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For sale: The red toilet and the Wight house
The red toilet is in peril. I have it from an impregnable source (interpret that as you will) that Kathy Stollmeyer Wight, the Domestic Diva of the West, the Blue Ranger herself, is selling her colourful two-storey, five-bedroom house.
Yes, the house designed by her architect brother and made to look as if it were 100 years old; the one with the fretwork detail and expansive veranda; the gazebo and the firefly lights; the winding walkways through the lush garden; the sunken swimming pool whose artfully placed mossy rocks were groomed by Kathy rubbing yoghurt into them with her own creative hands.
Will this vibrant home, which has been featured twice in Maco Caribbean Living magazine and earned a place in the coffee-table Maco collection of all-time favourites, fall into the hands of philistines?
Will some colour-deprived beige soul douse the walls in gallons of paint in shades of oatmeal, yeast and mould? Will the Wight House become the off-white house?
Most importantly, will the red toilet survive the new owners?
Now, it’s the walls of the gorgeous little sanctuary that are red, not the ceramic installation itself.
The colour is more vermilion, actually, and you practically need shades to go in there.
Kathy collects everything and throws away nothing, so the walls of the spectacular powder room are covered in artwork and photographs and framed newspaper clippings and mementoes that help trace the family history.
I can hardly bear to think of the Wight House without the Wights.
They call the transition downsizing, although they have not figured out where they are downsizing to.
Always an advocate for common sense, Kathy says sell first, figure that out later.
After being walloped by the scary real-estate news, I moved into battle mode.
The only way to save the Wight House was to buy it myself.
So I e-mailed a bunch of friends who have seen and loved the modern gingerbread and suggested we pool our resources.
I raided the biscuit tin at the back of the kitchen cupboard and fished the loose change out of the sofa and my contribution staggered to the astonishing height of $334.75.
Just a few million or so to go and the Wonder of the West will be won.
My friends must all still be on vacation or recovering from the festive hangovers, because not one of them has replied with offers to pitch in.
Moving on to Plan B. I cobbled together some clues for Kathy to look for when screening potential buyers.
Trust no one wearing suspenders or blue eye shadow.
Ask the applicants to write their names and addresses.
If the lettering stands up straight, shows strong strokes and resembles a series of W’s, you could be selling to award-winning film-maker Frances-Anne Solomon, stylish-shoes-wearer Guardian editor-in-chief Judy Raymond, or aging-in-reverse actress Demi Moore.
Or you could just have misplaced your glasses and be looking at somebody’s electrocardiogram test results.
Applicants must also answer the following questions:
1. How would you weigh your own brain?
2. How do you feel about animal-print shoes?
3. What makes you laugh?
The answers will provide insights into whether you are selling to an axe murderer or a buyer with more money than taste, both of which are very bad on the scale of Scary People You Do Not Want in Your Neighbourhood.
Kathy will know the right answers when she hears them, just like a mother knows her own baby’s cry even if in a room full of newborns. (Answering “Yuck!’’ to the second question requires being shot with a plastic dart to the forehead.)
Plus, the clouds will part and angels’ trumpets will sound when the right buyer shows up.
“If only I were rich!’’ I moaned to Kathy. “Your house would be mine.’’
“You are rich!’’ she replied, unhelpfully. “Pity about the mortgage and banks, though.’’
But she did leave me with one small consolation: “Wherever I go, Elsa,’’ she assured. “I will always have a red powder room.’’
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