Some of my uninitiated readers may yet be ignorant of such things as paint gloves or paint mitts. But they’re essentially paint brushes you wear on your hands, used mostly for painting pipe and such. As a young redneck I spent much of one glorious summer gently caressing the underbellies of mile after mile of pipe while wearing said paint glove.
The job at hand was to freshen up the pipe corrals on the family ranch which consisted of enough lots, runs, gates, chutes and ladders to create a dozen life-sized redneck versions of the child’s board game. Lest you think I exaggerate, I’ve included a photograph of a stockpile of metal pipe of which I’m sure would be insufficient to represent the amount of pipe constituted by our corrals.
The six-pipe-high corral, (redneck maze of pipe) equalled a butt-load of rustoleum red paint and a couple dozen lambs wool paint gloves. If it hadn’t of been for the tinny, ranch truck radio set to 94.9 the EDGE and basking me in Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus, and Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend, I would have truly gone mad.
As it was, the monotonous work enabled me to learn another valuable redneck-life’s lesson in paint glove philosophy. While some jobs require skill, craft and focused attention, most do not. Most jobs in life require the mental acuity of a paint glove, but most people don’t seem to have this low gear in their thought repertoire.
Could I have painted the corral with a brush? Sure. I could have etched it with tiny, loving tattoos, but it would have rusted just as quick (and I would have missed my graduation for high school and college). Using an excessively fine instrument for a boorish job is a worse crime than using a unrefined instrument for a precise job. If you don’t believe me envision this:
I could paint the inside of your house with a paint glove and do a might fine, half-assed job of preserving all your home’s surfaces with mar-resistant and mold-proof Kills paint. On the other hand, give me a fine artists brush to do the job and before I finished the bathroom I would stab you and your family to death in your sleep.
It just ain’t sustainable to live life without a mental paint glove. Rocking an infant to sleep, listening to a drolling husband enraptured by a sports team, taking a toddler to ride the escalator at the local mall, washing dishes, mowing lawns, typing blogs. It’s no wonder that “going postal” has become a new (15 years ago) craze across our boring, self-indulgent land.
People, people. Give your mind a paint glove. It doesn’t matter what kind (one wrapped in fantasies about the Pittsburg Pirates winning the World Series! Hell, it can be anything!). Start off small and try focusing on something more fulfilling while mowing the lawn. What’s more important? The sprinkler you might run over while dreaming of your next rapturous triple kill while playing Halo? Or your mental health?[divider]
Bottom line, 70% of the crap you do during a typical day doesn’t require anything more than a wisp of mental fart gas and your practically sharting your hat to do it. Get over it, and take a lesson in sustainable living from the redneck.