DESIGNER HILARY: So tell me about your house.
HOMEOWNER AVERY: It’s in a beautiful neighborhood, not far from a Starbucks. It has a charming llama habitat, and I love the wood built-ins in the dining room.
HOMEOWNER TRENT: There’s only one bathroom though. It’s accessible by shimmying through an abandoned mine shaft and riding a rusted minecart to an open pit.
AVERY: Even though I love this house, I’d really like a faucet in the kitchen. Right now, we have to lower a bucket into a well, and the water is full of toxic metals.
TRENT: I want to sell it. I have double vision from mercury poisoning, and there are demons in the basement.
REALTOR DAVID: You absolutely should sell it. This ugly house makes me retch.
AVERY: I want to stay. Our toddler is possessed and crawling up walls, but the dining room is Jamaican mahogany.
HILARY: What would I have to do to make you stay?
AVERY: All we need are a few touch-ups, including an area where I can drink wine with my many friends.
TRENT: We need the kitchen and bathroom gutted. We need the interior walls knocked out and the ceiling raised to form one large circus-tent-style living space. We’d also like to do something about the demons.
HILARY: That’s asking a lot. What’s your budget?
TRENT: Seventy-nine dollars and a Twix bar.
HILARY: I can’t do everything you ask on that budget. And it would be a terrible mistake to remove the kitchen wall.
TRENT: (angrily jamming a Twix bar into his mouth) Kitchen walls are an abomination. The budget is now seventy-nine dollars and half a Twix bar.
(David shows Avery and Trent a potential new home.)
DAVID: This house has seven luxurious bathrooms and a fresh mountain stream that runs directly through the kitchen. It even has that llama habitat you requested. It came in right at your $10 billion budget.
TRENT: I’m sold.
AVERY: This house is nowhere near a Starbucks, and the so-called llama habitat is at sea level. David, what part of “grassy plateau” did you not understand?
(Back at the house remodel.)
HILARY: I have good news and devastating news. The devastating news is that when we removed the kitchen wall of your home, the structure collapsed, killing our entire crew. It also caused the crack in your basement to become a gaping chasm, fully connecting this universe to a dimension of hell.
AVERY: Sounds expensive.
HILARY: The good news is that I painted over all the Jamaican mahogany, and it really brightened up the dining room.
TRENT: How much will it cost to close the hell portal?
HILARY: Five billion dollars.
TRENT: Can’t we just leave the portal open?
HILARY: (stepping over the still-twitching body of the general contractor) I’m afraid not. All of humanity would be cast into eternal suffering.
AVERY: We don’t have much choice then. Fix it. I have faith in you, Hilary.
(David shows Avery and Trent a different potential house.)
DAVID: It wasn’t easy, but I found a house that checked all your boxes. Best of all, it’s in the same neighborhood, near a Starbucks.
AVERY: How could it have been difficult to find? It’s literally two doors down from our current home.
TRENT: I want this house. There’s a grassy plateau for Avery’s llamas, and the basement has foosball instead of everlasting anguish.
AVERY: I hate to admit it, David, but I really enjoy the potable water. This place costs $15 billion though. We could never afford it.
DAVID: Surprise: your old house used to be worth only $10 billion, but now that you’ve spent $5 billion fixing it up, you could sell it for $15 billion.
TRENT: That means we can now afford to buy a $15 billion house.
AVERY: That math totally adds up. We’d even have half a Twix bar left over.
DAVID: Let’s check in with Hilary and see how she did on your remodel.
HILARY: Here is your remodeled home.
TRENT: Is this really the same house? It’s so muted and cavernous.
AVERY: Now that the hell portal is sealed, I can picture my many friends and me drinking copious amounts of wine in here.
TRENT: But the only bathroom is still down the mine shaft.
HILARY: I didn’t have the budget for a complete bathroom remodel. But look, I lined the minecart with faux fur and added matte black hardware.
AVERY: I could drink wine in it.
HILARY: So what’s it going to be, Avery and Trent? Will you love it?
DAVID: Or list it?
(Avery and Trent confer with each other. Suspenseful music plays.)
AVERY: We’ve decided to love it.
DAVID: (spits out his Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato) Damn it.
HILARY: (to David) Ha ha. I win. You are trash.