Friday, February 21, 2014

My Door Prize

            The last post was about painting my grandfather clock and this one is about painting my front door.  Only this time I painted the door the same deep red it has always been, just a newer, shinier coat-- something like this door:
            Sounds easy, right?  Here is how to turn a simple project into a total disaster: Add one dog.  Yep, that’s the formula for catastrophe, folks.  And I like dogs.  But they do not belong anywhere near wet paint.
            Here’s what happened, without a shred of exaggeration.  I taped off the hardware, laid down a drop cloth, and then painted the whole door a rich crimson.  Then, so it could dry without sticking to the door jam, I left it propped open about four inches.  It was still wet and gleaming when the plot thickened. 
            Remember my telling you about the Pointer/Lab mix we had, named Quat, because our comedian children thought it would be funny to call him by saying kumquat?   
           That’s the dog who trotted over to investigate my project when he happened to glance through that critical four-inch gap.  And there he spotted a family with a baby in a stroller and two dogs on leashes, having an afternoon stroll.  He bolted past me, squeezed through the door and went flying out to bark at them and scare them out of their wits. 
            I chased him down and found that he was now half maroon, his entire left side covered with paint.  I got it in my hair and all over me dragging him back to the house, screaming at Quat, and shouting my apologies to the neighbors.  
            And then I saw my door.  The bottom half was now covered with white fur, as if I were trying to do some kind of Graceland tribute.  I shoved Quat into the house, where he decided to roll on our white carpet. 
            This, as you might know, constitutes an emergency, so I ran to the kitchen, came back with wet paper towels, and scrubbed the carpet for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the red paint on the dog and in my hair had completely dried.  As had the fur on the door.  I was beginning to wonder if the people at the animal shelter had made a deal with the devil.
There was no way to wipe off the dried paint and fur on the bottom half of the door, so now I had to sand it.  And still, I couldn’t get all the hair off.  So I repainted and now the door had curious “texture” here and there.  It looked worse than before I had started.
I took Quat out to the back yard to brush him, in hopes of removing at least some of the red paint.  Total fail.  
Then I went to a mirror and saw that I had the very same hairdo.  As if a blind hairdresser had placed a two-fer Groupon ad for red highlights, and I had signed up myself and my dog for this choice experience.
And that’s how I came to have crimson paint, dried and immovable, in my hair for church on Sunday.  Short of showing up with a tattoo, this is possibly the best way to alert members that I am having a midlife crisis and trying to look like a teenager.  On the other hand, no one has asked me to help them with their home improvement project.
Portions of this post appeared in Funeral Potatoes-The Novel.  You can find my books right here on the home page, or at my website,

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