Announcing a New HGTV Series: This Tract Home

Hello and welcome to This Tract Home, the show where we help our clients come to terms with the fact their budget does not allow for a custom-built.

I’m your Host, Earl, and with me today is Snooty Homebuyer Elaine. Hello Elaine! Are you ready to find your dream tract home?

Snooty Homebuyer Elaine: I sure am, Earl! I’ve been wanting to be on HGTV ever since I transformed my apartment into a tropical hideaway by watching This Tiny Space with Tina. Still waiting to get my security deposit back on that.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 1.37.25 PMHost Earl: Great! Well, this here is the first home we’ll be looking at today. It was part of a Phoenix development built in the 1980s for those of modest incomes.

SHE: Gosh, all these homes look alike.

HE: Yes. That’s the calling card of tract homes. Homogenous. Just like milk. How clever of you to pick that up.

SHE: The driveway is boring. Monday’s episode of Tear it Down with Dawn ripped out the whole front yard and put in a circle drive. Will this show do that?

HE: You want a circle drive for your Toyota Yaris?

SHE: Also, the garage should have one of those elegant carriage doors. Write that down. Will this show redo the landscaping too, or do I have to get on another show for that?

HE: Listen, how about we look at the inside of the house now? Beings how you spent $10,000 by just standing here.

SHE: Shame how the sidewalk is concrete. Can you put in a cobble walkway? You do that, right?

HE: I think you have us confused with another show. (opens front door) You see how it opens straight into the living room. No pretentious foyer here.

SHE: I simply must have an foyer.

HE: I knew you were going to say that.

SHE: All nice homes have foyers. Maybe you can build a partial wall or open bookshelves?

HE: I’m a real estate agent, not a builder.

SHE: Well, talk to your people then.

HE: I have people?

SHE: You’re HGTV. Of course you have people. You’ll talk with them after the second commercial break and go over renovation plans. Now, let’s talk flooring. I want hardwood floors.

HE: Of course you do.

SHE: Last Thursday, Raze it with Ricky laid down flooring made of wood straight from the Amazon rainforest. We’ll have to order it fast though, before it’s depleted. You can do that during the third commercial break.

HE: (takes phone out)

SHE: What are you doing?

HE: Cancelling my NWF membership. It seems only right.

SHE: (walks into kitchen) Um… this might be a problem.

HE: (behind her) What is it? The cabinets are nice, appliances fairly new…

SHE: Uh… yeah…

HE: Let me guess. You want to gut the whole thing and put in a restaurant-grade everything so you can microwave your meals?

SHE: The room is fine, only… does she come with the house? (Points to table where I’m sitting in front of my laptop.)

HE: Oh, don’t worry about her. She’s just the homeowner. I’m guessing you’ll want to replace the light fixtures. I wonder if I have people for that?

SHE: Can you tell her to leave? She doesn’t go with my decor.

HE: It’s best we ignore her. Oh look, the washer and dryer are conveniently located in the corner here. Looks like they need to clean their lint trap more often.

SHE: I’m very uncomfortable with her sitting here. What is she doing?

HE: Writing this. They have a nice sized pantry. I see someone’s been to Trader Joe’s recently.

SHE: What do you mean she’s ‘writing this’? Writing what?

HE: This show. She’s writing everything we say and do. I assume this Formica counter top isn’t good enough for you. What precious natural resource do you want to replace it with?

SHE: She can’t be writing what I say! I have free will!

HE: That’s nice. I haven’t had free will since I became a real estate agent. The refrigerator looks fairly new.

SHE: (pointing at me) All right, listen you! I demand you stop whatever it is you’re doing!

Me: If I stop what I’m doing, you’ll cease to exist.

SHE: What’s that supposed to mean?

HE: This is getting weird. I need a drink. (opens fridge)

Me: Just keep on doing what you’re doing. It’s working great for my premise on how HGTV breeds dissatisfaction and elitism among American home owners.

HE: Who the hell buys Peach Ale?

SHE: I’m officially freaking out right now. Oh God, I need my Xanax.

HE: But we haven’t seen the bedroom yet.

Me: She won’t like it. She’ll want it larger, with french doors that open to an adjoining backyard patio. She’ll say she needs a “sanctuary” to escape her incredibly stressful job.

HE: Sounds about right.

Me: Though she works at a library.

SHE: I can’t take this anymore. Oh God, I’m having trouble breathing…

HE: Should we call someone?

Me: She’s fine. She’s just being dramatic.

SHE: Hey!

Me: I nearly forgot. She finds the master bath completely unacceptable.

SHE: I do?

Me: She demands a spa-sized bathtub, walk-in shower, double sinks, and his and her toilets.

SHE: Dear God, she’s right.

Me: Even though there’s currently no need for a ‘his’ toilet.

SHE: What about the closet? How do I feel about that?

Me: It’s way too small for you. You’ll demand another addition so you can have the dressing room you always wanted.

SHE: That sounds nice.

HE: How much is all this gonna cost?

Me: About 70k, which is roughly 1/3 of the overall value of the home. Only an idiot would suggest such a thing, but this is HGTV. You’ll jump on it.

SHE: That sounds reasonable. When can we get started?

HE: I think I’ve been insulted, but I’m not sure.

Me: Don’t worry about it. You’re just a shill for Home Depot and Lowe’s, so nothing you do has to make sense.

SHE: Have we had four commercial breaks yet? I’m ready to make a decision.

HE: Don’t ask me. I’m outta here. And I’m taking your peach ale with me. Freakin’ loonies they give me. I bet Chip Gaines never has to deal with this.

SHE: But what about my sanctuary?

Me: Don’t worry, honey. I’ll put in a good word for you with House Hunters. You’re just the kind of entitled consumer they’re looking for.

SHE: Aw, that’s so sweet!

Author: CJ Hartwell

After spending most of her life in Phoenix, Arizona, CJ Hartwell moved to the middle of Minnesota. Is she nuts? Probably. For updates on her sanity, click on the link to follow by email.

16 thoughts on “Announcing a New HGTV Series: This Tract Home”

  1. This is amazing! I applaud you.

    I bet in the next episode, someone will want to tear down all the walls to get that open concept look. Or they will dramatize finding some electrical or plumbing issue that will cost them that new koi pond, because they never seem to budget for unexpected problems.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Biff! I came up with this after I saw a couple shows at the dentist office. I’m not sure what was harder to take, the filling in my tooth, or the entitled schmuks on tv.
      And we actually have peach ale in the fridge. Someone gave it to us for Christmas and we’ve yet to try it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Christi, you nailed it. I lived on HGTV and DIY during the full-Nelson stress-hold of living in a run-down rental in Texas. Then again, you and I would have joined forces and started a new reality show network and lost sight of our actual callings. Glad we avoided that mess! This post is pure delight – and so imaginative!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well golly, thank you! Its first draft was more of a complaint against HGTV, then it slowly evolved into this. Which explains why my drafts sit in the folder for many, many days or weeks until they’re finally ripe.
      I’m getting a vision of what a zany show we would have concocted. Good thing it never came to pass! 😀


  3. Okay. If I nominated things for awards, I’d put this one up as a winner! Is there a category for consumer bashing and third person referencing in the context of imaginary telescreen plays? I loved how you just sort of popped into existence in the later act and drove the realtor to drink/steal peach ale!

    Liked by 1 person

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