Top Design
Garage Band

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Mr. Sobell: C- | Grade It Now!
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Instant Car-ma's Gonna Get You

Model-building montage time is over, so we move to the one-on-one presentations portion of our program. First up is Andrea, who expands upon her previous description: take advantage of the loft in the back, add both closed and open storage, add a desk to one wall, and put a stage surrounded by a catwalk on the other. Oh yeah, and there's a swing. In the garage. Which the Bells really seem to like. They must really want those kids of theirs to asphyxiate. Carisa brings a black box with labels like "CAR" and "STORAGE" slapped onto sections of the model, and talks to the Bells like the kids will be the one making the final call on the design. Which they may well be -- it would explain the garage-as-play-area idea. Ryan begins his presentation by saying, "You guys have a lot of stuff," and things deteriorate considerably from there. He proposes using the upper loft to store things that aren't used that often and cut-out niches to stash hardware. Then, he suggests "getting rid of a lot of stuff," and if you haven't seen this particular episode or don't have it committed to memory, I would suggest dashing off to your nearest VCR or personal video recorder just to see the positively murderous look Ma Bell shoots at Ryan when he suggests de-cluttering. Get rid of a lot stuff? Get rid of it? Then how will our neighbors know who rich we are? We didn't meticulously accrue a lot of things we don't need or want or even realize we have just to have some hippie vagrant suggest we get rid of it all. And you have the audacity to suggest such a thing in front of my children? How dare you! Mr. Oldham -- have this one flogged.

Before Ryan can be dragged off to the re-education camp, Goil is hustled in to show off his design, with the stage that slides through one of the walls to the outside. "So that your neighbor can see you put on a play," Goil says. I bet that's very high on the neighbor's list of ways to pass the time -- "Look, Myrtle. The Bell family is doing a staging of Peer Gynt over by their garage. Grab a pitcher of iced tea, and we'll watch the first couple acts." Erik's plan involves curtains that can be pulled across the width of the garage to create a stage area when the car is elsewhere. And when the car is in there? I guess the kids can put on a production of Grease, with young Avery cast as Kenickie. Matt's presentation is so uneventful that the editors devote all of eight seconds, four of which deal with his plans for the loft. And then there's Michael whose presentation about using sliding panels to obscure the loft and incorporating a yellow-blue-red color palette is so elaborate that Todd has to warn him he's running out of time. And that forces Michael to rattle off plans for a pinboard desk, chairs for the kids, indoor/outdoor carpet, and rollout bench in a voice that makes him sound like the fast-talking guy from the old FedEx commercials. It's not Ma-Bell-staring-daggers-at-Ryan funny, but it's still amusing.

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Top Design

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