This week Rich and I were working at the Garrett Public Library. On the west side of the library is a side entrance door and three adjoining windows that are in pretty bad shape; we spent the week stripping the old varnish off of the wood, steel wool-ing them smooth, sanding them, applying a coat of Cover Stain, and then a coat of paint (we’ll be putting on the final coat of paint on next week). Although the side door is closest to the parking lot, the front entrance is only about 25 paces away.
As we worked, we encountered some local citizens that had questions and/or comments that on more than one occasion forced me to turn to Rich and say I thought only smart people went to the library. I would now like to share some of these brilliant insights with you.
* I am on a stepladder, dropcloth splayed out below me, in front of the side door, applying a coat of stripper. Approximately 435 people asked Can I get in this door? Either that, or they would just walk up behind me and stand there silently, apparently waiting for me to finish my work for the day, so they could go in. On all occasions, I would politely let them know the front door is open. Then I would make a sarcastic comment to Rich about their pink stretch pants.
* Rich and I were scrubbing the paint stripper off with steel wool. Scrubbing, scrubbing, scrubbing. Toiling away like good little Mexicans, not bothering anyone, and we are approached by an old man who asked us, Are you doing that by hand? No, genius, we’re using solar-powered heat-seeking monkey-guided lasers.
*Rich was sanding the windows and was approached by a man he guesstimated was around 50 years old. The man asked him, Are you sanding them? I told Rich the proper response was No, I’m checking my email.
* A fat guy sitting on a scooter stared at us and watched us work while he ate a bag of Krispy Kreme donuts. He didn’t say anything stupid to annoy me, but the fact that there was a fat guy parked on a scooter eating a bag of Krispy Kreme donuts made me want to laugh out loud. It was a picture like you wouldn’t believe. I was impressed with my ability to keep a straight face.
* A skinhead in a pickup truck slowed down, drove by us, and yelled Are you ready for the rinse cycle? This didn’t annoy us as much as it just confused us. Apparently the thing to do in Garrett is to yell out random phrases about household appliances. Next time I see him I’m going to shout out Are you ready to cook it on high for 3 minutes, rotate it 1/4 turn, stir it, and cook it for an additional minute-and-a-half?
Even though the hillbilly geniuses were out in full effect, it was still a fun week and Rich and I had a good time laughing at our predicament. It was Rich’s last week working with us. He’ll be heading off to Arizona in the Phoenix/Tempe area to go to school for sound engineering. I was glad for the chance to get to work with him this summer. His little section of our family always lived far away from us and they moved back to Garrett while I was living in California, so I never got a chance to hang out with them a lot in the past. I am definitely grateful for the chance to get to work with my cousin and get to know him a little better. I made him promise to be the sound man on all of my films from now on, and he conceded.