In 6th grade my parents told me I could design my room in the house they were building. My vision: blue paint, dark blue carpet, a wall of bookcases with a ladder sliding across (like Beauty & the Beast, of course), a secret door within the bookcase leading to a secret room, a walk-in closet, and an attached bath. Oh, not to mention a step up and an arch for a separate sleeping region. My room ultimately had all of these ingredients... barring the sliding ladder and covert door and room.
By 7th grade my room had the luxury of walls and ceilings. I came to the logical conclusion to paint the ceilings as a day sky with clouds and butterflies, with the added magnificence of a night sky with stars. Make no mistake, the stars included glitter.
When my parents told me two Decembers ago they were going to replace the blue carpet with the sumptuous multihued carpet of the rest of the house, I decided it was time to repaint. I went to the store and isolated a warm beige color for my future walls. I called some friends to help me. One friend brought over an unenthusiastic attitude, but also a 12-pack of bottled beer. We spent a couple of hours dancing around and painting as much of each other as the walls. When the ceiling and one of the walls had been completed, I looked around and became depressed by the drab monotony the color provided. I returned to the store and bought red paint. I alloted one wall as the lucky color victor, and we painted.
Difficulty: the walls were textured. The ceiling was beige and the wall red. I couldn't for the life of me accomplish a straight line. And I needed a straight line. That night, after my friends left, I revisited the line. Following some internal debate, I determined the best course of action would be to locate a smaller brush and paint along the wall with the added benefit of a ruler. With the recognition that the ladder was downstairs in the garage came the realization that I was not going to retrieve that ladder. Instead, an ingenious plan: drag my 18th birthday wooden chest to the wall. Cover it with a towel so as to protect it from any excess paint descending from the brush. On the towel place a plastic folding chair (the chair scarcely fit the chest, but it did fit). Stand on chair to paint line. Perfect height.
This plan succeeded. I would paint as far as I could reach, climb down, move chest with chair intact a foot or two, and repeat. I was nearing the completion of the line. I stepped up onto the towel and then to the seat of the chair. I extended my arms towards the line. One hand was occupied with the paintbrush and the other with the ruler. My weight wasn't perfectly balanced. And then the chair collapsed. I plummeted to the floor. Instead of striking the floor, however, my lower back struck the edge of the solid wooden chest with the full force of a 153 pound woman plunging from several feet in the air. My right foot went crashing into the box of glass beer bottles kindly brought over earlier.
End result: I sat on the carpet with my back to the hope chest. My right foot was cut by the bottles. One of the bottles had still been full. When my foot connected with it, the glass shattered and the liquid surged onto the floor. The entire box lay on its side. I couldn't breathe because my air had been pounded right out of me.
My brother was the only one home. Later he said he heard a smacking sound, glass breaking, a huge thump, and an odd groan. He came bounding up the stairs and sprinted into my room to behold me crumpled on the floor on my side struggling to breathe with my right foot in a box of beer and one of the beers soaking into the carpet. When I regained my breath I began to laugh.
Advice: If you are going to insist upon painting a straight line on a textured wall, pay someone. Or just use a ladder for height. Odd assemblies of furniture in tower form are not suggested.
And you didn't see this happening? Even with terrible vision and lack of balance?
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