Our kitchen was falling apart. We had to do something about it, but we weren’t sure what. We couldn’t afford to just redo it. Even if we went cheap we couldn’t have done it. The kitchen, from the 70’s, was simply falling apart.

So then our neighbor told us we should apply for a new HGTV show the $250,000 challenge. Five families on the block compete, each week a new room is worked on and the winner gets $250,000. Wow. So even if we didn’t win, at least we could get to the kitchen stage. That would be a win for us.

It sounded so simple. Need something? Perhaps you need… a kitchen redone? A million dollars from starving yourself on an island? Perhaps you just need to feed a self destructive narcissistic craving for attention. Then ask a reality show for help. They’re there for YOU!

So we applied. We did many interviews. I think we did well. The producers came and looked at our house. They looked at the different rooms and tried to figure out if our house would suit their needs and if we would fit their needs for the camera.

When the producer saw our kitchen, he actually stopped and let out a bit of an anguished cry, like “ohhewwewoh” He then tried to cover it up but we knew that he knew that we knew that our kitchen was a disaster. Which of course, was not such a bad thing for a home improvement show.

Half of our house we had worked on. We have a very nice living room, one of the bathrooms was redone, our family room was in decent shape and over the years we converted the garage into an office. The previous owners were using it to grow pot, so all the insulation and outlets were already installed. A little drywall and add a window, and presto. Salacious drug den to nerdy office.

So we had a bathroom, a bedroom and a disastrous kitchen that could be redone. Plus, my wife and I would be pretty fun on camera, I would think. Not typical HGTV types.
More interviews, and a little good news. They had picked our street. Great! Getting closer. They were narrowing it down.

Soon another call came. They had narrowed it down to eight families, of which were were part of the eight and then they were going to pick five. We were so close. There’s no way we’d be in the loser three, right? Then we started thinking, hell, maybe we’ll get a new kitchen and then also win $250,000. Why not? With that kind of money we could turn the garage back into a… never mind.

But then as we were waiting for the next call, our fridge up and died on us. Gave up the frozen ghost. We thought, if it had just lasted a few weeks more… But then we got the call. Yes, THE call. The call that told us HGTV was passing on us, and we were not in the top five. Damn it!
So we went and got a fridge. We miserably went and got a fridge, our hopes of getting our house redone for free quietly disappearing. But we did get a really nice fridge. We lucked out and got a Fisher and Paykel, on a markdown due to it having a little ding on the side that we didn’t care about.

But then, we got ANOTHER call from HGTV. A much better one, this time. While we still weren’t on the show, they were sending us a check for all the time and interviews we did. It covered our new fridge.

We were disappointed to be sure, but we also realized that when you’re doing a show like that you really don’t get to take your time and do it the way you want to. We do like to take our time with things and get them the way we like them. Or so we rationalized. So while we didn’t get to meet Drew Lachey of 98 degrees, we do have a new fridge, which runs at a cool 45 degrees. OK, that was a stretch, I know.