"Is that....paint?!?"

"Why, yes! Yes, that IS paint!"

(A gallon of paint, to be exact. And, yes, that is my car. The driver's seat, actually.)

That was my response to the nosey man, with a 6 year old child in tow, who was in line ahead of me at the car detailer. It's as if NO ONE has ever seen a little paint spilled before....

It's just paint people, keep walkin'! :)

As you can imagine, I drew a crowd.

It all started when I was on my way back to Lowe's (with offending paint can on the floor behind my seat) to buy a few more supplies, including a small tube of blue paint to be used to tint the paint that was currently still in it's can. I only had an hour until the girls got up from their naps and had to relieve my mother-in-law from her kid-watching-post, so I knew I had to be super duper fast. I was just about to the off-ramp when four cars in front of me all slammed on their breaks, of course causing me to slam on my brakes. It was enough to lay some rubber down, I can tell you that much. So traffic picks back up soon after, and I went on my way.

About 50 yards later, I smelled something faint. I thought, "man, the car in front of me smells funny...slamming on their breaks must have done something to their car..."

The smell started to get stronger....and stronger....

I thought, "that smells like............OH CRAAAAAP! PAINT!!"

So, I'm sitting at the stop-light (of course it's red) freaking out. I mean really freaking out. I decide I need to put the car in park and just turn around to peek at the damage---hoping that maybe just the lid popped open or a trickle of paint had come out. So I peered around my seat onto the floor and all I see is the pale green 'I-wish-it-were-blue-er' paint oozing out of the now empty paint can. I turned around, put the car in drive and as the light turned green, pulled into the nearest parking lot, which had a nail salon, wireless cellphone place and a 'taqueria' (whatever that is... prob didn't spell that right). I opened my door to survey the scene.....and the paint just flows -like freakin' Niagra Falls- out my door and onto the pavement.


I call Tony and he tells me to go to the Chevron, which is just down the road. I take a picture (of course!) then leap over the dripping paint (thinking, 'why did i wear jeans today') and ironically notice a sign next door that said "psychic readings". Great. Why couldn't they have told me this was going to happen?? I pondered running over there to see what the outcome of this lovely catastrophe might be but, but knew time was of the essence, so off to the Chev I went.

I pulled in and noticed a .75 water/air machine along the side wall. I looked in my purse for quarters and, as luck would have it, all I had was three. Perfect! Of course there was a broken down car parked on the side that would reach my driver's side easiest. So, just as I was getting back in my car (after seeing if the cord *just might* reach around, which it of course did not) a truck with two guys pulls up next to me. They get out, don't notice right away, then the driver says to me, "Is that paint?". "Yes." I say. Then he proceeds to come closer, crouches down and touches it (as if not believing me that it is, indeed, paint) calls his friend over who also crouches down to touch it, and says "oh boy!".

Gee, thanks, misters.

They want to stand there with me and disccuss it at length, while I'm freaking out and just wanting to get in my car, back it up next to the hose and pressure wash some of the paint off before it dries! So I, politely as possible, say "I gotta back the car in to reach the hose". Then jumped in and did just so. I hurridly put my quarters in (cursing the broken down car on the other side of the hose for making a horrible situation just that much harder) and pull out the hose where it says water. I pull the lever and there is just air coming out. Stupidly, I waste my time thinking, "maybe it just takes a bit for the water to come out" which of course, it didn't. So I grabbed the other hose (praying that my 75 cents paid for use of both the air AND the water, since I had no more quaters, and I cought a break! It did! The bad news was, I probably could have spit with more pressure. Oh well-I had to work with what I had. It was at least thinning the paint down, so that was good. Then, over the lound sound of the water pump, I hear a voice behind me. One of the guys working on the broken car next to me took pity on me and was trying to offer me his sweatshirt to wipe the paint off with. (he must have seen me pathetically wiping globs off with some extra diapers I had in the car. yay for prepared mommies!) lol! I told him that I wouldn't take it, realizing then that this man spoke very little english. He said something like "not need it" and I said ok, feeling horribly guilty that this poor man was going to be out a sweatshirt, thanks to me! But then the surprising thing happened, he took his sweatshirt and started wiping the paint off. Unfortunately, while we were discussing the sweatshirt offer on the table, my hose shut off. Dang it! The man is trying to tell me something, but I can't understand him. He points over to the car wash and is really trying to get me to go over there. In my head, I'm thinking, "heck of a lot of good an exterior car wash is gonna do..." but he is insiting. I think I even asked him "how much?" (like I'm in Tijuana trying to haggle over a pair of earrings!) He looks at me funny, and I continue to pull into the car wash. But when I got closer, I noticed he had a hose in his hand. Light bulb! {this guy must think I'm an idiot...which, at this point, I would have to agree} But he proceeds to hose off and scrub my car down for me, until a car pulls in behind me and my car wash blocking SUV. I run over to him and explain the situation, then hurry in my car to pull through and let him by. I decide I need to get to a detailer, throwing my Lowe's trip COMPLETELY out the window. I pull around to talk to my little friend and he is NO WHERE to be found!! I felt guilty, but I had to leave. Oh I feel terrible about that still. But I know he will be blessed for helping me - a perfect stranger-
with such a horrible mess!

I get back on the freeway, get to the car detailer and now try to explain the disaster to them. Again, everyone that come up to the car, leans down, touches it, and then has some sort of "ohh no..." or "ouch!" kind of response. The nosey man in line, whom I mentioned earlier, tries to make me feel better by saying "At least it's not milk..." Um, thanks. I think I'd rather take milk, which I realize can be horribly hard to get out (especially the smell) but still possible. If this paint dries, my car is ruined!! I would have to replace the seat, carpets, and basically the whole driver's side door!!! Yeah! Wish it WAS milk!!

(very)Long story short(-ish) [ha ha] they were able to get pretty much all of the paint out in two hours (after having to remove and re-attach most of the driver's seat) and $60 bucks later. SO I guess I'm out $85, including the cost of the paint. Dang it! If only the color had been right
in the FIRST PLACE!!!
BIG thank you to Tony's dad who picked me up from the carwash to get home to the girls, and to Tony and Joe who took time out from their busy days to go pick the car up and bring it home all cleaned up! You help, as always, is very much appreciated!


Steph said…
OH MY GOSH!!! I'm so sorry Chelsey!! I can't believe it! At least they were able to get the paint out.

You sure did tell that story well. Just think, one day, you'll be able to look back at this day and laugh! Maybe one day.

Love Ya!
Aprillium said…
HOLY CRAP! and you had the presence of mind to take a picture! lol Glad it all came out!

about the milk thing, my mom actually got rid of her jeep because 3 gallons of milk spilled in the back during a crash and furmented there while the front end was getting fixed.... yeah, rancid milk smell does NOT come out easy. :)
GEEZE! You have to look at the good side of this...You didn't have your girls with you! Just imagine that and things could have been a whole lot worse.
GEEZE! You have to look at the good side of all of this...you didn't have your girls with you. Just think what it would be like if they were there.
Nat said…
Oh, man. I'm laughing, not because it's funny, but because I'm glad it didn't happen to me. I think I would have just sat there and cried! I'm glad it all came out. I love how you said "I could spit with more pressure"-so funny!
Amy Roper said…
Oh man! I'm so glad they got most of it out!!! What a crazy story! I think I would have just started crying and gone home (I do stupid things like that when I'm really upset). :)
Kathy said…
What a story! That was very interesting to read, to see what was going to happen next! How crazy, and yes, like someone said, at least you didn't have your girls with you! I'm glad it kinda "turned out" in the end!

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