When the Indy newsroom received notice that ABC’s Emmy-nominated reality TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” was looking for a Missoula-area family to feature on an episode to kick off the series’ 4th season this fall, a few of us immediately began fabricating our own traumatic life stories in a feeble—to say nothing of pathetic—attempt to weasel our way onto the show. Then we realized that A) most of us don’t own homes, B) those of us who do own a home wouldn’t be able to pay the property taxes if the “Extreme Makeover” folks ever got their over-achieving hands on it, and, umm, 3) we’re probably more qualified to appear on TLC’s “What Not to Wear” anyway.
But that didn’t stop us from taking some serious time away from our crushing deadlines to consider a few Missoula properties that do deserve a full-blown made-for-TV renovation.
We think the show’s focus on “families” is a pretty narrow one, so we decided to broaden the nomination process to include civic works projects, too.
At the top of almost everyone’s list is the maladjusted West Broadway project. We believe this story has all the key plot lines necessary for a successful reality show: dieting, dysfunction and infighting coupled with tragedy and outrage. Of course “Extreme” team leader Ty Pennington would have to call in a road crew for this extreme makeover, but we’d be awfully grateful to see Pennington and his gleeful team of carpenters, designers and decorators swoop in and fix our perennial problem in the allotted seven days.
The Blue Heron has been in desperate need of an extreme makeover ever since City Council bought it in 2004 for a cool half million. Or did they buy it? Oh yeah, they did end up buying it, but then they wished they hadn’t. Or something. Regardless, the old girl needs a good airing out to get rid of the mold problem, and there’s that flooding thing, and a little asbestos issue, and the…well, hell, we suggest the “Extreme Makeover” folks would do well to employ one of their tear-it-all-down-and-start-from-scratch strategies on this one.
We also think there’s a great story to be found in the 25 uninhabitably toxic Missoula meth lab properties identified by the state Department of Environmental Quality, decontamination and rehabilitation candidates one and all. Ooh!…just think of the cross-marketing possibilities with the Montana Meth Project. After all, if we’re going to trade our virginity for a cheap high in a bathroom, it had damn well be a nice bathroom.