I saw a guy at the gym a few years back with an “Obey” clothing brand tattoo on his arm. Like prominently so. I remember thinking, 20 years hence, that would be like having a giant “Jordache” tattoo on your arm while you’re trying to get your client to upgrade to the better State Farm policy.

  91. So, my wife finds your blog and starts reading Shiplap out loud while we’re in the car. She’s laughing so hard she nearly wets herself, and I (who is driving) wonder what’s happening to her. Once she gets herself together, she reads it through, and now I’m laughing so hard I’m almost off into the ditch.

    That very same night, we decide to watch a “House Hunters” episode and I swear to God this is true: The woman, age 27 or something, says she’s a FULL TIME fashion blogger and needs lots of room for all her fashions. Full time, mind you, in contrast to part time or – what – sporadic? He (saying it somewhat sheepishly) is, “a Brand Ambassador for a spirits company.” A WHAT? I had to Google it, it sounded so stupid and made up. It wasn’t. “Hiring Brand Ambassadors now! No experience necessary.” Their budget for an Orange County, CA, 3/2 detached with bonus room? $575,000.

    At this point we had to change the sheets because we’d pee’d our bed.

    • Keith – thank you so much! There’s no higher praise than inducing public urination. I’m really glad you guys liked my stuff, and hope you’ll look around and find more good stuff. And as for the brand ambassador, if someone says “Smirnoff” often enough, will they give that person free vodka? Asking for a friend.

  92. A friend just found this on Facebook and forwarded it to me. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time! Seriously, you are saying just about every single thing that I have said about these shows. The other question: How can you not look in a basement and see that you have DUCT WORK traveling up a wall. Same thing goes for any kind of plumbing. The only exception would be if it is a finished basement. Or you had your electrician in who said that the WHOLE HOUSE needs a rewire. You tell the homeowners that it’s figured into the renovation budget. Then you go back and tell the homeowners, “It’s worse than we thought. We need more money.” If the WHOLE HOUSE needed a rewire, why wouldn’t you figure in any light socket, plug, etc. Why would you not know from the jump that the house needs an upgraded panel? Gee, it’s 2017 and we have eleventy billion objects that run off of electric. Yet a fuse box from 1950 should work? RIIIGHT.

    My favorite one hands down: What is the deal with smashing the hell out of every kitchen cabinet? Those cabinets cannot be dropped at Habitat for Humanity? They cannot be repurposed? And all this mid-century modern stuff. EVERY SINGLE PERSON likes mid-mod? Are you kidding?! The homeowners don’t have any decent furniture that will come into the house? Won’t fit in with the “design aesthetic”? Do you throw out every furniture item you own when YOU MOVE?

    • This is Phyllis Sullivan again and I just reread my comments to you with a lot of typos, sorry, I am laying in bed with leg elevated for swelling and reading on my cell phone because I got hacked last night on my laptop! You are great and keep up the good humor and you made me enjoy and laugh !! Thanks !!

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  94. If it hasn’t been pointed out before, let me weigh in on another typical issue that comes up in just about every single one of these “new home” or “remodeling” shows. It seems that every single kid who will be living in one of these places is a moron. Parents are always fretting, “The children will fall to their deaths from the mezzanine above the living room!” or “Have you seen how heavy the traffic is in front of the house? The kids will be hit by a car!” (even though there is a 5 foot wall separating the lawn from the street) And heaven forbid there’s a swimming pool that the kiddos might enjoy. That’s the ultimate deathtrap for them.
    Kids aren’t stupid. They do stupid stuff and hurt themselves, but so do adults.
    If these people can’t let go of their kids long enough so that they can just be kids, maybe they should have raised chickens. At least chickens you can eat.

    • They also each seem to require their own private wing of the home, too. They’re the KIDS – they can SHARE a damn room! Bonus – then when your slutty teenage daughter brings her 34-year-old biker boyfriend up to her room to “study,” you send the other kid up to the room to keep her STD-free.
      Plus, then there can be more options in the house for the necessary office that the doula and sculptor clearly need, and the 7 guest rooms they also require. (Seriously, does the “entertaining” never end??)

        • Well, and hey, particularly if they’re in Waco. Charge all your guests $10 at the door to get into the party, like any good frat party. We may be on to something here….

        • Exactly…they are “entertaining gentleman callers.” That is fancy talk for “they’re hookers.” That’s fancy talk for “they have sex for money.”

  95. My favorite are the people on House Hunters International that:
    1. Complain that every house they see is different than an American home.
    2. Want an open concept plan for entertaining, even though they are moving to a foreign country where they don’t even speak the language, and have no friends. How many parties are they going to have?

    Also, just once, I want the agent to look at the couple and ask, “Do you have any idea what clean lines even means?”

    Great to see an old school blog getting comments!

    • Agreed; washing machines are a particular bone of contention. In France, Italy and Scandinavia they’re frequently in a bathroom. In England they pop up in kitchens. In Asia, many times they’re on an exterior balcony. US-style utility rooms are exceedingly unusual.

      As for open plan kitchens, the clients frequently demonstrate a profound lack of understanding of local culture. In some places, especially where labor is cheap, it is common for middle class families to have a cook or housekeeper. Therefore you would NOT want to see into the kitchen!

      And there isn’t enough room to write about the gross misconceptions people have about building styles, nor why it’s ridiculous to be looking for a Cape Cod saltbox in Catalina, much less in Capetown.

  96. I’m from Waco and this is incredibly funny. We do get our feathers ruffled when folks talk down about what a boring, crazy, crime infested town we live in. But the rush hour is 5 minutes any day of the week. And there are a couple of things to do besides get caught up in the shiplap frenzy that won’t last our lifetimes. We look forward to those days…

  97. I bought a tiny house for my hunt club in N.C. a year ago – an old 24 ft. 5th wheel camper with a hole in the roof. It was $100 and came with a new a.c. unit slapped into a hole cut in the side. I ripped all the extraneous shit off the roof, covered the holes with plywood and slapped a roof on top made from tin off an old barn. With a 8×8 deck and some carpet squares I’ve put about $700 in my tiny house that some system could probably sell for $50,000. When do I get to be on TV? Oh, and I have a candle to cover up the smell of sweat and Stouffers meals.

    • Thank you for reading my stuff, Mary! Much appreciated. Seems like everyone sees a little truth in it, even though some get pretty feisty about it. I’m glad you liked it! Hope you’ll peek around and read some more of my stuff. Some of it is good. Some of it is pretty dumb. But all of it is better than reading random pamphlets people on the street hand you, so there’s that.

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  99. I think it is fairly safe to say more than 12 people have read this. After sharing it publicly on FB, I had some TOTALLY RANDOM person take personal offense to the Waco characterization—-after viewing his profile, I can see why—–the shoe completely fits.

    • I should put a trigger warning on it: do not read this if you are offended by things that are true about yourself. Poor guy, life is hard if you’re a Waco-naut. Ever since the ATF burned down their finest cult compound, they take everything personally. Sad! Anyway, thank you for reading my stuff, I hope you’ll peek around and find some more good stuff to read here! 🙂

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    • I don’t know how I cook with out a proper backsplash. Mine is just drywall, and I think about hitting it with a sledge hammer often. I don’t think my landlord or neighbors would like that very much, though.

    • Or marble with a waterfall edge. Why would you want to wipe off counter top material going all the way down to the floor? My dog’s nose, kids’ hand prints, etc., would make that edge a sticky, dirty mess.!

  101. You sir,are hilarious! I have to confess to watching all these shows,if only to yell sarcastic comments…and some advice at the tv. It keeps me sane.

    • Thank you so much! I really appreciate it, and I’m glad you’re enjoying my work. Hope you’ll peek around and see some of my other posts, too. Some of them are good! Some aren’t. Just trying to be as fully transparent with you here. 🙂

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  103. Hello, You are a great writer and you really have me something. Worth while to read !!! I agree with so many things you said!! I lost my husband three yrs. ago and he would have had me reading this to him and both of us laughing !! I just moved from Fl. To Okla. so go ahead and laugh about that, I have but I’m near my daughter and family now !!! Keep up the great jokes and writing, I will be reading !!!

    • Thank you so much, Phyllis! I really appreciate your kind words, and I’m glad you’re enjoying my writing! I won’t laugh about Oklahoma too much – my family all lives in Texas (I’m from there, too, but I live in Virginia now), and they might all have to run to Oklahoma for cover if this hurricane pushes through!

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  107. Love this entry on your blog! It came up on a Facebook friend’s feed.
    I have been working in reality television since 2004 and you nailed a lot of the things I observe on renovations. Many of those “aha” moments are scripted but sometimes they are not. On some of the bar and restaurant renovations I did we really did discover some crazy situations on camera. Also, on TLC I was the last designer added to Trading Spaces on the 2008 season. On my first renovation in Colorado I peeled back the carpet. It had been previously scouted by the production company (they said it was a linoleum floor through out). The scout had not been thorough. I stood there on camera looking at a patchwork quilt of 3 awful flooring choices. My budget was $1000 and I had just removed the best option for the space and then had to come up with a fix. I wanted to throw up. In the end I figured out an on the fly fix. As with any makeover I encounter – I work very hard to channel Harvey Keitel’s character “Winston The Wolf” from Pulp Fiction and just recite to myself in these situations “Toluca Lake. It’s thirty minutes away. I’ll be there in ten. . ” And for the record, my husband feels your pain.

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