Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project Runway: The Lost Episodes

[SCENE: The "Project Runway" workroom. One hour until the next runway show. Tension reigns as the four remaining designers feverishly add finishing touches to their latest creations.]

Your Genial Host(Enter TIM GUNN, host and mentor.)

TIM: Hello, designers!

DESIGNERS (wearily): Piss off, you great prancing queen.

TIM: Excuse me?

DESIGNERS (brightly): Hello, Tim!

TIM: That's better. Now, you've all had fourteen dollars and two days to prepare your looks for tonight's show, and your challenge was to create an ensemble that your model will wear on the red carpet at an exclusive gala benefit sponsored by our friends at AngelSoft Bathroom Tissue.

I don't think I need to remind you that the winner will not only receive immunity for the next challenge, but also a layout in Marie Claire's upcoming Colonic Irrigation special issue sponsored by Activia.

I'm looking around the room and, frankly, I'm concerned. Schuyler, let's start with you.

(SCHUYLER snaps to attention. He's about 22 years old, six feet tall, and weighs 190 pounds, half of which is biceps. The heat of the competition has caused him to remove his shirt. Again.)

TIM: I see feathers. And beads. Feathers and beads. Again?

Indian

SCHUYLER: Right. Well, see, my inspiration was my Native American heritage, but with a contemporary twist.

TIM: A sort of fashion-forward Pocahontas?

SCHUYLER: Yeah.

TIM: I'm a little confused, Schuyler, because until now we've all been under the impression that you're fourth-generation Italian-Scottish from White Plains.

SCHUYLER: My high school football team was the Redskins.

TIM: Fair enough, fair enough. Do you feel confident about this look, Schuyler?

SCHUYLER: I feel confident that I'm the only cute gay dude left and if I get kicked off the ratings will drop fifty percent.

TIM: Carry on.

(TIM turns to LILA, a quivering waif who has been weeping softly for the past three episodes.)

TIM (gently concerned): Lila, honey, how are you?

LILA (sniffling): Fine.

TIM: I have to say, you don't sound fine. Talk to me.

LILA (sobbing): It's just...all the pressure...and...my boyfriend...sent me a break-up text message last night...and then I accidentally sewed a bugle bead to my left nipple...and my cat got out of the hotel and I can't find her...and...

(She breaks down.)

TIM: Can I ask you a question? How much sleep have you had in the past two days?

LILA: About six minutes.

TIM: And how much coffee?

LILA: I kinda stopped counting when Starbucks cut me off.

TIM: Okay, well, let's see what you have to show me. Are those...bunny ears?

Bunny

LILA: Yes. The inspiration is a childhood memory.

TIM: How...sweet.

LILA: We lived on this beautiful farm outside of Moline, Illinois...and every day I used to run through the woods and gather leaves and flowers...and I'd use them to create these fantastic outfits for myself...and all my imaginary friends...

TIM: And one of them was a rabbit?

LILA: No.

TIM: Are we going to hear about the rabbit soon? The clock is ticking.

LILA: Can I blow my nose on your lapel? I ran out of Kleenex.

TIM: No. And Kleenex is not a sponsor of this program, so we're going to have to charge you $15,000 for that unscheduled product endorsement, okay?

LILA (fingering her scissors): Okay.

(At the next table, TIM convenes with XIAO FOU, who has tied up her unruly hair with a length of Vienna sausage links.)

TIM: How's it going, Xiao Fou?

(XIAO FOU stabs her model, INGRID, with a straight pin.)

INGRID: Ach du lieber! Dat vent right through vere my thigh vould be!

XIAO FOU: Serves you right, stupid cow.

TIM: Xiao Fou, what seems to be the trouble?

XIAO FOU: Last night she swallowed a Tic-Tac and now I have to re-fit the whole effing gown.

TIM: Oh, dear.

XIAO FOU: Plus this is like the eleventh episode and you still can't pronounce my name.

TIM: Well, if it's any consolation this is the fifteenth season and I'm still not sure how to pronounce "Klum." Let's talk about your piece, and then Ingrid can go vomit and see if that helps at all.

XIAO FOU: Okay, well, the inspiration was my family's roots in colonial New England.

Colonial

TIM: Hence the mob cap.

XIAO FOU: You have a problem with mob caps?

TIM: No, no. I would just hate to see this get too costumey, if you know what I'm saying? You're going to have to style it very carefully.

XIAO FOU: I was thinking of using the butter churn off the Macy's accessory wall.

TIM: Brilliant. Carry on.

(TIM steps over to MAARV'YN's work table. MAARV'YN is madly sewing fur trim onto his model.)

TIM: Maarv'yn, talk to me. What is this?

Eskimo

MAARV'YN: It's a dress.

TIM: Can you be more specific?

MAARV'YN: It's a...long dress.

TIM: Can you be less specific?

MAARV'YN: It's an expression of who I am as a designer.

TIM: Better. And is that real fur?

MAARV'YN: Yeah.

TIM: How the hell did you buy real fur at Mood with only fourteen dollars?

MAARV'YN: I didn't get it at Mood.

TIM: Then where did you get it?

MAARV'YN: Seen Lila's cat today?

TIM: Make it work! Make it work!

[Cut to commercial.]

And Now for Something Completely Different
In times of crises, each must do what he or she can. And so I've put an original sketch of Dolores (originally seen here) on sale in the shop, with proceeds going to Haitian relief.

Even if you'd rather not expose visitors to your household to the sight of Dolores in full cry, please consider making a contribution in some way to the relief efforts. Much has been done, but more will always remain to do.

[Alrighty - the first sketch sold about 40 seconds after this post went live, which was gratifying. I've put up another, also from the archives, in case you were interested but showed up too late.]

102 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Franklin, for brightening my day! Everyone in the coffeeshop stared at me when giggling escalated to coffee sprayed on my keyboard (I didn't seen the cat fur thing coming!)

Barb

Lucette said...

Thank you Franklin
I so enjoy your sense of humour.

Linda S said...

That was just fantastic! I never use "LOL", but if I did, I would for this! I'll be sending this to all my Project Runway obsessed friends.

Gamba Girl said...

Too hiLARious! (With that emphasis...) I haven't seen one of those toilet roll covers since I saw someone give it as a house gift in about 1979. And unfortunately, it wasn't given tongue-in-cheek.

Alwen said...

My aunt had #3 on the back of her toilet in light green. Ah, the memories.

Mary said...

Those were the fiercest TP cozies I've ever seen.

mary said...

Oh that was fantastic! Thanks for the laugh out loud moment (at least only the cat was here to wonder about the uncontrolled fits of hysterics!)

Geek Knitter said...

I should have seen the cat fur thing coming... really.

Oh thanks, I needed that so much!

chellebelle said...

Brillant as always, there was not one household belonging to any of my Aunts that did not sport one of those TP covers in every bathroom.. and I always took the earrings off of the one in my Grandmother's house when I was very small.. I wanted to play with the dollie!

Rudee said...

Did you nail Project Runway dialogue, or what? I adore Tim Gunn. He is completely deserving of all caps when writing his name.

It's very kind of you to donate your proceeds to Haitian relief.

Carry on...

Cara said...

Huh. Maybe I should be watching Project Runway after all...

Spikey said...

Hilarious! You could not have gotten Tim more perfectly. Thanks for brightening my long day.

You're the best!

Yvonne said...

Darling Franklin,

My nose burns from having coffee run out of it while I was trying to suppress laughter. You will be charged two brownies the next time you visit Pittsburgh - which I'm hoping will be soon. I'm hearing rumbles of a photography class...

artohline said...

SO funny! I would love to see that challenge actually happen on project runway. Sometimes the challenges are so weird you almost think that they are going to come out with something like that! I wonder if they'd ever have toilet paper as their sponsor like you said and then require the designers to make their dresses out of TP like at bridal showers...oh dear, I can only imagine!

Anonymous said...

A masterpiece of a post!

Nina said...

So awesome -- you have the voice down and everything.

katrog said...

Oh, Franklin! Thank you for this gem! I just laughed and laughed!

A few years ago when my sister was to be married, we had a small shower for her at our "cousins' weekend," (when the female cousins get together to drink, eat, and walk around the neighborhood singing). The highlight was my other sister's gift (which she had liberated from our mother's house)--a hand crafted toilet cosy with a (and this goes without saying as far as the bride was concerned) heinous clown head on it.

I have never understood the need to secrete toilet tissue in knitted/crocheted garments with heads attached to them. :)

Kathleen

hokgardner said...

"Seen Lila's cat?" I snorted so hard I woke the baby, who was sleeping in my lap. And I swear my grandmother had toilet paper covers like those.

Patty said...

You nailed it, Franklin! I've been enjoying the walk down memory lane with the 'vintage' patterns, and now this!! Too funny :-)

junior_goddess said...

The cat? Very nice. You been hanging out with TLo?

Virginia said...

Ah. This made my gloomy day considerably... um... snortier?

My poor husband. I don't think he'll ever recover from having me read this post to him. Out loud. In its entirety.

sara 14 said...

I still miss Andre....
Sigh!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful exhibits of functional art! Swirl on.

Anonymous, too said...

I think I'm going to have nightmares from this post. One of my aunts had a whole suite of those things -- one for the TP, one for the tissue box, more covering jars of cotton balls and Q-Tips, a whole bunch hiding countertop appliances in the kitchen, even a crap/craftastic faux-Raggedy Ann "hiding" the vacuum cleaner!

Anonymous, too said...

AAAUUGH!!! I posted my comment, and the next word verification to pop up was "rites".

Run for your lives! The TP dolls are satanic and bent on world domination!!

Anonymous said...

I am embarrassed to say that I made these lovely ladies and gave them as gifts to ALL my female relatives and extended family when I was either 10 or 11 years old. All were white but the hair and trim varied. Now I have to find the picture of me and maybe 20 cuties pre-gifting! oh dear..

theprofessionalaunt

Anonymous said...

and don't think Tim won't hear about this.. he has his finger on the pulse of all y'know..

I wonder if he'll laugh as hard as I did. He has a great sense of humor, but not so great as yours Franklin. Thank you thank you for sharing it w/ us!

wetexit

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Franklin! This is better than You Knit What?

Rainy Daisy said...

holy mother of purl, i LOVE this.

la takahashi said...

This is fabulous!

balujan27 said...

Great share, Thanks !

Jaimee Drew said...

Thank you for making me smile for the first time all week (it has been a ROUGH one). Who knew that Tim Gunn and toilet paper ladies could be so funny? Also, I adore your tag for this post. Too funny!

Anonymous said...

That is the hardest I have laughed in 6 months. I doubled over and laughed out loud all the way through that. How did you nail that dialogue so perfectly? So, so funny. I literally am wiping away tears. You're a genius. God Bless whoever gave you all those vintage knitting books...

Slip, Knit... Meditate said...

THAT IS THE BEST START OF MY DAY!!!!
But next question: can you deliver us the patterns from all those gorgeous dress?? bet Dolores would look GREAT in it..or perhaps Tim too

Kathy said...

You always brighten my day! Thank you for such a good life early in the morning!

Harpa Jónsdóttir said...

My mother in law has one in light peach...

Christy D. said...

I love your lost episode of Project Runway. I can actually hear Tim Gunn's voice saying those things as I read it. :) Thanks for the chuckle, and now I have a wierd urge to knit toilet paper dolls...

One More Stitch said...

Why did I think it was a good idea to sip my morning tea and read this at the same time?

Absolutely spot on and so, so funny! Thanks!

Winterhart said...

Absolutely brilliant!

"Can you be less specific?"
*dies*

nosenabook said...

I must have missed the memo. WHY are all these outfits accessorized with a hat?
Thank you for elucidating Project Runway, now I Get It.

Mary said...

I think my grandmother made 500 of those things. She used to sell them at craft fairs... along with crocheted earrings made from cotton and big lumpy beads.

Post was too funny :)

Carol said...

One of your best ever!

Cathy R said...

Oh, my, Goodness.

I've been cut off from Project Runway since they moved to Lifetime.

Your version is SO much better.

Thanks for the giggle!!!

HipDroppedStitches said...

Oh my goodness... you absolutely kill me... brilliant, brilliant!

Cindy in Happy Valley said...

What's with the publicity photo of Gunn with his tie dangling out of his jacket?

Is this a fashion statement that I somehow missed?

Thanks for the giggles....

Kristen said...

Howling! Howling! And my office echoes, so no telling what the people outside are thinking...

Red said...

You captured PR and Tim Gunn's voice perfectly. Love it.

And thanks for your efforts to help Haiti too.

FiberQat said...

OMG I snorted coffee over my keyboard. You nailed it, my friend, one hundred percent. I can just hear Nina giving her critiques now. "The cylindricity, the shaping and creative use of materials, plus this just speaks your style! Well done."

Sarah said...

V v excllent post.

Damn it! The Dolores prints have all gone!

BB said...

HYSTERICAL!

Anonymous said...

now more than ever, i'm going to think of it as "project run away!"
(and i'm going to start using the word exiseli. it verifies me like no other.)

Seanna Lea said...

Wow. I don't even watch Project Runway and this is hilarious!

Laura Sue said...

Brilliant, funny, creative post. And what am I going to comment on? That you said, "Eeek," in the last sentence. Two very different little peeks into the mind of Franklin. I enjoyed them both--the post and the eek.

ChristineK said...

Thanks for the laugh, Franklin! I'm going to have this post running through my head tomorrow night.

Somewhere Else said...

"Seen Lila's cat?" - new favourite answer to all silly Where/How questions.

susanr5 said...

OMG! Only you and Tim Gunn could make me laugh my butt off (if only!) at all those horrendous TP dolls!

They are the most frighteningly awful things in the world (That's a lot of look!), and when I tell anyone I knit or crochet I feel that that is what they're thinking I make! (This worries me.) Actually, those kinds of projects are the ones that make me a better knitter. When I'm considering not considering all aspects of a new project (the best cast-on, the best hand-finishing, the least-lazy-most-invisible seaming or weaving-in), I think "homemade" and a TP cover with a doll in it comes to mind. (Make it work!)

Thank you for making a nightmare so entertaining! You do a perfect Tim-I could hear him!

Anonymous said...

My computer just returned from the e-hospital. When I logged on and saw the title of this post, I started spritzing Diet Coke on the keyboard before I even began to read it.

Love Tim! But I agree, what's with the tie? My husband and I had a plan for the '08 election had Obama not been nominated:

Bloomburg & Gunn/Substance & Style.

May you keep on making it work.

obscure

Northmoon said...

such a good thing I didn't read this at work, I'm laughing so hard. Perfect, perfect takeoff of the show. I could see each of the characters so clearly, XIAO FOU's hair tied up with sausage links .. OMG. And the butter churn from the Macy's accessory wall...love it!

Yvonne said...

Loved the post - reminded me of being given one of these at a show a couple of years ago and the fun we had rehoming it!

For UK versions have you seen Pat Ashforth/ Steve Plummers creations?

Deidre said...

I really enjoy your writing. This imaginative post is not only funny but really clever too. I wish you'd write something longer than a blog post. It would be so great if you wrote a column somewhere or a compilation of short stories, or plays, or . . . or something! (I -am not a clever writer.)

Gail said...

Thanks for the laugh! You nailed Tim Gunn!

Kimberly said...

This is the exact reason I don't watch Project Runway...

Bobbie said...

Agree x 61

Jeanne said...

Crying. Seriously. What a fantastic, dead-on send-up of Tim Gunn.

Janet said...

I.just.love.you.

knitinsage said...

lmfao!
"can you be less specific?"

Judy in Indiana said...

Well, I am always arriving late. This post cracks me up! I don't want you to stop.

I love the cards in your etsy shop. I gotta check it out more often, meanwhile I am thinking of snatching up some cards. They are perfect.

Simone said...

Bravo!!!!!!

Lauren said...

YOu got the tone of Project Runway exactly right. Thanks for the giggle!

ellen said...

Thank You thank you thank you for the correct use of "reigns" (not reins, as I usually see from people who attempt its use)

Heidi said...

Whoa, Franklin, you channel Tim Gunn perfectly!

MLJ1954 said...

Damn, now I have to watch project runway.

Denise said...

This is by far the funniest blog post I've read in a very long while. Brilliant!

Cathy said...

Oh Lord those are AWFUL. I'm old enough to remember when people dressed up their toilet rolls like that. It's also one of the main reasons I never bothered to learn to crochet back in the day!

Beth in RI said...

OMG, thank you thank you thank you

Kathleen said...

You are so awesome.

The Knifty Knitter said...

I love Project Runway. And I love this post. You nailed Tim Gunn.

Ariadne said...

Oh Franklin, you make the world a happier place every time you write!

Teresa in Virginia said...

Franklin, this is too funny. A bit on the naughty side, but man, is this funny!

Anonymous said...

Whats this about a new book? When will it be out??

jessbcuz said...

I know someone who still uses these things. they define her aesthetic. I can't reveal too much more as it might make future family gatherings uncomfortable should she ever stumble across this comment.

Heddy said...

Hey Franklin ... the post made me giggle ... as usual! I just bought a Creative Knitting Magazine and saw you starting back at me from the Addi Turbo ad ... nice looking lace! Congrats on the Addi gig

Marianne said...

http://knittaporfavor.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/first-project-of-the-year/
Magda Sayek is channeling you...

Maureen said...

That was award winning!!!! You have Tim Gunn done perfectly!!! The show is a hoot but not as funny as this post!! Thanks for brightening a bleary mid western day!!!!

Linda said...

OMG! I love it! You've pegged Mr. Gunn. Do you think he'll ever see it? I'm sure he would LOL!

Rosi G. said...

Hunni, I don't know WHERE you come up with half this stuff but keep at it! :o)

AND AW CRAP!!! How could I have missed out on an original D?? FFS!!! UGH!

WANT!

Grace said...

Oh Franklin. You made my day. The pix, the story, PERFECT.

Knittingfiddler said...

This unrepentant Tim Gunn lover is still giggling hysterically. Thanks so much, Franklin!

Knitterwockey said...

LOL, Brilliant!

cattychick said...

You probably didn't hear them, but rumblings of "read the toilet-paper-cover entry" were floating through your presentation tonight in Hinsdale.

Now I know what to do with the Persian cat-fur tumbleweeds all over my house.

With gratitude from Sheepie's former girlfriend.

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How on EARTH did I miss this? LOVE!!!!

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