When I was a kid we lived for about seven years in a trailer park. The streets of this particular trailer park wound themselves inside a heavily wooded area, so there was lots of forest in which to get lost and explore. You could also find lots of evidence of other people having been in and around these woods. There were lots of well traveled paths all over, and there was a trash-pile in one part of the woods not too far behind where we lived. As a kid, somehow other people’s trash is interesting. Looking back on it now, I really miss the enthusiasm I had for the simple things.
On this particular day I was exploring the woods alone. Rummaging through the trash I stumbled upon some old cans of house paint. These were small cans, so I was able to carry several of them back to the area just behind my trailer to play. As I look back on this, I do not know exactly what was fun about cans of paint as I didn’t have anything with which to paint or anything upon which to apply the paint.
I remember playing with the cans for a while, until I finally managed to open one. A nice teal colored paint was inside that one. Before long I had managed to get it all over my hands and arms. At this time I was not aware of having spread the paint elsewhere. I did realize soon enough, though, that I could not simply wipe off the paint and I became concerned. I did not know what to do, and I figured my parents would think me truly stupid for having gotten into the paint… so I rode my bike around the neighborhood for a while. I probably did not help myself by doing this, since it meant the paint I had on me just had more time to soak into my skin and dry.
Eventually I did go home, because I couldn’t realistically stay away forever. I think they were disappointed and a little concerned, but I looked humorous enough with paint all over my hands and arms… and though I could not see it, my face as well. We then spent what seemed like hours with some rags and some gasoline rubbing the paint off of my skin. This was not fun. Once the paint was off, I then had to spend time in the shower and bath to get the gasoline off lest I trade one kind of poison for another!
This was not an adventure I repeated again… but for a brief time, I was Smurftacularly blue. Remember, Papa Smurf says don’t smurf with paint or you might smurf yourself blue in the face.