Literally. The title is what happened.
This is yesterday. I am cutting a line around a porch lid (Technical-Painting-Terminology Alert: Cutting a line is using your brush to do detail work [straight lines and corners, e.g.] that a roller cannot cleanly do in an area that you’d rather mostly roll than only brush; a lid is a ceiling; a porch is a porch–this porch is covered, hence the lid.) and Dan comes jogging up the stairs.
You have to know Dan first. Okay, so Dan is Dan. Dan is my friend. Dan’s got a crew cut, a thick Boston accent, and army pants. He’s new to painting. But he tries, and he smokes cigarettes with me, and we shoot the shit together. Oh yeah, and Dan’s a veteran. Tomorrow’s Armistice Day. Veteran’s Day. Whatever. Maybe it’s worth mentioning.
I can dig supporting the troops. Just not the jobs they’re doing in wars I don’t support.
(Additionally, and as an aside, and despite the fact that Dan’s a veteran, and that his brother is a cop, when we all went skeet shooting two weekends ago, I outshot each of them by 600%.)
Moving right along.
The scene: Dan suddenly on porch. Me on step ladder, cutting line. Dan mouthing something to me. Not saying something, mind you, mouthing something. Something bad. Dan looks worried. Why not saying, Dan? Why mouthing? Ah. Homeowner right here. Okay. I see. I understand now, Dan. What is it that you’re mouthing?
“I spilled the paint.”
This is what he is mouthing.
I hop off the ladder and go to the scene of the crime, thinking, “Holy Jesus fuck, what is the extent of the calamity at hand?” And lo and behold, there is indeed paint all over the driveway. About a quart. Give or take. But it hasn’t gone anywhere, and it certainly hasn’t dried, so I turn on the water at the spigot, unwind the hose, and start blasting all of that goddamned paint down the goddamned driveway. And when Dan has understood that that’s all there is to it when you’re cleaning up a latex paint spill–blast that shit into the grass, motherfucker–I hand him the hose and get back to my own business.
By then of course Steve, homeowner, has become interested in my sudden disappearance and current whereabouts and has rounded the corner into his driveway to see Dan hosing gallons and gallons of water to dilute a quart of spilled paint on the asphalt. So, the mouthing thing, Dan? For the record? Didn’t work. Doesn’t work. Painting 202: If the homeowner is home, and you spill a shit-ton of paint, the homeowner is going to find out about it no matter what you do. This is virtually unavoidable. Painting 303: If the homeowner’s not home and you spill a shit-ton of paint, you can probably save most of it, clean up the mess, go home early, and none will be the wiser.
So Dan spilled a shit-ton of paint yesterday and had to clean it up, and I said “Welcome to being a painter,” and today Dan was throwing down tarps to do lattice work in the dirt.
Painting 404: Dripping in the dirt don’t matter.