Sunday, July 5, 2009

An Xtracycle In The Hands Of An Idiot . . .

. . . is a dangerous thing.

I was supposed to paint the garage on Friday. Completely. It wasn't that I didn't try. But I simultaneously ran out of paint and beer. That damn siding soaks up paint like I soak up beer.

So I was ready to finish off the job today. But first I would have to get more paint and beer. Fortunately, I now have the right bike for the job. So no problem. Sherwin-Williams on Grand for the paint, then on to the Conoco on 29th for the suds. 3 gallons of paint, 2 bags of ice, a six-pack of decent beer and some other auxiliary backup canned beer. And oh yeah, some oil for the paint sprayer. A good sloshy liquid load.

I was pedalling my bad, local, green, proud self home when out of nowhere . . . "THUD". I didn't even have to turn around. I knew that sound. Shit! For just a split second, I thought about standing on those pedals and burning rubber. But I had to do the right thing. And that was to turn around and park my bike right in front of the puddle of rapidly-drying paint oozing from the ruptured gallon paint can and figure out what to do. I was on the pestigious corner of Manito Blvd and 27th. Parking in front of it was important so that cars didn't drive through it and track my 20-year legacy all the way to the prestigious corner of Manito Blvd and 23rd. I was trying not to cry.

You don't stand around taking a bunch of pictures of a crisis you created, but I did sneak this one, right after I picked up the can.

Luckily, the great residents of Manito Blvd didn't want to see their street messed up any more than I did and rushed to my aid. Jeff came over with a roll of paper towels and a bunch of plastic grocery bags. Then a very nice lady whose name escapes me came over with this cool flexible spatula and some containers I could scoop the paint into. I sprung into action. She returned later with a bucket of water and some brushes. It was totally awesome and I contained the spill.

I pedalled very, very slowly after that, and made it home with my load intact.

You're probably saying, "Shit, Pat. It's no wonder your paint fell off. All that beer and ice squeezed it right off the back!

I guess you could look at it that way, but I had a little different perspective. The paint fell off, but the beer didn't. To me that was a sign. Cosmic forces were signalling that this was not the right time to be painting and that beer-drinking was in order.

Patty's interpretation was a bit different and I ended up painting. But before I started, I rode to The Scoop and bought a couple of gift certificates and delivered them to the neighbors that had been so helpful so that I could treat them to an ice cream. It was just so cool that people would stop what they were doing and come out and help me deal with this situation that maybe seems like not that big of a deal but which I really wanted to set straight and could not have done without their help.

On the way back, the stain was drying and looking pretty good. Bullet dodged.

For the most part, even though, my hands were covered with white paint, I somehow kept it off the Xtra. I do have this one scar to remind me what a dummy I am and to be more careful in the future. I'm sure this is the last mistake I will ever make.


Rachel said...


I was surprised you didn't use the doggie-bucket to haul it all in. ;-)

(BTW, I'm TOTALLY jealous of your xtra cycle)

joe said...

I was going to say you could have cleaned it up by diluting with the beer, but that's not even funny.

SiouxGeonz said...

Egad! Glad there isn't a white smeared 'legacy' up and down the road, though there's a certain appeal to confusing the drivers ;) Of *course* it's the last such mistake you shall ever make.

John Speare said...

Welcome to xtracycle loading lesson #1: make sure the gaps on the front and back are closed.

I'm not sure what Lesson #2 is. I'm sure you'll keep us informed though.