Friday, February 8, 2008

Bigger isn't necessarily better.

It's been awhile since I wrote. I'm sure that you have better things to do than stalk my naked little blog, but I decided to dress it tonight with something frivolous. In the mood for a laugh? Keep reading!

Many years ago, I was an avid painter. I worked mostly with canvas, watercolor and acrylics, but I wasn't picky...I'd done everything from silk-screening to painting sponsors' logos on race cars, lettering on boats, name it. I eventually converted one of the bedrooms in our house into a sort of studio and my art fetish was relegated mostly to a relaxation hobby while I worked full time. I had a mid-grade airbrush with a small compressor that I didn't use often, and I pulled it out and dusted it off one day, feeling the itch to play with it. The darned thing had been packed away for so long that the compressor didn't work! Undeterred...I went out and bought a new one. The sales clerk talked me into buying this flashy high-powered thing that weighed a TON and had a price tag to match! I lugged the monstrous thing home (very pleased with myself!) and settled in to do some "serious" painting.

I used one of the translucent inks that I liked instead of the usual watery acrylic...they have a concentrated pigment that withstands thinning unlike anything else I could run through the airbrush, and they weren't a nuisance to clean my tools later. I banished the dog from the pseudo "studio" (Fleetwood was a pure white Kuvasz...not quite a year old then, full of puppy exuberance, and he followed me everywhere). An hour later...I was finished playing. I opened the "studio" door to find Fleetwood lying in the hallway, and immediately noticed a blue line down his back where he'd been lying pressed up again the door. He got up while I was standing there gawking. I realized that the fine mist from the airbrush must have vented under the door while I was painting. I started to laugh, and then Fleetwood sneezed. Several little dime-sized blue spots formed on the hardwood floor where the drops of moisture had been forcefully projected...and I freaked out. I ran for the mop, worried that the ink would stain the wood.

In a panic, I hauled out a bucket full of water, wet the mop and swished it across the floor. On the first swipe, the mop drew a HUGE blue streak as if I'd loaded an enormous paintbrush with blue paint. "ARGHhhh!!! OH NO!! AAAAAAaaaaHRGH!" Everywhere I ran in a looked as if I were painting the hardwood blue!! The dog went bananas, thinking that my lunatic behavior was part of a new game, and blue paw-prints appeared EVERYWHERE I scrambled with the mop. It literally took me the rest of the day to wipe down every surface in the house to lift the ink, and I found blue "dust" for months afterwards every time I cleaned. But THAT wasn't the worst of it! I was startled by the dog's blue tongue when he grew tired of chasing my mop and sat down to pant. I locked him in the bathroom until the floor dried so he couldn't recreate the pawprint design, and decided to bath him. *groan*....BIG mistake!! My white dog came out of the bath as blue as grannies' hair, and it WOULDN'T wash out!! *more wailing!!* (The color lasted for weeks!)

Most people assumed that the freaky color was deliberate because it was close to Halloween, but...I had a tough time beating back guilt! The poor dog was an eerie sight! I never took pictures because I couldn't imagine having a visual reminder more damning than personal recollection, and I didn't want any animal rights fanatics to have hard evidence that suggested that I might NOT be providing a safe and loving home for puppy. The next day when I returned the high-powered hair was as visibly blued as the dog's had been. (I brutalized my hair that weekend, trying to get the color out before I had to return to work on the trading floor. I couldn't imagine how much worse things could be, but showing up at work and being verbally tortured by the 500+ men who worked in the trading square and acted like it was their own personal locker room didn't sound like a good thing. HAHahaa!! It was difficult enough for women to work down there, never mind survive the chauvinistic "meat market" prank-filled environment without bringing blue hair to the equation!)

Anyway...when I arrived at the art supply store, the same clerk that had sold me the compressor the day before took ONE look at me and started to smirk. I lugged the compressor up onto the counter, waved my finger under his nose and pointed outside. "Before you start with the smart remarks, I dare you to go to the door and take a look at the dog sitting in the back seat of the car parked out front. While you're processing the return, I need to see SYMPATHY plastered on your face. If I hear a single snicker...I'm going to bring that big blue monster in here and let him hear you scream for mercy!" (Fleetwood's appearance was startling 150 pound bright blue Kuvasz was sitting happily in the back seat of the convertible, blue tongue hanging out. He perked right up when the clerk went to the door and the guy very nearly peed himself trying not to laugh aloud.) I believe that the belligerence in my voice was mitigated mostly by my idiotic appearance, but once the return had been completed, I placed a single bottle of blue ink on the counter: "I'm going to need another bottle of this stuff. I think I may have missed a spot."

As for that last full bottle of ink...I still have it. *sigh* I re-discovered it tonight as I was searching my paint case for a brush, and the recollection of the experience offered just enough motivation to share the humor. If you've somehow found your way here and managed to waste several minutes reminiscing with me, there's a moral to this story as well:
Bigger isn't necessarily better. *grin*


Kendra said...

Hey! Why didn't you tell me you have a blog? And did I ever tell you how impressed I am that you were a floor trader?

Charlene said...

HAHaha! No, I wasn't a trader. In fact, there was only ONE woman trader who briefly worked the square during the first year I started. (I was there about 7 years, until they closed the floor and trading systems were automated so they could migrate to offices.) I was an operator--one of the people that traders yell at. *grin* NOW you know where I get my thick skin!!

Guess said...

I love it, thanks for the laugh your humor always brightens my day.

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Aussie Wendy said...

that is such a funny story. I haven't laughed so hard in a long time :))
Aussie Wendy

Kendra - The Craft Addict said...

OMG... I have 4 kids, 2 dogs and a cat and I just howled at your story and the picture you painted... I can so see myself right there with you.. thanks so much for sharing!!!

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