Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Beware the Volatile Organic Compounds

By SHELL SHERREE

It is done.

With steely resolve to complete what I'd started, I blocked off nearly two full days to finish my painting project.

After making excellent headway on Day 1, I arose on Day 2 and did some quick calculations, figuring that if I started straight after my nutritious, oaty breakfast of champions and horses, I'd be done by lunch time. With water conservation still at the forefront of our community minds, I decided to postpone my morning shower until after I'd finished the job, when I would cleanse the tiresome experience from my body and soul with as much Baptisimal fervour as I could manage in less than 4 minutes.

Sadly, my calculations were influenced by a large dose of wishful thinking and by midday, I was still hard at it and hours away from the finish line (marked with a blue cross of Painters' Masking Tape as my silently removable cheer squad).

Not only that, but the day had become unbearably hot and steamy and I had the unfortunate realisation that I was starting to smell like a possum.

I progressed through the humid afternoon with an increasing rating on the Honk scale. I wished desperately that I would become (to borrow from a memorable line in Oceans 13) nose deaf. Then I wished I hadn't bought the Low Odour paint. Oh, for some Volatile Organic Compounds to mask the smell of my own.

In spite of the vapours, my spirits began to rise as the rooms transformed from long-suffering inhabitants of my To Do List into something quite ethereal and lovely. As I put down the roller for the last time and surveyed my handiwork, not even my hubby recoiling from me in horror after he arrived home and approached me for a kiss could take the edge off my pleasure at a job well done. Then I threw everything away, including my painting clothes (they kindly walked into the garbage bag of their own accord) and had one of the best and most fragrant showers an egg timer has ever offered me.

I note that several days have passed and the family of possums living around our house is still keeping me under 24 hour surveillance. It seems I now have Honorary Lifetime Membership to their club. Add that to the list of things they don't tell you about DIY.

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