Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Sticky Situation

 Paper mache is messy stuff. The paste is heavy, and it drips all over the place. You can make the paste less thick, but then it tends to soak through the paper faster. Soaked paper isn't all that good at holding together, especially when it's weighed down by paste (even thinned down, the paste is heavy) and someone is trying to lift it by just two corners. You tend to wind up with a crumpled pile of paste-laden paper on the floor while you try to unstick the two torn-off corners from the tips of your very sticky fingers. For this very reason (the mess) when Handsome and I got to the paper mache step in our 6-ft long T-Rex made of PVC, chicken wire and paper mache I put down rosin paper. I taped a big square to the floor and put the project right in the middle of it. What I forgot to do was put some on me.

I'm not a complete fool. I put on my crappiest clothes for this little project. I've painted in them, plastered in them, done yard work in them. You name the dirty job I've done, and I probably did it in these clothes. This little job, however,  was too much even for my most formidable of clothes. And the paper mache wasn't the biggest problem. 

It was Handsome.

The paste mix was in a large bowl I put on the edge of the rosin paper. I positioned it so that, hopefully, we could both work with it. Maybe not at the same time, but pretty close. 

This hope was foolish, and turned out to be a mistake.

It started out with some of the paste dribbled onto my forearm. I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt, and I was squatting by the bowl sluicing the excess paste from a paper strip, watching my hands and paying attention to what I was doing. Handsome, it turned out, was doing the same thing, only standing straight to do it. And looking at the dinosaur that was taking shape rather than his hands. He sluiced the excess paste right off the paper and onto my forearm.


"Oh! Sorry Dad!"

Okay, so now a bunch of the hair on my arms was glued down to the skin of my arm.

Terrific. It could have been worse...

About a minute later, though: 


"Sorry Dad!"

More hair was glued down.


Then, not two minutes later, the topper. I was at the bowl again dipping paste onto yet another in the long line of strips to be pasted to the chicken wire frame. I had waited specifically until Handsome was done with the bowl and was busy placing the larger sheet of paper across the dino's back. I figured it was going to take a little while to get that piece placed, so I'd have a little safe time at the bowl and not have to worry about the plaster casts on my arms expanding, or how painful it was going to be to peel them off my arms when we were done. My head was bowed, I was looking into the bowl, when Handsome sighed and took a little step back to look at how the piece he'd just put on looked. He was still holding the brush with which he had applied the paste to the paper. He wasn't paying attention to what he was holding in his hand, and so he was completely oblivious when he accidentally swiped the brush across the top of my bowed head.

Can you say 'Three Stooges moment'?


"What? I - Oh! Sorry Dad!"

Next time I'm getting my own bowl of paste!

Oh - and as a side note, at no time did the boy dribble, splash, or brush the paste onto any part of me actually covered with those work-clothes I told you about.

Talk to you later!

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