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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)

TITLE: Swapping Rooms
By Beth LaBuff


The north side of East Maple Street
With shrubs along fence row,
Past the stately iron fence
And ornate gazebo --

On state’s historic register,
Our family’s place of dwelling --
A grand Victorian lady
Her entryway compelling.

Generations of our family,
Sheltered as we played,
Granddad carved initials on the
Staircase balustrade.

Residing just across the street—
Our closest friends in town,
Their cute chalet was painted cream
With accent trim of brown.

Our families were participants
On a television show,
A program titled Swapping Rooms,
A revamp scenario.

We each could spend five hundred bucks
And work inside one day.
So we transformed the kitchen of
Their brown and cream chalet.

For their renovation, we had
Dining chairs slip-covered,
Then we hammered, sawed, and painted,
Put new hardware on each cupboard.

To match the color of the wall
Were saffron-colored flowers
Sewed upon each curtain.
We labored many hours.

As cameras rolled, with microphones,
There came the big reveal.
They loved the yellow blossoms
And the comfy-home appeal.

While cameras kept on rolling
I tossed away concern—
Excitement o’er what ‘waited us
Upon our home-return.

The room they chose to renovate—
Our bathroom off the hall.
My jaw dropped when my eyes caught sight—
A moose head on the wall!

The head was stuffed and mounted
Above the room’s commode,
With eyes that followed you about
This room in our abode.

An up-flip on the light switch
Revealed a disco ball
Rotating on the ceiling making
Lights dance ‘round the wall.

A coin slot-box had been installed
Just below the moose.
To flush we have to feed it dimes—
Our toilet—“pay-per-use.”

Then the hostess touted benefits and
Nonsense information
‘Bout the combination soap-dispenser-
Coffee-beverage station—

The latest in appliances,
A must for each gourmet,
To shave while looking in the mirror
And whip up a latte.

There is no joy on Maple Street
Our thoughts are now hostile.
Since neighbors from the cream chalet
Profaned our domicile.

And now I’m in hot water
O’er this remodeling crime,
I had my morning latte
And I don’t have a dime.

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This article has been read 1727 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 06/05/08
I always worry when the friends and neighbours first begin to renovate the rooms they have been assigned on these programs, but normally they turn out quite well. Yours sounds just horrible—obviously an exception to the norm.

The twist at the end is great. Well done.
Betty Castleberry06/05/08
As a huge fan of home decorating shows, I can tell you this *must* be how some homeowners feel after the reveal. I've seen some pretty bad stuff. This was SO much fun. Thanks for giving me my laugh for the day.
Laury Hubrich 06/05/08
How hilarious! Thanks for the giggles tonight. Really needed it! Wonderful writing!
That was more than funny, it was hilarious! I loved it!
Joanne Sher 06/07/08
Oh so fun! LOVE that last stanza especially. Must have been a blast to write!
Amy Michelle Wiley 06/08/08
Ha, last line is LOL! I stumbled a bit over the beat in some places, but fun story!
Jan Ackerson 06/08/08
I love, love, love your choices of rhymes! So grown-up and sophisticated! Wonderful!
Debbie Wistrom06/08/08
Creative take on the topic. This was fun to read.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/09/08
Too bad you weren't given the money to spend on your own home. I was swept away with the changes made to your house. So much fun to read. You're a master!
Joshua Janoski06/12/08
OH MY GOSH! This is my all time favorite this week. The ending line was priceless! And it rings true to how those remodeling shows often go. Usually the one house will look better and the other one will end up looking even tackier than before the work was done.

This is going on my favorites list. I hope it places high, because it put a huge smile on my face this morning. :) :) :)
LauraLee Shaw06/12/08
Congrats on 9th place overall, Beth! I could not be happier for your EC! See me dancing to the celebration song? ;)
Sara Harricharan 06/12/08
Oooh, so funny! I loved the ending-heehee, congrats! ^_^
Joshua Janoski06/12/08
I knew this one would have top place high and get an EC. I'm so happy! This was awesome writing! :)
Sheri Gordon06/12/08
Congratulations on your EC. This is too, too funny. Excellent rhyming--such unique word choices. Great job with the topic.
Helen Dowd06/12/08
Congratulations on your ninth place win....Helen
Dianne Janak06/12/08
Congrats Beth! You deserved this win.. Made me laugh... Since I wrote a story about Maple St., I felt a kindred spirit.. but yours was absolutely hysterical... Great writing.. Im dancing for you today...
Betsy Markman06/12/08
Amazing how you made the end of a friendship so fun to read! I think the MC should just run across the street to the cream chalet and use THEIR toilet whenever she needs to go. And she shouldn't bring an air freshener, either!
Catrina Bradley 06/12/08
What a hoot! Creative, entertaining, all-around good stuff. :) Congrats, Beth!
Clyde Blakely06/14/08
My wife and I read this together and almost couldn't get through it laughing so hard. "The dime" was the clincher for us. Love this piece! Keep writing!
Peter Stone06/15/08
Very funny! Especially 'I had my morning latte, And I don’t have a dime.' Well done.
LauraLee Shaw09/19/08
Read this again, loved it even more the second time...you are gifted!
Patty Wysong09/25/08
Beth, I just loooove your poems! They're so full of personality and fun! WONderful!