The Mind of Bluesleepy

Hollywood visits the boonies 18 November 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 5:38 pm

Right now I am supposed to be in bed, watching Iron Chef. But for some reason, the good folks at the Food Network have decided that it is of paramount importance to run a Thanksgiving special featuring all of their chef celebrities, a special that I am sure already ran in primetime tonight. So why make Iron Chef fans miss their daily fix?! Grrr. It’s a good thing it’s on tomorrow night at 11pm or I would have to hurt someone! We’ll just have to hope that Kurt’s okay with watching Iron Chef tomorrow since he’ll be home!! YAY!! I’m so excited! :o)

My little corner of the world has recently had its fifteen minutes of fame. A local family was chosen as the recipient of a new home, courtesy of a certain makeover show. From all accounts, this family was more than worthy of the gift. The family is made up of a widowed mother and her three daughters, aged something like 21, 17, and 13, and seven months ago their house burned to the ground. Because the insurance wasn’t enough to cover building a new home, for all this time they’ve been living in a makeshift trailer, using an outhouse for basic needs, and going to friends’ homes to shower. I know friends of the family, and they all say this woman really deserves something nice to happen for her.

Last week the show descended on our quiet refuge from civilization. J really wanted to see what kind of house was being built because she’d been told it was to be a bed-and-breakfast venture for the widow, so she could stay on her land and still earn a living. I went with J just to have something to do, although I admit it was pretty exciting to see something that would also air on TV at some point.

Fortunately we chose a day where there weren’t a whole lot of people wanting to see the house. Part of the reason was it was a weekday, so most people were at work. Also, it’d been pouring rain earlier, and most people weren’t willing to venture out. I’d read in the paper that there was to be a covered viewing area (which there wasn’t), so I had few qualms about taking Gracie with us.

We had to take a shuttle bus to get to the site because security was pretty darn tight. As we traveled deeper and deeper into the boonies, I joked with J, quoting Jeff Foxworthy: “If directions to your house include ‘turn off the paved road,’ you might be a redneck!” Sure enough, at one point the paved road ended, and we were traveling on a mix of mud and gravel.

The whole way out to the site, J and I, and really the entire bus, was treated to a woman’s over-loud descriptions of how badly she felt for the family and what she had brought for them. I didn’t understand why she’d brought ANYTHING. I wasn’t even sure the family would even get such donations, especially since the candle she brought was a brand I recognized as one of the cheap ones sold at Walmart. You would think she’d at least spring for a Yankee candle! She loudly informed everyone several times that she and her husband were building a house in a nice suburb of Seattle. This woman had come all the way from Seattle to see the house!!

But in reality she came not in support of the family or out of curiosity to see what all the hubbub was about. She came, like most of the crowd, for her fifteen minutes of fame. You could almost feel the disappointment on the shuttle when we pulled up to the site, and there was not one video camera in sight.

There were several people at the viewing area that J knew, so we had to go say hi. One lady was waiting for three days in order to get autographs on a couple of hammers. Granted, she was doing it to auction them off to raise money for a good cause, but she could have easily have arranged to leave the hammers with someone with the show to have them autographed and given back to her. She wanted to have them autographed while she was there, however, and for that she was willing to stand in the rain for three days.

There wasn’t a whole lot to see at the site. The house was absolutely gorgeous — and HUGE — but one can only spend so long staring at a house. But we were amazed at the complete tent city that had sprung up as support for the show. There were cars and trucks and trailers as far as the eye could see. It didn’t take long for us to get our fill of the house, so J and I caught the very next shuttle back to the parking lot. On the way there, we were again treated to the bragging of a woman who’d been in the VIP tent because her husband’s company had donated the sheetrock for the project. What amused me to no end was the information she had to share, which only the VIP people were privy to, was nothing that J didn’t already know! Plus, she was another person that had driven all the way out from a prestigious suburb of Seattle.

The whole time J and I kept giggling because these people had a couple hours’ drive home, and we live within three miles of the building site. So we can go to the house whenever we want to, and even have lunch at the bed-and-breakfast there!

What gets me is all these people came out to see the designers and the host and the rest of the famous people. They were willing to invest time and energy into driving a couple of hours each way just to have their moment of fame. Yet no one could help this family before they were chosen for the show. It’s like the situation where everyone ignores the geek in the corner in high school, yet they want to be his best friend when he becomes a famous actor.

I just wish it wasn’t human nature to be so self-centered.


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