Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Home Improvement Hottie Named Holmes

I’ve blogged before about some of my heroes on HGTV and TLC, and everyone knows that there are few things sexier than a good-looking man in a tool belt. Well, it’s high time I posted here about a shining light in the world of hot contractors: Mike Holmes.

While we U.S.-type Americans are only beginning to catch on, our neighbors to the north have been idolizing Mike for some time now. His show “Holmes on Homes” is HGTV Canada’s number one hit, and one of my Canuck friends tells me he’s something of a household word up there.

So what’s the deal with this guy, eh? (Sorry, had to do that.) Well, on the surface he’s a big, burly, blond Canadian guy who typically sports a wife-beater under overalls. He’s got the rugged good looks going on, but he’s not exactly Carter Oosterhouse. Nevertheless, tune in to a couple episodes of the show and you too will love this guy.

Mike Holmes’ shtick is rescuing homeowners from construction disasters. These people trusted a contractor, paid him good money, and ended up literally living in a nightmare. Their foundations are failing, their heat isn’t working, their wiring and plumbing is screwed up and dangerous, that sort of thing.

Mike and his able crew to the rescue.

The first step is uncovering just what’s wrong. That invariably means a lot of drywall being ripped out and plenty of very bad news. It’s really fun. Why? Well, first of all, you get to see Mike punch holes in walls with his bare hands. Secondly, you get to watch him become infuriated and rave about the shoddy workmanship. And third, you know no matter how bad it gets, in the end everything will be made right.

That’s Mike’s trademarked motto: “Make it right.” He’s so good at undoing bad things, you wish he could go back to Eden, kick out the serpent with his steel-toed boot, and nail the apple back on the tree. In lieu of that, this anal-retentive perfectionist and his cohorts make snarled and deadly wiring look like it would make Martha Stewart smile. They seal foundations, they eradicate mold, they take kitchens with crooked cabinets and turn them House Beautiful.

Indeed, the results of their meticulous plastering, nailing, sealing, leveling, and always spray-foam-insulating (this is Canada after all) are more than perfect, they are picture-perfect. The final woodwork, painting, and decorating—typically all you get on a home improvement show—is the frosting on the cake.

Homeowners whose faces formerly were agonized and tearful, are now weeping with joy and relief. I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that Mike has kept a few people from going homeless or getting divorced, simply by extricating them from the dire situations inflicted by unscrupulous and/or shoddy contractors.

Maybe now you see why Mike Holmes has started looking so damn good to me. He’s a white knight for the 21st Century, slaying not dragons but crappy living situations, rescuing not damsels but families.

He’s also founded the Holmes Foundation, an organization that encourages and sponsors young people in the construction fields. His inspiration AND his money should go a long way to create more mini-Mikes that will make living in Canada safer and happier.

The only thing “Holmes on Homes” lacks is the satisfaction of bringing back the perpetrators to face wuppings from the intimidating big guy in the overalls. But as Mike said on a show we saw recently, better to let the past go and focus on improving the future. That’s pretty inspiring too.

So, my hard hat’s off to you, Mike Holmes! I am happy to move you to the head of the Erotica-with-Soul-endorsed home improvement hotties. You can make it right in my world anytime!

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