Everyday Epiphany, humor

Little Adventure In The Covid-19 Shelter In Place Zone: Don’t Believe Everything You Read

“If you believe everything you read, better not read.”

Japanese Proverb

Although this is sage advice when informing yourself about Covid-19 and the world’s response, it applied to a smaller problem I encountered while living in the Shelter In Place Zone.

If only that wise Japanese guy (or gal) whispered that proverb in my ear as I scanned the labeled paint cans stored on the garage shelf.  

As a Shelter In Place Zone citizen, I channeled Monica Geller’s obsessive compulsive cleaning fetish. (Think “Friends” repeats on TBS. She’s the one that vacuumed the vacuum.) I moved furniture to wax the floor beneath the couch. On hands and knees, I scrubbed baseboards. After taking down the six valances to launder, I decided to update my décor by tossing them. 

As in most of my endeavors one thing led to another (and not necessarily to a good end). Banished valances left naked curtain rods. Exiled naked curtain rods left screw holes in wall. Spackled screw holes left white patches on either side of the casement. 

The white patches bracketing the window frame resembled laugh lines, and I knew who the window found amusing. I missed the outdated valances. They never mocked me.

Needing to touch up the 15-year-old painted walls I surveyed the corresponding 15-year-old paint cans lining the garage wall. 

“How do you know it’s going to match?” asked Mike perched on the ladder. As with most of my projects I involved Mike in some manner. He passed down the rusty can. 

Clearly labeled Butte! It HAD to match!

“Because it says Butte on the side,” I pointed with authority to the scrawled label, “and Butte is on the walls.”

“Paint walls fade,” Mike said, “and paint in the can dries.”  (Maybe HE channeled the wise Japanese Proverb creator and I didn’t realize it at the time.)

Since I had tossed both the valances and rods, and white patches gleamed from Butte tinted wall, I didn’t have much choice. Mike left me to my own devices. He’s a wise man. 

Wielding the flat head screwdriver menacingly, I slowly pried at the top. The rusted paint can lid reluctantly released its grip . Fortunately, the paint had remained in liquid form. Unfortunately, it had stratified into layers which grudgingly mixed together. 

I literally watched paint dry!

The mixture appeared darker than the walls, but I figured that it would lighten when applied and match. 

After all it said Butte on the label. It HAD to match!

Confidently, I stroked a Butte coat over the patches. I stepped back to judge the outcome.

The white patches morphed to dark patches, but I figured that it would lighten after it dried.

After all it said Butte on the label. It HAD to match!

I visited the dark patches every few minutes. (I literally watched paint dry.)

Sixty minutes passed. The paint dried. The dark patches smirked.

I concluded that even though it said Butte on the label, it DIDN’T have to match!

The dark, dried patches that stained the wall would remain until the Shelter In Place Zone rejoined the public world. A painter would right the wrong. 

Plan B: White Paint!

Then I remembered the white paint in the garage.

I poured a glob of white paint into the falsely labeled Butte paint can and mixed. Next I tested it on the dark wall patch. Then I waited for it to dry.

Still too dark.

I poured a splat of white paint, mixed, tested, and waited.

Still no match.

After another splat and two white paint drizzles it mostly matched. I knew when to quit.

On to the next painting adventure!

Besides I had this valanceless window in my blue office wall. It has two white patches bracketing the casement. I’d hunt for the can labeled Atmosphere but keep the white paint on hand.

In this Covid-19 Shelter In Place Zone I’ve learned to read with skepticism . . . even paint cans!

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