Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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DIY Big Pop...

Brother Survivor Scrapheap Ground Junkyard Home Robot Force Challenge Idol Front Wars (etc) ...give them less of an easy ride.
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My housemate and I spent a large part of August trawling the streets of Selly Oak following a practice known as 'skip-diving'. This also applies to gardens. In the month of July, it appears that the local council observes a sort of 'furniture amnesty', where old battered sofas, tables, and cupboards are left in front gardens or on the pavement (sidewalk) of this student-dominated residential area and picked up by the council for disposal. I realise this may sound like hell to those of you who live in nicer neighbourhoods, but it's a fact of life round here, where the idea is that many people don't have the means to take these things to public dump sites.

Well. We picked up a three-seater sofa, a one-seater sofa, two tables, seven chairs, a dresser table minus legs, a coffee table, a filing cabinet, and three biscuit tins. Most of these we palmed off on our friend who is moving into an unfurnished flat - we cleaned them all up and checked for spiders, but mostly they were perfectly serviceable, just a little bit tatty.

We kept the table and four dining chairs, and my friend suggested they needed "a little love". We began this 'loving' last night, and figured it was somewhat reminiscent of Big Brother (this year the inmates were each given a plain chair from IKEA and told to paint it). I had been down to the DIY store and bought a value pack of three grades of sandpaper and some small tins of spray paint. Thus it was that yesterday evening's procrastination activity was the sanding down of the flaking white paint from a chair, washing it, and spray painting it. I am not (I hope) being too big headed when I say the result looks superb.

That's the idea, basically. Instead of putting ten people in a house all ready furnished in IKEA, cut your costs by giving them the flatpacks and telling them to make it themselves. Or giving them each a skip to dive into, to see what they can reclaim. Give them limitless spray paints and sandpaper (but no naff stencil sets, or rulers or spirit levels, heh heh). Since a poorly-sanded chair will lose its paint before a well sanded and washed one, this will sort the grafters from the lazy swines. Artistic talents may come to the fore, but so will bullshitting. All in all, more entertainment for the first couple of days. Although we know that the placement of furniture was somewhat constrained by camera angles, we wondered whether it was too cruel to *not* fit a kitchen, but make the inmates have to put together their own kitchen (plumbing?! wiring?! Darwin awards!) before they could even eat. Cue some comedy whining.
lewisgirl, Sep 12 2002

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       Ahh, Selly Oak. I lived in Tiverton Road for a few years - happy days....   

       Thinking back, there were lots of skips around. I'm afraid I have some doubts about the rivetingness of watching people putting furniture together though. While reading your idea I thought that this might be better suited to a spin-off of Scrapheap Challenge: Student Skip Challenge.   

       Students would be given a task such as: make a contraption that can transport a (very big & heavy) carpet stolen from a curry house (ahh, the Shapla...) back to their house. They would dash off, rummage through skips, and get to work.   

       What do you think?
sild, Sep 12 2002
  

       Combine this with the Serial Killer Housemate and all those sharp edged tools and you could be on a winner ...
8th of 7, Sep 12 2002
  

       they like me in the Shapla, sild. I'm not going to abuse their trust. I accept your point though - perhaps this would be better as a (more homely?) version of Robot Wars / Scrapheap Challenge and such. I'll modify the subtitle (I've been in trouble before for long titles..)
lewisgirl, Sep 12 2002
  

       And you call yourself a student...
sild, Sep 12 2002
  

       "...a one-seater sofa..."
We call them chairs.
phoenix, Sep 12 2002
  

       //and three biscuit tins// ???????
PeterSilly, Sep 12 2002
  

       and base the whole thing in the outback of Australia complete with Ant and Dec.
po, Sep 12 2002
  

       Could we not just base Ant and Dec in the outback, without worrying about the whole TV show thing?
-alx, Sep 13 2002
  

       Yeah ! Serve them Aussies right for sending us Kyle Minogue .... they're a-comin ta getcha, UB ...
8th of 7, Sep 13 2002
  
      
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