The Painter

One time we were remodeling a hotel in Havre, Montana.  One of the electricians was a Coca-Cola addict.  Every day at coffee break he would buy a half dozen bottles of Coke and hand them out to us.  I think he thought he was doing us a favor.  After about a week of it, I started feeling ill, like my insides were rotting away.  I insisted on going back to a coffee break.

The manager of the hotel was a young fellow and he worked with us much of the time.  He explained to us that many times people would leave bottles of hair spray behind when they checked out.  He insisted that hair spray made excellent bug killer.  He used it in his garden, flower beds and shrubs.  He said you couldn’t buy anything that worked better.

There were a couple of painters working on the job with us.  As soon as we finished work in a room, the painters came in and painted them.  They were also putting up wall paper in the hallway.

One day one of the painters was painting the ceiling in the hallway.  (This was an old fashioned building with high ceilings.)  As he cautiously descended the ladder he stepped directly into an open 5-Gallon paint bucket.  His demeanor changed to what might be adequately described as “extremely agitated.”

He kicked the bucket off of his foot.  The bucket went sailing down the hallway, splashing paint everywhere.  He picked up his brushes and left the job, never to return!  He didn’t even stop to get his pay check.

On a different job we found ourselves working with a paint crew again.  The job was a rush job.  Everyone was working overtime.

One painter was painting away with tears running down his face.  We asked what was wrong.  He said his wife had died the day before, but he had to keep working because of the rush.

Many years later I was doing some work for his nephew in Spokane.  His nephew remembered the occasion.

Painters have problems too.

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