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Repurposed: No Longer Forgotten

By • March 12 2015

Spotting a dead cockroach among the dusty rubble littering the floor, he flashes an impish grin, scoops up the indifferent critter, and pops it into his mouth. He chews. Grimacing, she screams and sternly informs him not to expect any kisses for a long time. Unruffled by her sentiments, he smiles triumphantly, revealing bits of brown exoskeleton wedged between his teeth, and her hopes that he was faking the stunt are dashed. He lunges for her. She runs.

“…he smiles triumphantly, revealing bits of brown exoskeleton wedged between his teeth…”

Sounds like an episode from a reality show called something like, Real Housewives of Desperately Hungry Men, doesn’t it? But no, this silly scene aired on an episode of a popular new show that usually has nothing to do with men eating insects; rather, it’s one of the programs currently saturating the airwaves featuring ambitious hosts taking on hopelessly damaged, worn out, and forgotten things and–with enough vision, skill and good old TLC–miraculously transforming those trash-heap-worthy things into revitalized treasures, sometimes even better than new.


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“Their passion in life is to… do the seemingly impossible: Turn a sad, weary dump into a warm and inviting dream home.”

The cockroach eater and his darling wife are Chip and Joanna Gaines, a talented couple from Waco, Texas, behind the show Fixer Upper. She’s the brain; he’s the brawn (in case you hadn’t guessed that already). Their passion in life is to convince would-be buyers to purchase dilapidated houses so the couple can do the seemingly impossible: Turn a sad, weary dump into a warm and inviting dream home. How nice that the Gainses are giving us more to think about when we hear the words “Waco, Texas,” than the tragic end of the cult leader, David Koresh.

I’d love to see some of the deleted footage from the camera roll of Fixer Upper. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see some of the prospective homebuyers pull up to a property the Gainses want to fix up for them, shake their heads in disbelief, and refuse to exit their vehicle to see what’s inside. And I’m sure the couple has heard their fair share of rants, rude insults, and the occasional, “Are you out of your mind?”

“Little do these buyers know, they are placing their trust in the hands of inspired and gifted masters of restoration…”

Here’s how things usually go: After discussing a home’s glaring lack of curb appeal, the Gaineses lead their doubtful clients inside, pausing in each room to explain their plans for a total transformation. Usually the enthusiasm of the Gaineses–who seem to have a prophetic gift for seeing fantastic potential in the weirdest, grossest spaces–clashes with the tepid response of people who don’t have the eyes to see beyond the cracks, the leaky roofs, the weeds, the popcorn ceilings, and the pet-stained shag. Little do these buyers know, they are placing their trust in the hands of inspired and gifted masters of restoration, and they should get ready for minds blown.

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