When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemon-Scented Garbage

I was watching TLC the other night and saw several commercials for “Craft Wars”.  For those of you who have enough of a life to have avoided seeing the commercials or TLC itself, allow me to describe what this craft competition show will apparently be about.

“Hi Tori! By the way, I’m a big fan of your work. Oh…Okay, well anyway, this piece is my interpretation of a happy jack-o-lantern. It will make a great door hanging or as seasonal decoration. The crooked grin gives it a touch of whimsy!” (Image from blog.craftzine.com)

Three contestants are given crafting supplies including all the hot-glue sticks and glitter they could ever hope for.  Then, the host says “Your time starts…NOW!”  The crafter-contestants, who by their very existence make me feel like a superior life form, all scramble across the set to get to the bins of crap that they’ll be making “crafts” out of.  This is essentially the same format that’s used on shows like “Top Chef”, “Design Star”, “Chopped”, “The White Room Challenge” and countless others.  As if watching these scrap-booking, swatch-pasting zealots isn’t bad enough in and of itself, the whole thing is hosted by massive has-been mega-talent, Tori Spelling!  The description above was gleaned from my having viewed a 30 second commercial several times, while I was busy watching some other inane offering on TLC.

It’s truly effortless to sit here and complain about what passes for entertainment these days.  I mean, they make it so easy.  So I sat down to write my rants about just that, but then a deeper thought occurred to me.  With the recent celebration of Father’s Day, I was reminded of what my Dad used to say;

“Turn off that damn idiot box and go cut the grass, dammit!”

Oh wait, wrong Dad quote.  He also used to say;

“If you’ve got a problem with it, then come up with something better or shut the hell up!”

Good point, Dad (My Dad didn’t actually curse that much, but I sure as shit do).  I put on my thinking cap and came up with some programming  ideas of my own.  I’m going to email these ideas to TLC, NatGeo, HGTV, Bravo and A&E.  They’ll be welcome to use any and all of my ideas without having to pay me a dime, but I do want the title “Creative Consultant” and a link to my blog in the opening and closing credits.  Here we go:

The Rolls Royce of Eternal Rest – this baby is a serious upgrade.(Image from Jawdrops.com)

America’s Next Top Mortician - Three morticians are given a challenging stiff to prepare for a viewing and funeral.  They will each have a fixed number of hours to fully prepare the corpse for interment.  Some of the challenges will include pushy, unrealistic family members who want Aunt Bessie to look “more life-like”, ill-fitting clothes for the deceased, and convincing the family they should pay for the up-graded casket.  Finally, what final-rest competition would be complete without the hearse-obstacle course?

Janitors Got Talent - Everyone knows at least one janitor who insists on singing or telling jokes while pushing brooms and emptying trash cans.  Here’s a chance for janitors to shine like freshly scrubbed porcelain!  Each contestant will have to demonstrate their unique talent while brushing toilets, running a floor buffer and refilling the soap dispensers in the women’s bathroom.

Cryo-Bank Tellers  24/7 - This gritty, up-close slice of reality will follow the challenges of round-the-clock employees at a St. Louis sperm bank as they deal with the crazy demands of such a bizarre work environment.  Hand held cameras will follow them throughout the facility with copious amounts of digitized blurring of clients faces, specimen jars and more!  At least once every episode, one of the tellers will lament “The sign on the door said ‘Unoccupied’, Geez I hate when that happens!”  Hilarity meets revulsion when new staff members are pranked and directed to put their lunches in the wrong refrigerator!

Bus Wars – Broad Street Local - Parking Wars meets Cash Cab as Philadelphia’s public transportation passengers are asked impossibly difficult trivia questions.  Contestants are frustrated, angered and embarrassed to realize they can’t possibly win any money.  Tempers flare when the contestants realize that the host/driver has ignored their stops while waiting for one of them to answer the question!

You turbo-charge this thing, put a chain guard on it and go to work. (Image from social.kidspot.com.au)

American Baby-Nose Pickers - Poor little Tyler and Brittany can’t do it themselves with their little bitty fingers!  Whether they use the squeeze ball, a Q-Tip or their own massive adult fingers, Moms and even Dads just can’t rest until that little hanger is out of their babies’ honkers.  The contestants will have to face tough challenges like booger-eating older siblings and the nausea of onlookers.  Tension builds as we close in on the final weigh-in!

My Biggest Fat Gypsy Rose Lee Loser - Theatrical directors and personal trainers team up to direct a community theater production of “Gypsy”, starring the morbidly obese who compete to lose the most weight while dancing and singing the hit numbers from 1959’s Broadway smash!  Wardrobe issues and self-esteem are on a collision course in this emotional competition!  Contestants are pushed to the brink when they have to keep their appetites and salivary glands in check while singing the lyric “..have an egg roll, Mr. Goldstone..”

That’s all I’ve got for now.  I’m going to go ahead and send the link for this blog to all those networks.  Keep your eyes peeled in the months to come, I think I’ve got a few winners here.  Listen up network execs, as promised, these ideas are there for the taking, and all I ask is the “Creative Consultant” tag and a plug for my blog.  Be warned though, my next batch won’t come so cheap!

70 responses

  1. First of all, is there really a “Craft Wars” TV show? I’d like to think you’re kidding, but you’re probably not. I can’t think of much less entertaining to watch than that. Second of all, I could actually see some of your ideas being turned into reality shows, especially the funeral and sperm ones. And that is scary. :)

  2. About the only time I really have the tv on and watch it is when I’m under the weather. It’s enough to make me sick. Wait…oh, never mind.

    These ideas are both brilliant, and repugnant. Which means they will ikely happen.

  3. Hmm…it’s tough, but I think I have to go with either Baby nose pickers or Janitors got talent. Just because of the crossover opportunities. I know during the filming of an episode of janitor’s at some high school, they will definitely come across a baby in a dumpster. The sadness and revulsion of this act will fade from the audiences memory as soon as the baby cutely picks its nose.

  4. I want to be on the next Survivor Zombie Island. Or maybe we should start Zombies Got Talent?
    Victor: “What are you going to do for us tonight?
    Zombie 243: BRAIIINSSS
    Victor: “It’s a no for me.”

  5. A a Philadelphia resident, the thought of questions and a camera on a bus …… I’m not sure that is TLC material, as a matter of fact there might not be a channel for that mess.
    I’m with your dad..turn it off and cut the grass dam it!

    • I haven’t been on a SEPTA bus in a long long time…ok, ever. Still, it seems like a a potentially fertile setting for a bad TV show. Granted, the “bleeps” may be more plentiful than on the Springer shows of old.

        • See? Public transportation works!

          We forced our kids to work waiting tables in restaurants. If that job doesn’t motivate you to do something else with your life, then maybe you were meant to wait tables. I’m happy to say that all three kids have moved onto or are training for other careers.

  6. I about choked at “Hi Tori! By the way, I’m a big fan of your work.” What work? But then I spit my coffee across the room at the mortician idea! I think you have a definite career in Hollywood. Go west, young man!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the reference to Tori’s “work” I think some of my captions don’t get the attention they deserve.

      I’m afraid of what the future holds for TV. Lots of people have commented that my ideas sound a little too feasible. In the event that America’s Next Top Mortician sees the light of day, what could possibly be next?

  7. Okay. You are SERIOUSLY brilliant. I confess I already love TLC’s delightful offerings, but with you on board? I’d never leave the house. I mean, I REALLY think the last one should be aired RIGHT NOW. Biggest Loser meets Glee?! (This is what I’m picturing from your description.) Yes yes yes!

    Also? What the fudge does Tori Spelling know about crafts?

    • I’m in the process of creating a second page on WordPress where I can put things like updates. I actually tried to send this blog to TLC, A & E and Nat Geo. The page should be up soon so you can read all about how that worked out.

      I grew up in a theatrical house, and my mother loved belting out the Ethel Merman hits, so I’m acutely aware of “have an egg roll, Mr. Goldstone”

      I don’t know much about Tori Spelling except she was on several shows which I never watched, only one of which apparently involved conventional acting. I do have a vague recollection of Tori’s Mom having some show wherein she whined about how difficult it was to sell her 18 bazzillion dollar house, and I think it may have had a crafting room in it (or that might have been where the help wrapped gifts for Tori). In any case, I’m sure Tori has done some emergency nail repair with a hot glue gun once or twice in a pinch.

    • Hey Jules! I know you’re probably busy having a life and all, but I wanted to let you know that I JUST added a page to my blog, titled “Updates, Tour Dates, Copyright Info and Grand Prize Giveaway”. It outlines my efforts to get my ideas to TLC and other nonsense. The link is on the border of my blog. I’m more of a geek than ever before.

  8. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. I can’t pick a fave, but I would seriously watch the mortician show. Is that twisted? I haven’t seen these ads for Craft Wars, but I want to find out how I can become a contestant. I would make the most twisted, perverted looking craft you’d ever seen just to feck with Tori Spelling and her producers. This is great, 1point. I’m gonna have to share this one…

    • PLEASE! Share to your heart’s content.

      Also, I’ve started a new page (the link is there with the copyright stuff) which includes updates and contests. The updates shows things like how successful I’ve been trying to sell my ideas to the cable networks.

  9. I think you’ve got something there with America’s Top Mortician and Janitor’s Got Talent…I’ll be looking for them on TV and you should never cut yourself out of any money…having been in the Production business….

    • Glad to have the company. I’m always thrilled when Susie has one of these parties, so I can resurrect a gem from the past. Feel free to read more of my posts, most of them will eventually either make you laugh or gag.

  10. I. Love. This!

    I have an aunt you could use as a reality extra on the mortician show. At my mom’s funeral, she looked at Mom and said, “Oh, I have got to find out the name of her undertaker. If he can make Viola look that good, imagine wpwhat he’ll be able to do for me.”

    Yep. This one’s a winner.

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