Catastrophic window failures Thursday afternoon destroyed all but one entry in Blacktip Island’s Underwater Home Show. The Caribbean island homes were to be featured on HGTV’s “Pimp My Beach Shack” reality series highlighting alternative destination housing, with the winning designer to host a network DIY show.
“They said it was some kind of high-tensile, space-age polycarbonate,” show organizer Sheena Goode said. “Everyone bought it. Everyone used it. Now we see why we got such good prices.”
“We were putting the final touches on the armoire and, KABLAM! Water and snappers and chubs were everywhere,” designer Payne Hanover said. “Luckily there were scuba divers outside to breathe us to the surface.”
The windows’ manufacturer, Fenêtres de la Mer, denied culpability.
“Do our brochures specifically state not to use our plastic windows underwater? No.” spokesman B.P. Glass said. “But who in their right mind would expect an eighth-inch thick sheet of plastic to hold up to that kind of pressure? Not to cast stones, but this is an end-user issue.”
The sole surviving home, built without windows, was declared the show’s winner by default.
“I’m sickened by the damage, and I hate to win this way,” said Suzanne Souccup, the house’s designer. “But I’m keeping the prize money. And the reality show gig.”
“It was the modern, open-concept design of most of the homes that did us in,” organizer Goode said. “We laughed at Suzanne’s manky grotto, but that saved her from disaster.”
“Everyone was going with lots of light and rattan,” Souccup said, “So I opted for post-modern gloom. It’s not so much feng shui as it is funky shui.
“It’s done in 100% organic materials, locally-sourced and dyed with seaweed-based tinctures harvested from the island’s reefs. We finished it off with coral-rubble walls and black coral posts for the master bedroom.”
Local environmentalists decried Souccup’s choice of materials.
“Rattan is renewable,” said Harry Pickett of Earth First!. “Those black coral logs took centuries to grow. This isn’t locally sourcing. This is devastating the locale. This home should have been destroyed along with all the others.”
Picketts denied allegations Earth First! targeted any of the homes for sabotage, or that Souccup had any connection to his organization.
The Tiperon Island Department of Tourism has embraced the flooded homes.
“This is a lemons-to-lemonade situation for us,” the D.o.T.’s Val Schrader said. “We’ve plans to turn the mess into a self-guided snorkeling trail. This kind of opportunity doesn’t come along every day.”
Local scuba divers have been recruited to help with making the homes safe for snorkelers.
“We can’t pay you,” Schrader said, “but you can keep anything you haul up.”