Monday, February 13, 2017

Red Rum

Greetings, WYMOP readers!

I mentioned in my last WYMOP post that my son is moving into the basement, and we were doing some remodeling—mostly plaster and paint. He’d helped me with all the priming, then looked at paint samples with his mom and chosen the color (okay, he’d chosen black, but they’d settled on a color). I’d gone to Home Depot and had them mix me up a couple of gallons of Behr’s Red Red Red. Then came the weekend again, and I had the time, so it was on with the crappy clothes and down into Handsome’s future room to wield the roller like a Jedi.
I plugged my earbuds in and made with the painter’s tape. I popped open the first can, gave it a stir, and made my way around the room with the brush, cutting in all the borders and being careful not to get any Red Red Red on the freshly white ceiling. I’d picked up the audio version of Stephen King’s Different Seasons collection from the library earlier in the week, and I’d gotten to “The Body” (even if you’ve not read this novella, you may have seen Stand By Me [1986], the film based on it). I wrapped the brush and broke out the roller and paint tray as Gordie, Chris, Teddy, and Vern made their plans to see the body of Ray Brower and set them in motion, facing down mean store clerks, evil dump managers, and even the vicious Chopper along the way. When the book came out in 1982 I was thirteen, just a year older than the four heroes of the tale, and I guess I was fourteen (the same age my son is now) when I first read it; maybe that’s why it’s always been one of my favorites.
I was having a fine time.
When I was done (and I only got a little red paint on the ceiling) I went upstairs to clean up. What the hell, I thought, I might as well just take a shower. First, though, I wanted to let my writing partner know I’d be working on our collaboration like I’d told her I would. I was a bit painty-fingered, so I just put my phone on the counter and pinkie-poked the speech-to-text icon.
“We have a red room in the basement now,” I said, leaning over the phone a bit. “Going to clean up some and then I’ll get to the writing work.”
I poked Sᴇɴᴅ, nudged the phone away from the counter’s edge, and headed for the shower. By the time I was dry and dressed again, she’d already responded:
You sure that’s a good thing?
I was confused. I’d thought I was doing pretty well with the collaboration, so I couldn’t see why . . . I (now clean fingered) scrolled back to my message to her—and blinked.
We have a red rum in the basement now . . .
If you’ve ever read/seen the Stephen King story The Shining, you know why this gave me pause. If you haven’t, just read red rum backward and you’ll have a clue. Strange that voice recognition chose the day I’d been listening to a King story to make that particular mistake for the first time.
Handsome’s never seen or read The Shining. I think I’ll not mention this . . .

Talk to you later?

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