Started a home project last week. Painting. The house had a porch and deck that was painted when we bought it. I just thought of something. If it is on the front of the house it is called a "porch", but when it is on the back of the house it is called a "deck". There is something Freudian in that somewhere.

Anyway, the paint on the "porches" was latex. Little tags of paint were peeling and waving like a field of gray surrealistic weeds. So, decided to use the belt sander. Latex paint has some weird properties, one being that when it is heated up it melts. Didn't take but a minute to clog the sandpaper belt to uselessness. So, got the bright idea to use paint stripper. Forgot that this method of paint removal requires a "Paint Scraper". In the realm of torture devices the paint scraper reigns supreme. Did I mention that I HATE painting!!

Blithely applied liberal amounts of stripper and was excited to see the paint begin to blister. OK, now to scrape the paint and have a shiny new board. WRONG!!! The latex paint melted into a sticky, clinging, glutinous mass that clung to the scraper, to me, to other portions of nearby board, and trapped an too inquisitive fly. Scraped harder and faster but this only succeeded in spreading the demon possessed paint to the point that I begin to resemble a mummy; well, except for the chemical burns on my hands. ARRRGGGHH!! The gelatinous mess oozed into cracks, spread up my hands to my arms. It coated my pants and started a fire there that soon had me running for the water hose. Did I mention that I really hate painting!!

Decided that I needed to work on just a small portion at a time. Like 3 ft sections of just two boards. This seemed to work at first but then that Satan possessed scraper began to really tear at the arm and back muscles. The darn thing went dull instantly, mainly because of nail heads that were hidden under the blasted paint!! That was bad enough, but adding insult to injury, the knee pads I was wearing were getting stuck in the melted paint. After scraping two boards of 20 ft length, I felt as if I had been on a visit to the castle of the Marquee De Sade!!

And all this was just on the deck or back porch, or whatever!! So what am I going to do on the front porch or deck or whatever?? Gonna tear up the boards and flip them over to the unpainted side!! HOOOYYYYAAAHHH!!

Pain is the mother of invention, necessity never had anything to do with it!! Did I mention that I really, really hate painting!!

Ed, the former painter.

2007 Edwin Russell
Used with permission.
Please do not reproduce any part of this story
without written permission from Edwin Russell.


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