May 31, 2012

It might also be contagious

A VOICE AT THE GARAGE DOOR says accusingly: “You’re sanding again. Dust everywhere.”
“That means you’re going to varnish.”
“You said you were never going to varnish again. You swore if there was any wood, you’d paint it. You said varnishing is dumb.”
“Yes, but this is a tiller. Laminated ash and mahogany. It’s beautiful. You can’t paint laminated ash and mahogany.”
“It’s always the same when you get a new boat. Sand, sand, sand.  Varnish, varnish, varnish. Ten coats minimum you always say. I know what that means.”
“The kitchen table.  You won’t varnish in the garage because it’s too dusty. So there’s going to be a tiller on the kitchen table for the next two weeks. And cans with dribbles of varnish. And old rags. And paint thinner.”
“Well, it’s only two weeks.”
“You said that last time. And the time before. And the time before that. Then you started sanding some hatch boards.  And that teak flag pole.  Then you made a door for the toilet. And naturally that had to be sanded and varnished, too.”
“I would have painted it, but . . .”
“But what?”
“Well, it was teak-faced plywood. Beautiful stuff. You can’t paint teak-faced plywood.”
“It never stops. I think you’re an addict. It’s a disease with you. You’re a compulsive varnisher. You dream of spar varnish. The objects of your affection are Captain’s Varnish and Epifanes.”
“Well, it keeps me off the streets and out of the pubs.”
“But not out of my kitchen.”
“But it looks so nice.”
“What? My kitchen?”
“No. Varnished wood.”
“That’s the same silly argument that compels people to plant lawns and work themselves to death keeping them looking nice. It’s illogical. Paint the darned wood already.”
“I can’t. It’s impossible.”
“You know something? You need help.”
 “Yeah, thanks, I do. So, okay, if you wouldn’t mind just grabbing that end of the tiller while I sand this bit.”

Today’s Thought
A thing of beauty is a job forever.
— The John Keats Rule of Varnishing.

“Why have I been dragged into this police station?”
“Sir, you smashed your car. You’ve been brought in for heavy drinking.”
“Oh good. Let’s get started then, shall we?”

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Aaron Headly said...

I have five — FIVE — spars that have to be refinished before a single sail can be bent this year.

They'll all be getting varnish, not paint. I could paint them, but tears ruin the finish.

Chuck Pierce said...

The Chuck Pierce Rule of Varnishing - White paint is good. said...

I think I hate varnishing. Perhaps we will be looking for a boat with little teak trim. In spite of the salty look it provides, the thought of spending hours sanding and varnishing leave me cold. Been there, done that on many, many pieces of furniture that just couldn't bring myself to paint because the wood was so lovely. Your wife must be a very patient woman.