TV Party: 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'
Setting the scene: This is one of those rare events where virtually all of the decorative elements can be purchased at your local hardware store: paintbrushes, dropcloths, five-gallon buckets, grout, spackle, extension cords - you get the gist. How you choose to present the aforementioned items we leave totally up to you. In fact, just lay out every tool you own; it'll add to the ambience. However, because of a little mishap we had at the "Baretta" TV Party, our lawyers want us to tell you to be smart and use your heads - especially if there are power tools in the house. In other words, make everyone sign a waiver. Nail guns are all fun and games until someone stars randomly firing.
If you can afford it, emulate the show by putting plasma-screen televisions on every wall and turn at least one bathroom into either a tiki hut or a unicorn's enchanted forest; you'd be surprised how much value those things add to your home in the projects. Also, make sure you've gotten around to turning your garage into a professional music studio, a YMCA or a full-size replica of the Colosseum in Rome. If Ty Pennington and the design team can do it in seven days, surely you can serve enough alcohol to keep people from really remembering what your home looks like on the inside.
Party favors can include gifts from the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" Web site and can include pink tool belts and coffee mugs with hammerheads for handles.
Attire: Hard hats, tool belts, jeans, nice blouses with prints - but only in blue (get it? blue prints?). You'll also need to hire a very fit male student from the local community college to run around shirtless yelling "Move that bus!" into a bullhorn. But pay him by the hour because that's gonna get old real fast.
On the menu: Anything high in carbohydrates and low in quality - like peanut butter on a bagel and milk from the container. Serve the edibles from new (that means clean and never used) paint cans - yes, you can find them online without any problem. Have the whole kit and caboodle laid out on a sheet of plywood set atop two sawhorses. Other menu options: chipped beef on toast. From the bar: Harvey Wallbangers and screwdrivers.
On the hi-fi: "If I Had a Hammer" "Sugar Walls"; "Build Me Up Buttercup"; and Steve Lawrence's "Room Without Windows" - one more reason not to hire Lawrence as your architect; everything by 3 Doors Down; "Electric Boogie" (It's electric!). And anything country: Contractors seem to be more productive when there's a twang in the air.
The showstopper: Step A: Rent a motor coach and park it out front, gather the neighborhood children, then knock your house down. Hey, let's not kid ourselves; that place was an eyesore. Step B: Wait seven days. Step C: Uh-oh ...