M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, November 20, 2002  

Last night I was on my way home from work with a five-gallon pail of white paint in the passenger-side backseat of my car (never you mind why; you people are on a need-to-know basis until Christmas). I had the seat belt latched around it, in hopes that that would keep it from tipping over and spilling when I made a right turn. Even so, I frequently reached back and held it up with my hand, just to be safe.

That wasn’t any help when I got broadsided, though.

A gigantic Ford Behemoth came barrelling out of a parking lot, its driver giving my car less consideration than he would a speed bump. Its license plate frame struck the dent-resistant door panel of my car just below the rear window on the right side.

Of course the lid popped clean off the bucket immediately on impact. One gallon of paint will cover 400 square feet of surface area. Five gallons will cover 2000 square feet. The back seat of a car is approximately six square feet. You do the math.

My problems were just beginning, though, because my car was rolling.

I must say, the Saturn safety cage really does its job. I never feared being killed by the trauma of impact. Drowning, however, was another matter. Because my safe, secure station wagon had been turned into a latex-based washing machine. Nanoseconds stretched into hours as five gallons of Glidden™ flooded every micron of the car’s interior, saturated the upholstery, filled my clothes, soaked every item in my car (including everything in the glove compartment), and poured up my nose and down my throat.

When the car finally came to a stop, I wiped as much paint as I could from my eyes (my glasses had been washed off at some point). I appeared to have ended up right side up, but I was so disoriented that the only way I could tell was by the direction of the paint drips cascading from the ceiling. All of my windows were opaque and every surface was covered with a thick layer of white. It was like I’d been teleported into an igloo made of frozen yogurt that was quickly melting. I coughed and spat out enough paint to redo a large closet.

See, if I were a TV character instead of a blog writer, this is the point where I’d gasp and sit bolt upright in bed, indicating that what just happened was a dream sequence. But I can’t do that, so I’ll just tell you: what you just read was a dream sequence.

I did have a five-gallon bucket of paint strapped into my back seat yesterday, and I did periodically reach back and hold it up, and five gallons really will cover 2000 square feet. But the Ford Behemoth stopped before it actually hit me. Thank god.

Also, it was a two-door Nissan.

But still, can you imagine what a mess would result from five gallons of paint flowing around loose in a closed car? They’d have to total it, I reckon. I wonder if I’d get compensated for the other stuff that would get destroyed. The insurance companies would probably have to fight that out, and God knows I don’t get along so well with those people.

After that near-miss, and the show my imagination gave me immediately afterward, I reached back a lot more often. My shoulder is a little sore today, and I think Trash might have been starting to get a little frustrated with the way I kept steering one-handed up onto the sidewalk, but now all five gallons are still safely inside the bucket where they belong.

And the bucket’s back at the store, where it belongs. I’d explain, but you’re on a need-to-know basis, remember?

posted by M. Giant 2:43 PM 0 comments


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