October 2002 (v5 i2)
Exposing the plight of the student body since 1997
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Trading Spaces Contestant Dissatisfied
"What is all this crap?" wails angry, dissappointed local woman
by Lily Tilton, Contributing Writer

AUSTIN — Recent Trading Spaces participant Deborah Mills was appalled to find that her neighbors had redecorated her bedroom into a den of sin and debauchery.

“I opened my eyes and just started to cry. My walls were this hideous orange, and some sort of sparkling gauze was draped from the ceiling. I mean, they took down my ceiling fan, and I don’t have central air!”

As “Raffi,” her neighbors’ advising decorator led her around the room, Mills continued to cry, unable to speak as she picked up figurines of copulating Hindu deities that had replaced her low bookshelf and small zen water-fountain. Mills said she would’ve collapsed onto her bed, except that her posturepedic Serta had been traded for a large futon covered in large pillows and silk sheets. “Who the fuck would need all those pillows?!?” Deborah later exclaimed.

Mills was later infuriated, watching her new “bachelorette-pad” being showcased on national television. “Everyone must think I’m some ridiculous middle-aged swinger, the way they did my room! Jesus, just because I’m not married doesn’t mean I’m some sort of turbo-slut!”

Mills’ neighbors, Keith and Heather Dobbs, were pleasantly surprised by their own master-bedroom, which Mills had redone in muted beiges, trading their white wicker furniture for a mahogany dresser and an armchair refurbished in dark red upholstery.

“At first we were just surprised. It looked so different, you know, without the wallpaper and rocking chair. Plus, she tore up our carpeting, and they don’t make that shade of pink anymore. But the wood is okay, and I like how she rearranged our bed and chairs and stuff—she used to tell us that fung shu-ey would, like, help us sleep better and make more money, or something. So that’s neat.”

Within a week Heather’s collection of Beanie Babies was back on display and a framed copy of “Footprints” was put up next to the black and white Man Rays that Mills had selected. Though initially pleased with the zen fountain in the corner, Keith and Heather decided to move it to out to the deck.

“Keith has a small bladder, and the fountain makes him want to tinkle,” said Heather, as she put away the linen duvet Mills had chosen and replaced it with her old Laura Ashley comforter.

Candy Smyles and her co-host/co-redecorator, who simply goes by “Raffi,” were thrilled by this show in particular.

“You know it’s good when someone cries,” laughs Candy, “and boy did Debbie cry! She was totally speechless, it was great. I think she was a little embarrassed though; she didn’t really put any creativity into their room, but they were so open to new ideas, right Raffi?”

“Heather and Keithy really wanted to liven up Deborah’s bedroom," says Raffi. "They knew she was into Eastern-type stuff, and when I met her she was wearing all these Indian bangles. So I immediately thought: harem. Spice it up, you know? Give it some pizzazz!” Raffi makes jazz hands and his eyes light up.

"We were a little hesitant with some of Raffi’s suggestions, but then he showed us how Deb’s room needed to reflect the real Deb, you know? And I just remember how she always brings something exotic to neighborhood picnics, like that cous-cous thing, and those weird burgers made out of vegetables.”

“Yeah,” interrupts Keith, “and plus she’s not married, and I know she doesn’t date a lot, so we thought, hey, maybe she needs to get in touch with her inner woman, you know? Her sexual femininity and stuff. We’re really sensitive to that sorta thing.”

Mills admits she now regrets not going with Candy’s suggestions for converting the Dobbs’ bedroom to a Western-themed rodeo boudoir.

“All they had said was that they wanted a fresh change, maybe something a little wild. But I knew they were probably more conservative than they let on. I didn’t think they’d appreciate anything drastic. Candy wanted to do everything in unfinished oak—put lassos and horseshoes everywhere. Actually, I thought what we settled on was pretty classy, but those breeders wouldn’t know good taste if it crawled up their asses and died.”

Mills estimates that even after selling off her new “décor,” she’ll still have to pay to replace the ceiling fan and repaint the walls, but until then she’s been staying with Kate, who’s helping her line the inside of all the pillows with pink fiberglass insulation, to be used as gifts for the Dobbs and Raffi. Mills has also started letting her German Sheperd, Oscar, do his business on the Dobbs’ lawn.

“We haven’t heard much from Deb since the show," reports Heather. "I think she’s been a little, you know, busy?”

“Gettin’ busy, more like it!” crows Keith. "I bet she never leaves that room! Oh, to be single again—eh, Honey?” Heather gives Keith a playful slap. They’ve been married since their junior year of high school, and Heather still wears her promise ring on a chain around her neck, along with a floral crucifix from James Avery. They’re getting ready for Wednesday night service at their church.

“We invited Deb once, but she said it wasn’t her thing. I think she’s Jewish, maybe.” Heather shakes a can of Aqua Net and aims it at her French braid.

“She’s probably a communist! All that Chinese meditation stuff,” shouts Keith from the laundry room, where he’s looking for his American Flag tie.

Out in their driveway, a dark figure puts a box-cutter back into her sweatpants as all the air whistles out of the tires of the Dobbs’ Excursion. She calmly hums as she wipes slimy gobs of menstrual fluid onto the door handles, and finger-paints a giant red vagina onto the rear window. Hearing the music of Amy Grant finally go quiet inside, she calls to a large dog, who is just finishing up on the Dobbs’ front porch. “Who’s a good boy?” she croons softly, as the two figures walk away, disappearing into the night.
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