Does not color within the lines

The last few weeks have been spent screening in my front porch here at the stately manor “Rabbit Run”. As I caulked the gaps in wood that hadn’t been cut straight, an old post came to mind that covered the situation perfectly

Does not color within the lines

When I was seven and serving the first year (I’ll explain being seven years old and in the first grade later) of a six-year sentence at Summerville Elementary, a note was sent home to my mother.

“Does not color within the lines. Very messy”.

No truer words were ever written about me. Those eight simple words portended great feats to come.

Before concluding my studies at Summerville Elementary, I became a legend for an episode involving oil-based paint, a floor fan running at high speed and a room full of parents and teachers attending a clean-up day.


Officer Grubby Jackson would spruce up his mailbox with a fresh coat of paint and a replica of my handprint would appear on the mailbox. Neither of us entertained the thought that it might have been one of the other kids in the neighborhood despite my vigorous denials. The main reason I didn’t entertain the thought was because I had to scrub with kerosene for twenty minutes to get the paint off. The main reason Grubby didn’t entertain the thought was because I reeked of kerosene. Grubby wasn’t a member of Phenix City’s finest for nothing.
I was the kid in the family picture in his Easter whites setting in a puddle of something on a farm near Wedowee, Al, happily throwing handfuls of muck into the spring air. I was the kid who glued his hand to a board. Ok, it was last year. But I was still younger.

There is something magnetic about me. Something beyond my personality and stunning blue eyes. I attract things. That’s not always a good thing, my friends. I’m hell around paint, glue, caulk, wet sheetrock mud, grass clippings, dirt, evidence,. they stick to me like a two-week romance. Did I mention that I keep four, so-called, rabbit dogs? When I get around something they are definitely not supposed to be on; Something like GF’s floor or GF’s new couch or GF’s light switch covers or the seat of GF’s new khaki pants, the whatevers drops off me like its day fifteen of that two-week romance. (GF was the name I gave to the current Mrs after she had stayed around long enough as gf to justify the upgrade)

It doesn’t have to be GF’s of course. Anything close to me at the time gets the worst of it. But there is always a residue waiting for a GF opportunity to present itself. But until that opportunity presents itself, let me tell you how replacing the windowpanes on the old house went.

GF had demonstrated her great faith in my manly abilities by giving me a book in the basics of home repair and improvement. Like a most men, I only get the instructions out when desperate.



I don’t need no stinking instructions!

But since desperation has been my middle name the whole time I’ve been working on the old house, the book has been getting a workout. I read the part on replacing windowpanes, thoroughly. This time in advance. The difference in the results was amazing. There was none. Not one iota. I still made a complete and utter mess.

Different people suggested I use the window glazing in the tube. The one with the square nozzle so that you get the caulk shaped right, they would snicker. Dragging the nozzle along the wood, the glazing compound came out evenly and smoothly until the gun came to the first click in the trigger. A puddle started to form so I speeded up my drag, which made the string of compound to thin. When I tried to fill in the thin spot, I pulled up part of it. I tried using my putty knife to smooth it out, remembering to dip the narrow blade into water only after part of the glazing stuck to the knife and made a scab like wound. While using a rag to try to remove an errant bit of the sticky white material, I succeeded in smearing it over most of the formerly glistening pane. I decided to use the rag to remove all of it and start over. Now, I really started to color outside the lines. Great gobs of it came out. Spreading like a creature from the science fiction movie “Attack of the Mutant Glazing Compound”, it moved rapidly from the rag to my hands, shirt, pants. Soon, tiny clumps of hair were caked together. Small sticky splats hit the ground around my feet. On the plus side, I didn’t have to keep pushing my eyeglasses up on my nose. The compound kept them in position pretty well.

Running out of rag, I headed across the deck to where I kept them stored. 2 decided to call it a day and was beating feet towards his truck while I tried to figure out why he made such an abrupt departure. Turning around to re-cross the deck, I saw why. White sticky tennis shoe prints marched across the freshly pressure washed deck to stop at my feet.

Later that evening I heard GF yelling from her den. She was demanding to know what the h>!! was that on her carpet. I had to go look. Your guess would have been as good as mine ‘

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