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If I had known I would end up being a hand model for a cleaning display at the local hardware store, I would have put on my velvet gown and pearls! But, of course, that would have been difficult…

My intentions were good. Friday, I laid down old rags, opened the can of cream-coloured melamine paint and stirred…then I opened a window. That stuff stinks! Over the past few weeks, I had plastered a few holes in the walls (from braces on the bookshelves we used to have in the living room) and in the door frames (from baby gates we used to need). I would start by painting one door frame in the kitchen…I climbed the stool and painted. No muss, no fuss!

It turns out, that was the easy part…for when it came time to clean up the brush in the basement sink, I couldn’t find the paint thinner. I tried to rinse it out a bit with my hand. I ended up coating my left hand with thick, smelly paint. I tried to wipe that off with my other hand…Now both hands were covered in wet and sticky paint, making it difficult to call, well anyone, on the telephone. I managed to call my friend to see if there was another option. She offered to go to the hardware store with me, if I picked her up. Still sticky, I forced my feet into my sneakers and headed to her apartment, taking care not to smear the still sticky (but slightly less wet) paint on the steering wheel. We made it to the hardware store…

I learned a long time ago that, unlike the movies, if you look lost in a hardware store, a cute guy will not come to the rescue. Fortunately my friend, having worked in construction for a number of years, was enjoying being in her element. We bought cleaner, rags…and painting gloves for the next time I decide to be a home fixer-upper! The cashier was kind not to laugh, although it was obviously difficult for her not to do so. I stood in the parking lot and scrubbed until I thought I would draw blood… I was still pretty covered but my friend decided my hands had improved enough that she would be seen in public with me. We headed to a fast-food restaurant…next door to another hardware store.

She made me go in that hardware store too… (I think she was secretly enjoying my humiliation) where who should we meet? But a loud, yet pleasant, cleaning product demonstrator…who made friends with my friend…and my friend pointed out that I needed something to clean the paint off my hands…And that, my friends, is how my humiliation made me a famous hand model (for about 2 minutes). In short-

– the product mostly worked
– my hands were touchable soft
– my painting efforts were rewarded with a juicy, sloppy hamburger (that I could eat with clean hands)
– And the first door frame is painted

…too bad I painted it the wrong colour…