Kelso: Don’t forget feng shui, decor touches in designing border wall


So now that the Affordable Care Act replacement move has been botched — at least momentarily — it’s time to move onto Donald Trump’s next big campaign promise: building that $21.6 billion, 2,000-mile wall along the Texas/Mexico border.

That’s a lot of dough for a wall, isn’t it? That’s a wall that’ll cost every American taxpayer $170 a head. And I thought the Republican Party was cost-conscious. Maybe Trump ought to look into chain-link. Might save the country a few bucks, right? For $21.6 billion, this wall should be able to do the Hokey Pokey and sing “My Melancholy Baby.”

The big question is what this wall is fixing to look like. What’s the decor plan? Are we shooting for that Great Wall of China look to bring in the tourists? Are we shooting for something dark and foreboding, like the Berlin Wall that Ronald Reagan wanted torn down? Are we thinking guard towers to make the wall look menacing? What’s the feng shui planned for this Trump wall? OK, so Trump thinks feng shui is Chinese takeout. But for this kind of dough you don’t want something boring, right?

So I’ve asked you readers out there to help me in the decor planning. What would you suggest for decorating this wall? What design touches would you throw in? For those kind of bucks you don’t want some eyesore. And don’t paint the thing some dull color like taupe. Which is basically brown. But if you call a pair of boots taupe instead of brown, you can raise the price $20 to $30.

You know this wall could become the world’s largest billboard, with the money for ad space rental going directly into Trump’s wallet.

“I’d decorate it with Mexican beer bottles and let the Mexican beer companies sponsor lengths of the wall like we let companies sponsor litter patrols on our highways,” Kris Schludermann suggested.

Then there was the guy who sent me a photo of some leggy blonde wearing a G-string and not much else. When I say long legs, I’m not messing around. These legs are so long that they start somewhere near the Capitol complex and end up around Dime Box.

This sexist decor approach comes with a couple of problems. It’s a traffic hazard. Some 18-wheeler driver will see this photo and end up in a ditch. And although the photo is riveting, I’m not sure I want to turn the wall into an ad for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Then again, we could use the wall for advertising to recruit Mexican construction workers to build it. I’m sure they’d work cheaper than a bunch of U.S. union members.

“Trump is missing a great opportunity if he does not have the wall built so that outdoor advertising, i.e. billboards, can be mounted on both sides,” wrote Dick Reavis, an author, reporter and magazine writer. Reavis sees the rental of the wall for billboard space as an easy moneymaker. “Patrolmen could be trained to mount and dismount the ads. Rental rates would be set according to the proximity of a space to urban areas, schools and stadiums. Of course, billboards that say things like ‘Visit Utah’s 5 National Parks’ would not be permitted on the southern side.”

One reader said we should cover the wall with solar panels. Smart. That way you’ve got a double whammy: You’ve got a wall discouraging illegal immigration, and you’ve come up with a way to create some energy. Last I looked, the sun shines plenty in Mexico.

There’s talk about running the wall right through the middle of Big Bend National Park. That would really spruce up your camping trip, folks. But if we’re going to defile the great outdoors, we might as well let REI and other camping supply outlets advertise their products on the wall. So in Big Bend, the wall turns into a Craig’s List-lookin’ deal for camping supplies: ads for canteens, Sterno, flashlights, and all of your other camping needs.

Now here’s a decorating idea that would be DOA at Trump Tower: Carol Oppel, one of my readers, suggested a welcoming patriotic theme to decorate the wall. “On the Mexican side: ‘Welcome to the United States of America’ with paintings of U.S. flags and bunting — along with detailed diagrams and graphics of holes and passage ways to get through the wall. On the U.S. side, ‘Come back soon. We are holding a place for you in our America.’”

Right, Carol. Trump is holding a place for Mexican arrivals. It’s called a detention center.

And, just when you thought he’d disappeared, here comes Rick Perry.

“Just one piece could be a big mural with a depiction of Gov. Perry wearing his ‘Dancing With the Stars’ outfit, holding a pair of six guns, riding a nuclear missile (a la Dr. Strangelove),” said Jay Maguire, who has a company called Maguire Strategies. “And the words ‘Adios Mofos!’ coming out of a bubble over his head.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Commentary: Boeing ruling stretched to keep government records secret
Commentary: Boeing ruling stretched to keep government records secret

Every week, government officials across Texas and private companies receiving taxpayer dollars get increasingly creative in hiding public records. Their new tool is the Boeing ruling, a decision from the Texas Supreme Court that lowered the threshold for arguing competitive bidding as an exemption from disclosure under the Texas Public Information...
Commentary: As Austin’s many faiths gather, a common humanity emerges
Commentary: As Austin’s many faiths gather, a common humanity emerges

Every year, I work with diverse faith leaders to plan Interfaith Action of Central Texas’ (iACT) annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. It involves weeks of meetings with new groups. Each year is completely unique. It is one of the greatest experiences of growth I have each year — and it always brings out new talents and skills in myself...
This Thanksgiving, here are 5 myths about American Indians
This Thanksgiving, here are 5 myths about American Indians

Thanksgiving recalls for many people a meal between European colonists and indigenous Americans that we have invested with all the symbolism we can muster. But the new arrivals who sat down to share venison with some of America's original inhabitants relied on a raft of misconceptions that began as early as the 1500s, when Europeans produced fanciful...
Letters to the editor: Nov. 23, 2017

There is a well-worn real estate mantra: “location, location, location.” But poor design can ruin a great location. The city of Austin and the University of Texas have overlooked the need for a level of architectural control for years. UT is completing such a master stroke at Guadalupe Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard with the...
Opinion: Billionaires desperately need our help

It is so hard to be a billionaire these days! A new yacht can cost $300 million. And you wouldn’t believe what a pastry chef earns — and if you hire just one, to work weekdays, how can you possibly survive on weekends? The investment income on, say, a $4 billion fortune is a mere $1 million a day, which makes it tough to scrounge by with...
More Stories