Drop Cloth of Dreams

A friend challenged me with this idea: could I make watching paint dry entertaining? Here’s my answer: a top secret look into the high-stakes world of competitive paint drying!143117058546[1]

Vince: Good evening, viewers, and welcome to the 44th World Paint Drying Championship in beautiful Santa Monica! I’m Vince Troubadour, and with me are guest commentators Reese Wiltern and three time paint drying world champion Roger Hollywood Bowl. And boy, have we got an exciting competition in store tonight!

Reese: You’re so right, Vince. We are blessed today to see the long-awaited matchup between current title holder Pence Twerkington, and English challenger Eloise B. Loonanimal.

Roger: Fuck yeah, Reese, I can’t wait!

Vince: You can’t say that on air, Roger.

Roger: They can bleep me. That’s what the seven-second delay is for.

Vince: Yes, Roger, they probably invented it just for you.

Roger: Damn right, Vince. I’m the bad boy of this sport, the rock and roll paint dryer. They knew what they were getting when they signed me.

Reese: And now let’s meet our athletes. Pence Twerkington stunned the paint drying world when he came out of nowhere last year and won the San Diego Open by forfeit, after previous title holder Ray Balingwire tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Roger: Balingwire was a dirty cheat, plus he never let me have any.

Reese: And Eloise B. Loonanimal has been making a huge buzz on the English paint drying circuits this year. She combines an old school style with a radiant smile that just melts away your worries. Let’s talk to her now! Eloise, isn’t it a dream come true to finally compete with Pence Twerkington today?

Eloise: My dealer just talked me out of killing myself.

Roger: That’s the irresistible charm that made the paint drying world fall in love with her!

Vince: And Pence Twerkington has declined to be interviewed on air because he said it interferes with his aura. But his manager informed us that Twerkington will be using a Sea Glass Green from the Glidden line tonight. He’s going with an acrylic latex paint for its spiritual qualities.

Roger: I find Dutch Boy fumes give a more atmospheric high.

Reese: Thank you, Roger. And the always perky Eloise Loonanimal is using a Sherwin-Williams color called Fabulous Grape for what she calls its “savage hostility.”

Vince: She just lights up every room she’s in, Reese.

Reese: The competitors have laid down their primer coats a day in advance, and now they’ve just added the finishing coat. So let’s go to the arena and watch some paint dry!

Roger: I’m so stoked, Reese!

Everyone will be saying this now.
Everyone will be saying this now.

Reese: And already we have some very exciting developments in tonight’s competition, Vince, just look at what’s happening on Pence Twerkington’s wall!

Vince: His paint is very slowly drying, Reese. If you look right there, you’ll find he’s very closely duplicating his silver-medal performance at the Beijing Olympics!

Reese: And who could forget that magical competition, Vince? Let’s turn to our own chemical analyst Spraint Odorscent to talk us through a super slow-motion replay of the action so far. Spraint?

Spraint: Well you see, Reese, water-based and oil-based paints dry by very different chemical processes. To understand this, you need to examine the hydrocarbon linkages on these 77 detailed slides that I’ve prepared for you, and—

Vince: Sorry to interrupt you, Spraint, but we’re back in the arena where Eloise Loonanimal has made a remarkably bold move in tonight’s competition!

Reese: She’s doused herself in paint thinner and is trying to set herself on fire! She’s screaming about being trapped in the world’s most depressing sport by her drug and gambling debts, and now she’s being restrained by security guards!

Reese: What a spitfire this cheerful little Brit has turned out to be! We haven’t seen this kind of enthusiasm since the Minneapolis Indoor Masters Tournament in 2006!

Roger: That’s the can-do spirit that helped her great nation win the Falklands!

SportsNews Station HQ [interrupting broadcast]: I’m Booch Fewmet. We now return to our New York studio desk, where we are realizing the terrible mistake we’ve made. Competitive paint drying is simply too dramatic and violent a sport for a prime time audience. We apologize to our viewers. For now, until we can secure the broadcast rights to a less controversial sport, we’ll go to our station chief’s front lawn, where we have some very exciting live footage of grass growing! Right after this word from our sponsor.

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