Those who know me know that while I’m currently studying Japanese, I do want a second degree in Marine Biology, and in between, I want electrical, building and plumbing NVQs, so those who do know me, shouldn’t be surprised that I adore Cowboy Trap. And furthermore, I adore Clive. He’s big, cuddly, knows his squeegies and his counterforts, but also well versed in the floral prints of Laura Ashley. What a man. So adorable. And so badass at the same time. In my Star Trek circles, we’d call him BAMF. Bad. Ass. Motherf*cker. Because he is. He’s suitably large and scary enough to confront people who purport themselves as professional builders, but actually, just take clients’ money and run, not only leaving them with no money, an unfinished house that they can’t fix due to not having money, and sometimes even in a state where their own house is endangering their own lives, but he’s also cuddly and adorable, and so empathetic, I know if I was in the position some of these people were in, I know I’d feel safe and relieved if he knocked on my door.
There used to be a similar show, or maybe it was the same one, I forget. It was hosted by a less intimidating and also less adorable bald man, and possibly Melinda Messenger. And I did enjoy that show but… It was just not of the same calibre. The guy ran around getting in the faces of cowboy builders who wouldn’t even respond anyway, while Melinda pretty much pranced around picking out cushions. And convincing local shop owners and building professionals to give their materials and time free of charge. It was a bit like Ross Kemp On Gangs meets Changing Rooms, which was awesome. Until Clive and his Cowboy trap came along.
Clive has enough natural charm that he doesn’t need to make the show about himself, he shines through anyway. Instead he first concentrates on getting the full story from the cowboy victims, consoles them, takes a look at the damage, works out what’s wrong, usually realising there’s far more to it than the people realised, and then he calls in “The Good Guys” to fix it. And throughout he gives out tips on how to not get caught in the cowboy trap, as well as various building/plumbing/electrical tips for if you want to get work done yourself. He pulls out a whole lot of amazing gadgets that are so so so useful. The cowboy confrontation is more about giving the people some closure, as well as giving the cowboy builder a right of reply, and not about a butch confrontation.
The skills shown and talked about on the show are ones I’ve wanted for a long time, maybe even since watching my grandad (an engineer), running around his summer property building anything and everything he could think of. And even making a trap door down to the basement in his flat in Warsaw. You know, because your life isn’t complete without a trap door. Every time I watch Cowboy trap I know more and more that it’s what I want to do, I always liked makeover shows, but I’m not satisfied with a new paint job and cushions. I want to give people secret rooms and awesome built in features. I want to be part of that good guy team that comes in and makes it all okay, fixes what’s gone wrong and makes people happy with their homes again. I just need to figure out how I’ll fit all that in with my Japanese degree and my future marine biology degree. But I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, I think.
I was actually looking through his own site to see if I could steal some nice pictures, but in the end, I went with the promo/still from BBC’s Cowboy Trap itself, as he looks suitably badass in it.
Galleries, biography etc.
You can even email him, he replies! I admit I would like to email him, but beyond “you’re awesome” I wouldn’t know what to write. He’s that awesome. So for now, I will remain a quiet admirer. And maybe one day I’ll be on that good guy team he calls in. Well. I can dream.