Friday, December 26, 2008

My wife is painting over my manhood

Slips of paper have been appearing on our living room wall.

Sometimes there are four, sometimes three, sometimes only one. But they all have two things in common: 1) none of them ever stays up for more than a day, and 2) they’re all shades of the color blue.

My wife wants to paint our living room, I can only assume, blue.

Sure, just painting a living room sounds innocent enough, but so did the German invasion of Belgium to start World War I. I think that war started when Kaiser Wilhelm II’s wife wanted to paint the living room blue. The war was less trouble.

There's something the sexes (and by that I'm nicely saying, 'only women') don't realize about life – there are rules:

Rule 1: Men and women don’t think the same way.

Rule 2: Men and women don’t like the same things.

Rule 3: Women love colors. Men view colors as something nature created out of spite.

Many of the troubles between the sexes could be solved if women just realized Rules 1 through 3. Four through 10 are pretty good, too. They deal with all sorts of things like which way toilet paper should roll from the wall and why men appear to be so itchy.

The main point is that men and women don’t have the same tastes in home decorating. Well, except for those guys on home makeover shows, but I’d never invite them over to watch a ballgame.

I like one color for my walls – white. White walls are guy walls because guys don’t care about white. We care about red, blue-green and gray because that means we’re somewhere we don’t want to be, like stuck at a traffic light, Sea World, or jail. White just means bathroom, and we’re all comfortable with that.

“So what do you think of these blues?” my wife – who caused this mess – asked our four-year-old son.

He looked at the strips of paper on the wall for a few seconds as if he were contemplating man’s place in the universe.

“I think they’re dumb,” he said.

Hmmm. Maybe he was. That was a pretty deep thought for a preschooler.

The colors were labeled Cozumel Aqua, Cloudless Sky and Nimble Blue.

What do these names really mean? Are paint makers banking on the fact that, percentage wise, so few real Americans have been to Cozumel we won’t know this color isn’t what the water there looks like? That Cloudless Sky and Sky Blue from Crayola are exactly the same? And, in what universe is blue ever “nimble?”

I’m just waiting for my wife to start painting. I bet a nice shade of Shipwrecked Lovers Gazing onto the Azure Horizon all over my living room will be just fine … for an Italian restaurant.

Waiter, bring me a beer and a shot of testosterone. I think I’m going to need it.

Copyright 2008 by Jason Offutt

Jason’s book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to the Show-Me State’s Most Spirited Spots,” is available at, or Visit Jason’s Web site,, for his other books.