Wet Paint

Hello, again. Things have been busy at The Shop, so I haven’t had time to update this electronic diatribe as much as I would like. Maybe if things slow down, I can catch up on some blogging. Anyway, on to today’s topic.
I don’t know what it is about wet paint that makes even reasonably sane and intelligent people have to stick their fingers in it. It seems like, if people see a sign that says “wet paint” they have to make sure it is, indeed, wet.
There is a reason for today’s study, and that reason is named Pop Rivet.Early in the morning, I had removed, sanded, and painted a water heater door silver. These doors come from the factory white, and a white water heater door on an Airstream sticks out like a sore thumb. So, after all the prep work, I mixed up some paint in a nice complimentary shade of silver, and painted the door. It looked great, and I left the door on a work bench to dry before installing it. I took the paint gun outside to clean it, and when I came back inside, I passed the water heater door. Glancing at it, I noticed a fingerprint in the center of the freshly painted area. I was not happy, as while it hadn’t taken all that long to paint, I had spent the better part of an hour prepping it and mixing the paint. Now, I had to strip the new paint and start over. Thinking dark thoughts about whoever ruined my paint job, I once again carefully prepped and painted the water heater door. When I was done, I put the door on a sawhorse to dry, and taped a sign that said “Wet Paint” on the sawhorse. I then proceeded to once again begin cleaning up from my painting project.

I had no more than walked across the shop, when I heard a commotion coming from the direction of my freshly painted water heater door. Spinning around, I saw my water heater door flying through the air, with Pop in hot pursuit. He nearly caught it, but it bounced out of his hands, and back into the air. He tried grabbing it again, this time it squirted out of his hands, and went straight into the air about ten feet, tumbling  and spinning like a berserk Frisbee. When it came down again, Pop grabbed it with both hands and tried to hold onto it, but wet paint is slippery, and it again slid out of his hands, this time heading for the floor. In blind panic by now, Pop tried catching the door, or at least stopping it, with his feet. This effort was also doomed to fail, as all he succeeded in doing was kicking the door straight up at his face, knocking his glasses off and spinning wildly across the shop on the floor, fresh-painted side down.

I stood in silence, taking in the devastation of Pop’s five second war with my water heater door. He had a bloody nose, broken glasses, pants and shirt with gooey paint globs stuck to them, along with his right shoe. The water heater door hadn’t fared any better, being twisted, dented, and scratched from its trip across the concrete floor. I walked over, gently pried the door off the floor before it permanently stuck there from the paint drying, and carried both it and the two biggest pieces of Pop’s glasses back across the shop to where he stood, looking like he had failed an audition for the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. I handed Pop his glasses, and headed out the door to deposit the water heater door in the dumpster.  Next time I decide to paint something, I think I’ll wait until it’s Pop’s day off.

About the Author

Lug Wrench is a long-time mechanic, multiple Airstream owner, and dyed-in-the-wool pragmatist. All tales guaranteed 100% true, although names and certain details may be altered to protect the guilty.