© Cindy Beck, 2008
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, deck, paint, redwood stain, cats, KitKat, Pretty Kitty, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)
As I mentioned last time, our deck needed staining. Okay, I take that back. It was already stained from barbecued ribs, spilled lemonade, and the little whitewashed packages the birds liked to leave for us. To be precise, it needed weatherproofing with a coat of oil-based, redwood stain.
Yes, that’s right—redwood stain. The operative word in that phrase being, “red.” “Red” as in the blood that Russ dripped onto the planks after being scratched by the cat—who thought Russ deserved it for trying to clean him off the deck with a push broom.
We got out the paintbrushes and started working. Spots, speckles and drips flew everywhere. Russ looked war-painted from the back splash. I looked like my usual chic, super-model-self wearing a t-shirt that was three sizes too large and my cut-off, never hemmed, knit pants. The kind that I could fit two cats, the dog, my four-year-old granddaughter, and a third leg into and still have room to bend over. Call me a trend setter, but I think the mismatched flip-flops I wore is what set the ensemble off.
And then Russ came up with an idea for finishing the deck with less drips, and in faster time. He picked up the can of stain and said, “We’ll just pour the stuff onto the wood! It’s so thin, it’ll spread over the whole area and we’ll be done.” He thought it was brilliant. I thought he needed his head examined.
“We'll do that over my fashionably clad, dead body!” I grabbed the can from him as red stain sloshed onto the tiger-striped cat, who now looked like something from a horror movie.
I thought for a second. “But, that does give me an idea. We could roll the stuff on.”
Russ cocked his head, and pondered my suggestion. “Roll it on how? With a t-shirt wrapped around the bottom of a vacuum cleaner?” You can tell who’s the staining expert around our house.
“No, silly. With a paint roller.”
“Ohhhhh,” Russ said, and then recognition flickered in his eyes. “I’ll go get one of those thingies that you need.”
Have you ever noticed that men use the word “thingy” as both a noun and a verb? And sometimes an adjective. Because of that, you never know exactly what the “thingy” is until they walk out with it.
Russ set his paintbrush down on the grass and trotted into the garage. The stain ran off the brush in a wide circle, making the lawn the color of something you’d see in a Stephen King movie. I’m thinking that between the cat and the grass, it might have been Pet Sematary.
Russ sauntered back out, carrying a dented pan that looked like it had survived ground zero during a nuclear blast. He placed it on the sidewalk, took the can of stain from me, and poured some into the pan. Droplets splashed onto my flip-flops.
“Don’t worry about those few droplets on your shoes,” Russ said. “The red will blend right in with the pink and purple daisies on them.”
He poured some more, and stain splattered onto my legs. Russ swiped at the red splotches with his hand, trying to rub them off. “Don’t worry about those few droplets on your legs. They blend well with your brown age spots. None of it will show.”
I eyed my legs, staring at the red speckles that supposedly blended with my age spots, and scrutinized my flip-flops with the red blobs that supposedly matched my shoes’ daisy design. My foot tapped—almost as if not under my control—with an irritated rhythm.
Russ noticed it.
Stain dripped from the overflowing pan onto the sidewalk, making it look like it had the pox. “I’ll take care of that,” Russ said. He grabbed the gasoline can sitting nearby, and tipped it over the splotches on the sidewalk.
“Don’t worry about any of this,” he said, gesturing at the deck and back yard. “We’ll just light a match … and none of it will show.”
(Disclaimer: This blog is meant to be humorous, and not intended as a primer (no pun intended) on staining/painting. Gasoline is flammable; please do not ever use gas to clean stain/paint spills.)
What's playing in my head: Ring of Fire (by Johnny Cash).
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