Even before Hurricane Irma brought chaos and disruption to these climes, Guido and I created our own when we (read: she) decided that it was ‘way past time to repaint the interior of the house. Every stick of furniture, potted plant, electronic accessory, etc. has to be relocated. I was personally charged with taking literally thousands of books off their shelves, stuff them in boxes, and get them out of the way. We’ve been living in a maze for months. The only thing I do more often than bang my head on misplaced furniture and lamps is crush my toes against boxes and bags.
But the end is near. On Saturday, the crew comes out to finish off the walls of the living area, about 2/3 of the house. But first, we need more paint.
Picking colors isn’t easy, especially when one of us (read: not Guido) is somewhat blind and tasteless, but we settle on a cheery shade of yellow, which we’ll set off with something in the copper/bronze family. (I wanted the whole place copper/bronze. See: blind and tasteless, above.) That doesn’t fly, but Guido is okay with it as an accent, and we both agree that the color of the beer can shown here would be perfect.
For the record, this happens to be a wonderful tasting beer, too, absolutely unavailable in this market.
So one morning we hoppy in the jalopy and head to Home Depot, empty beer can in hand, to see what we can rustle up. As I get out, limping (crushed toes, remember?) and turn around, I find myself standing three feet away from a frowning Hollywood cop. He points at the beer can.
“Is than an open container of alcohol?” he asks.
Well, it’s open, but it’s empty.
“So you drank it while driving your vehicle?”
I drank it six months ago. Maybe more. Not in my car, as I recall.
Dick Tracy considers this sourly, no doubt sizing up the rather shabby-looking senior citizen standing unsteadily before him in a torn Key West tee shirt, who looks very much like somebody who never goes anywhere without a beer.
“Why would anybody believe that you just got out a car carrying a beer can that’s been empty for six months?” he asks. Or actually states.
At which point Guido, sensing (correctly) that I am seconds away from making a statement that will certainly cause this exchange to deteriorate into a genuine law enforcement incident, explains that we were going to the paint department to see if we could match the color of the can to use in our house.
The Law studies this a moment. The aged hippies are planning to paint their house the color of a beer can. “May I see the can, please?”
Don’t hurt it — it’s our only one.
Fearless Fosdick frowns at it (and me), and puts his nose over the opening — the can’s, not mine — and inhales. I sure hope somebody in the parking lot gets this on video, or at least a photo. Facebook post: Hollywood Cop Snorts Beer Can in Home Depot Parking Lot. Exhaling, he reads the label, shakes his head a little sadly, and silently hands it back.
Aren’t you going to give me a warning or something?
He squints, cop-like. “Don’t press your luck. In fact, the smart thing to do would be to put this in a bag if you’re gonna walk around with it. You might know it’s empty, but nobody else does.” Another glare. “Have a good day, and be careful.”
“You just can’t help getting into trouble, can you,” growls Guido as we make our way inside.
Hey, you didn’t think twice about carrying this into the store, either.
“No, but I don’t go out in public looking like an alcoholic derelict.” I can see she’s having doubts about the color, too. Because: wives.
Anyway, we get what we want, although it takes a trip to Sherwin Williams which has a nifty computer app that analyzes colors, then generates the formula to manufacture a perfect match, and come home. No arrests. Or even warnings.
Epilogue: When the painters show up to finish the house, we explain what we want with the accent color. We proudly show the crew chief our custom-blended paint, officially christened “Wyld.”
“You sure about this?” he asks. “Looks like a damn beer can!”