Watching Paint Dry
I’ve never understood it. I’ve thought about it long and hard to the point where I just couldn’t get back into the ‘Land of Nod (just west of ‘La La Land’ and east of Eden). I’d kick off my bedcovers and boot the cat (accidentally of course, Oliver is a very placid pussy and just stuck to the bed like bird droppings to my car). My head would ache with the effort that my poor shrivelling brain was putting into the task (thinking that is, not cat kicking I’d just like to re-assure all my fellow animal lovers out there), but still I just couldn’t find the answer!
Now in this world in which we live in (does that sound like a good line for a song, maybe a little too familiar, perhaps, maybe…?) there are many questions that are left unanswered.
‘What is the meaning of life’ for instance, quite a big one by anybody’s standards (yes I know Douglas Adams has solved that one which is fine but I don’t think everybody believes it, which is shame, it does have a certain simplicity)?
‘Why does it always rain on me’ (sorry another musical interlude interrupting my thinking and quite a negative one I think)?
But the biggest questions rattling around amongst the discarded memories and bits of fog, in my poor addled head, is who found out that watching paint dry wasn’t the most thrilling of activities?
Let us look at the plain cold facts. Firstly the individual would have needed to make them selves comfortable, and found somewhere to sit a relatively safe distance from the painted surface. Quite an easy task I’m sure you’ll agree. Next a suitable length of time would need to be spent in the ‘watching of the paint’, so I’d expect the person to have done their research (it’s usually on the side of the tin, don’t ever try to read the bottom of a tin of paint, especially if the lid is laying beside your feet on the floor, things can get pretty messy if you do). Thirdly, their life would need to be very empty or a large sum of money offered or both (I’d be up for it, for lets say at least £10 – or even $10 – per hour, not a fortune and I’m sure that I’d be doing the scientific world an invaluable service).
The result would be that this individual would indeed know what excitement level watching paint has, and would be able to impart this nugget of information via the usual means: telephone, newspapers, blogs Wikipedia, Chinese Whispers etc.
I don’t think anybody should be able to utter that string of words without someway of backing it up with some evidence, without qualifying the statement. For instance when waiting for a bus for six hours (yes been there done that) and turning to the gent sat near you at the stop, and desperate to relieve the monotony, please add ‘according to a paper I’ve read in Scientists Weekly’ after ‘Isn’t this tedious, it’s just like watching paint dry?’ Yes granted the old man may well be a mad axe murderer more intent on eviscerating you horribly, leaving your innards to mix with the gum and abandoned time tables scattered on the pavement, but at least you’ll die feeling a little more knowledgeable, and perhaps a touch more superior as you fade to black.