And who should walk down the alley at that moment but White Trash Bob. "You know, that would go a lot faster if you had a paint sprayer," he keenly observed.
"I know it would. I sure wish I had one," I replied. He gave me a look as if I were not quite bright. Then it occurred to me: some weeks ago, WTB had told me he'd loan me his sprayer. Oh. I really am not quite bright. Especially at 8 in the morning.
So we walked across the street to fetch the sprayer, which is a really nice Wagner airless sprayer that, as it turns out, makes short work of staining a fence. Forty-five minutes later I was better than halfway done with the fence, and out of stain. This necessitated a trip to the Blue Box Store. There are two stores 40 minutes away from me, one to the west and one to the south, so I thought I'd better thoroughly clean the sprayer so it wouldn't gunk up while I was gone. You just can't mummify a sprayer in plastic wrap like you can a paintbrush to keep it wet til you come back later. So I thoroughly cleaned it.
|Wagner paint sprayer. Note guide-thingy at far left.|
|Piston (at left); 2 itty-bitty-plunger-thingys (at right)|
About this point in my train of thought, WTB came walking up the alley.
"How's it going?" he asked brightly.
I thought I'd better just confess straight away. "Well, um, I sorta lost the little plunger thingy..." I replied, not brightly.
"Oh, did you wash it down the sink? Happens all the time," WTB said.
I studied my paint-spattered shoes. "No, I, um," I sighed. "It's like this, Bob, I sprayed it out into the yard."
This startled him. He looked at the sprayer, then at the yard, then back at me. Then the enormity of my stupidity dawned on him. And he laughed. He guffawed. He threw back his head and fairly brayed. When he was finished saying "Ooooh....wheee....ooohhh" and wiping away the tears he said, "Well, that's no problem, you can just get another one for me at Mom & Pop's."
"They don't have one, " I said. "And before you ask, neither does the place across the river."
"You need some more stain anyway, just pick one up when you go down there," he said.
I pointed to the shiny new can of stain. "Just came from there," I said. "Before I lost the thingy."
"Oh," he said.
"Well then," he said.
"Hmm," he said.
And then instead of hollering at me about what an idiot I am (which is what would happen, I think, if WTB were more like 97% of the men in the world) he went home and MacGuyvered a thingy from another sprayer to make it work so that I could finish staining my fence today. All hail White Trash Bob.