The other night I was hoping to catch Civil Servants From Outer Space on the Science Channel, but instead my wife had already asserted dominion over the television with a program called Yard Crashers. Have you ever seen this show? The host of the show, Ahmed Hassan, is a licensed contractor, who loiters, along with a camera crew, at a giant home improvement megastore in search of someone with a pathetic yard. Usually there is a multitude of customers begging Ahmed to crash their yards, and he chooses a winner by selecting the yard with the most unreturned propane tanks.
The first time I saw Ahmed accost a potential yard crashee, I thought that he was just going to mow their lawn for them, perhaps mowing it in a cool checkerboard design instead of the swirling splotches that have become my voice in the neighborhood landscape. But I was wrong, as I spent the next half-hour of my life watching Ahmed and his crew help these poor homeowners turn their dump with a swing set into Six Flags Great Adventure, complete with turnstiles and rotating racks of signs that say things like “Jennifer’s Room.”
I soon learned that Yard Crashers was only one of several members of the crasher genre of home improvement shows. House Crashers, where Josh Temple shows homeowners that the secret to having the house of your dreams is a liberal use of the sledgehammer. Bath Crashers, where Matt Muenster trains homeowners to hang up wet towels instead of leaving them crumpled up on the bathroom floor. And, of course, Kitchen Crashers, where Alison Victoria proves that there is a God, and that His name is Granite Countertops.
The current slate of crasher shows might only be the beginning. There could be crasher crossovers, the Yard Crashers and the House Crashers unwittingly crash the same house, and everyone’s embarrassed because there’s not enough pizza to go around.
Or a reverse crash, where the crew chooses a home with a perfect, modern kitchen and after three days the kitchen has warped cabinets with peeling paint, a cracked white sink, and the same gold-flecked Formica countertops that belonged to the homeowner’s mother.
There could even be a crasher show where someone literally crashes a truck through the front of a house, as a way of demonstrating that a home improvement project can always be found.
But why limit ourselves to home improvement? There are other areas of human endeavor that could use some crashing. For example, there could be a show on the Learning Channel called Book Crashers, where people who are behind on their Chaucer are invaded by a literature professor who stays with them for three days, and then sends them a bill for $40,000.
A personal favorite of mine would be a show called Crasher Crashers, were a husband who doesn’t like his wife’s crasher shows is visited by a home channel producer executive who teaches the husband to appreciate crasher shows, and to form an independent opinion of proper home décor that just happens to be identical to his wife’s tastes. And the show would air on ESPN.
The ultimate crasher show, however, would be called Human Crashers. A house inhabited with humans with antiquated ideas, habits, and looks, is crashed by a crew of other houses who help to renovate the humans, giving them new ears and mouths, updating them on the latest trends in fashion and music, and getting them to stop saying things like “a knock is a boost” and “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and from refusing to see the Christopher Nolan Batman movies because “nothing compares” to the 1989 Tim Burton film.