For you, the dress code is casual.

Monday, May 09, 2005

A Mental Roadtrip

[Ed. note: Sometimes, writing's just a journey. How the fuck this went from A to B just baffles me. Editing might just kill whatever charm it has.]

It’s a sick day for Steff. Nothing serious. Just felt like someone unleashed an outboard motor on my gut this morning. The notion of work had me balled into a fetal position shortly after dawn, dreading the approaching daylight like I was the Vampire Lestat.

“Noooooooo,” she shrieked, as she hiked the duvet over her head. “Anything,” she gasped, “anything but that.

Several hours more of sleep and a couple gallons of water later, and I feel vaguely like part of the world again. Although... I do have this strange thirst... Shpooky.

* * *

But a sick day means I get to do the one thing I haven’t done in awhile: attack my stack of rickety old videotapes containing recent shows.

Half-way through on the VCR just now is Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I know, I know. You thought I was a little more sophisticated than that.

But you was wrong, dawg. Dead wrong.

I used to have a sticker on my car that said “Let me show you how we do it in the trailerpark.” I have a courier bag for wearing when I scoot on obnoxious days that has a picture of a trailer with the word “Cracker” (a band, but who’s asking?).

Still, EM:HE is the kind of reality show I can buy into. Sure, the Apprentice is well-edited and appears to be smart, but we all know they’re twats. Every one of those contestants hasn’t got half the brains that a person in that position oughta have. They’re lacking a little sumthin’-sumthin’ we like to call common sense.

I digress. EM:HE reinvents lives and I dig that. That’s good TV, even if a little over-the-top and with the obvious on-the-sly sponsorship of Kleenex, it’s still a nice thing to watch now and then, in amongst all the political backstabbing, overwritten dramas, murders, and general shittiness the world can sometimes have going on. Yes, it’s true, I do like to partake in a little bubbly cheese, whether I’m a smartypants or not.

But I do have a beef with EM:HE . It’s this: whenever they demolish a home, you never ever see them saying “Yes, we can save this. Let’s donate that.”

There’s a lot of people who ain’t gonna have the Disney/ABC wunderkind design team rolling up on their lawn with the promise of a dream home. A dresser that ain’t falling apart might just sound like a plus. And maybe they do try to preserve the few good things and donate ‘em. But they never show that.

And it would be wonderful to educate the public on why you’d want to save that one good door, or that row of near-decent kitchen cupboards. You know why?

Here's why. There’s a company called ReStore. They’re, like, the vintage/used version of Home Depot. Only, everything they sell, the proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity.

If you don’t know what Habitat is, it’s this incredible charitable/social organisation that gives homes to people who can’t afford them. The catch? When the family’s finally on their feet (and it’s known, too, that that may never happen for some unfortunate folks and that even normally it’ll take years and years), they’re expected to move elsewhere, as their budget allows, so that a new family can be given this new start in that home.

Habitat does this all around the world, from Guatemala to your community, be it Staffordshire or Jonestown or Kansas City.

A home gives you a sense of place. My mom used to tell me stories of when she was destitute for a time. All she dreamed of was a place to live where she wouldn’t have to sleep three to a twin bed. I grew up knowing the value of a home, and the idea that there’s an organisation that wants to provide them for homeless families or those struck by catastrophe... y’know, I think we all gotta do our part. It’s just that simple. Yes, I'm a socialist.

And if not demolishing a sink helps Habitat do just a little bit more, then you’d think a fine organisation, like the folks behind EM:HE, would be interested in making that happen, don’t you think?

Or does it lack that little punch ABC's board of directors are looking for? It'd be just like Disney to be all front and no substance.

Sometimes I think it’d be amazing if everyone took a little more time to consider consequences and imagine the benefits of their actions. What a nice little world that might be.

“You say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”