Friday, December 05, 2008

Paint Drying Drama

The act of watching paint dry is often used as a benchmark against which to measure boredom. This is understandable, given that the drying performance of the average gloss or matt vinyl has little to recommend it as a spectator activity. Though physical changes do indeed take place in the appearance of the paint as it gradually goes from wet to tacky to dry, they are generally barely perceptible, occurring as they do over such a protracted period of time.

In my opinion, this is unacceptable. We live in a technological age, after all. It therefore ought to be within someone's capabilities to chemically engineer paint such that its drying cycle becomes more interesting to look at. As well as rendering home improvements less of a drag, this would also provide an alternative to the usual televised pap, such as "Eastenders" or "Strictly Come Dancing."

For a start, manufacturers get it all wrong by actually indicating on the can what colour the paint is. Where's the opportunity for suspense in this? It's like a bookshop selling a thriller called "Murder on the Orient Express - All the 12 Passengers on the Train did it". It's like a cinema showing a film called "Carrie - A bloodstained hand comes up out of the ground just before the end". Totally unacceptable.

No. Paint cans ought to be a uniform colour, such that you don't know what you've got until you open them up. Even then, the colour of the wet paint needn't necessarily be the same as that of the paint when dry. You could engineer things so that it looks, say, red when opened, but actually dries to a matt black. Better still, if it undergoes several radical colour changes over the cycle, so as to keep everyone on their toes. So just when you think you're going to end up with a lilac white, it turns shocking pink at the last moment. Or maybe phallic symbols appear in the middle of it. Naturally enough, people might not like having a pink wall or a door covered in images of penises. So they'd return to the shop and buy another can of paint. And if they didn't like the results from that, they'd return to buy yet another. And so on.

Not only would this help stimulate the currently nose-diving economy, it would also put a lot of excitement into otherwise dull lives.

No comments: