The Haven
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The Haven

Thanksgiving Relatives, Your “Tiny” Accommodations Await

At the risk of being excoriated by Illinois public health officials, I have just extended an invitation to my out-of-town relatives to join me for a lavish Thanksgiving feast. They can even stay through Christmas if they like, COVID-19 be damned.

Of course, this is all dependent on how fast Amazon can deliver their accommodations and how fast I can assemble them. They may be shivering on my backyard patio while I, screwdriver in hand say, “Be patient! Have any of YOU ever built a studio cabin? From a kit?”

I specifically have my eye on the Allwood Palma 3, all 176 square feet of it. At just under $10,000, this two-room beauty is the best-selling “tiny house” on Amazon. And, yes, that includes free shipping. The product description says it offers “unparalleled versatility,” most likely because I can actually MOVE THE WALL during assembly.

“The 2nd room can be made into a full size bedroom or left to serve as a smaller bathroom or kitchen area,” the website states.

That’s right, the builder decides where the bathroom goes, or if one is even necessary. I’m guessing my mom and my aunt, both in their 80s, might appreciate plumbing. I had better start googling “how to install a toilet.”

Tiny houses, along with treehouses and log cabins, have become all the rage on home-sharing sites, particularly among environmentalists. While filming my TV series, A Comedian Crashes Your Pad, I stayed in a 180-square-foot cabin in Boise, Idaho. A cautionary word for anyone planning to bunk in such quaint accommodations: Expect to hit your head multiple times, on everything from exposed pipes to the ceiling itself. One night in the cabin was sufficient; upon exiting I didn’t realize how much I appreciated simple pleasures such as the ability to freely uncross my legs.

Watch the author stay in a tiny house

The Allwood Palma 3 listing has yet to garner any reviews on Amazon, but potential buyers have submitted dozens of questions. Among the more interesting queries and answers:

Q: Can you stack another unit on top to make a two-story tiny house?

A: No it is not possible.

Q: Can it be installed on pillars (10 ft tall), instead of ground?

A: Yes it can.

Q: Is electricity something you’ve seen other owners add easily into this unit?

A: Ha!

OK the last answer wasn’t “Ha!” but it was suggested to bring in an outside electrician and install “U shaped wire molds,” whatever those are. I may have to present my relatives with a choice: Plumbing or power? After all, Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and I still have to find someone to help me assemble all 3,275 pounds of the structure. Construction should take four to five days and requires two “handy adults,” the website says.

In addition, I’m still perusing other tiny house options on Amazon. If 176 square feet is too roomy for my holiday guests, I can purchase the 117-square-foot Allwood Mayflower Garden House for $7,890. This one is on wheels; I can push my relatives closer to the turkey if necessary.

There’s also the Allwood Ranger Cabin Kit. It’s a bit pricey at $19,990, but it does contain a 168-square-foot loft in case other relatives decide to drop in at the last minute.

Once the holidays are over, I have big plans for this additional real estate. It has all the makings of a man cave, a workout studio (provided workouts don’t include jumping or other exercises that could result in head banging) or a space for those needing to quarantine following positive COVID-19 tests. Whoever stays there should be able to piggyback off my house internet signal. And if I can’t figure out how to install electricity, I can easily run an extension cord from my home to the structure. A space heater should be sufficient to get occupants through the cold Chicago winter.

Relatives, if that doesn’t sound appealing, feel free to stay home this holiday season, as health experts are suggesting. If I must endure a quiet Thanksgiving with just my immediate family, featuring dinner conversation that does not include politics while wearing facemasks, I will suck it up.

Home sweet home never sounded so good.

Greg Schwem is a business humorist, motivational corporate comedian, corporate emcee, nationally syndicated humor columnist for Tribune Content Agency and creator of the TV series, “A Comedian Crashes Your Pad, distributed by Fantastic Films LLC. He is currently performing his virtual presentation, “You Can’t Quarantine Laughter” for Fortune 500 companies worldwide.



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Greg Schwem

Greg Schwem

Business humor keynote speaker and MC. TV host, “A Comedian Crashes Your Pad (I’ll sleep w anybody!) Nationally syndicated humor columnist, Tribune Co.