And it's not just that he will paint over rotted pipes and crumbling stucco without thought of repairing the surface first, it's that he does it in the most heinous rainbow of colors that you can imagine. You see, Ronnie buys his paint in bulk. Five gallon tubs of gloss white to be precise. Then he uses paint dyes to mix his own colors. Let's just say he's no Martha Stewart with his custom color mixing. Where Martha's colors are all 'Robin's Egg Blue' and 'Braised Celery', Ronnie's colors are 'Holy Shit! What Threw Up In Here Green' and 'Bile Duct Yellow'.
Back in the early 90's, the hubs and I bought our first house, a tiny, little 600 square foot cottage on a half an acre of land at the end of a culdesac. The tiny house was nestled on two lots of land that sat side by side , so there was a big, open space surrounding the itty bitty house. As you drove into the culdesac toward our house, it looked like a child's play house sitting in an open field. We painted our little doll house a tasteful shade of blue grey and tried very hard to make it liveable and charming, as it was pretty cramped quarters and storage/closet space was minimal.
One Saturday, as I was returning from a morning of errands and food shopping, I noticed something odd as I came up the block. Something looked wrong about the outside of my little dollhouse. The side of the house that was visible when coming up the block into the culdesac was the side where the 250 gallon oil tank sat. It was right up against the side of the house, under the kitchen window. But on this day, it looked different upon approach. I'd dare say it looked downright angry. As a matter of fact, it looked like my little doll house had grown an enormous and highly agitated pimple on the side of its face. This was because, while I was out shopping and picking up dry cleaning, Uncle Ronnie had shown up at my house and painted the 250 gallon oil tank a hideous shade of school bus yellow. We're not talking Tan or Dijon or Mustard. We're talking all it needed was a bus driver and two dozen screaming kids that won't stay in their seats, school bus yellow.
I pulled into the driveway with my mouth agape. As a matter of fact, my mouth hung open as I walked up the front walk and over to the side of the house, where Ronnie was blissfully painting away. Ronnie turned to me and proudly announced that there was a leak at the bottom of the tank and that a good coat of paint should take care of it.
I grabbed my chin and forced my mouth closed. I needed to pause for a moment, because if I answered within the context of my initial emotional response to what was sitting in front of me, I'd end up insulting him. So I forced a smile, said "great" and did what any new bride would do, I cried to and then yelled at my husband who had absolutely NO IDEA that Ronnie was outside painting our oil tank. It was a total ninja paint job.
When he was all done, we had him in for a glass of iced tea and some cookies and then he took off on his merry way. And I didn't touch the school bus yellow oil tank for a couple of weeks. Finally, after I started to develop a twitch in my eye, I painted it the same blue grey as the house and its angry skin condition faded away.
When he came back a few weeks later I was very nervous about what he would think of the fact that I painted over his flaming yellow monstrosity. But he wasn't upset at all. Instead, he seemed relieved. Relieved because he did not feel like the two coats of yellow that he had put on had been enough to seal off the leak and he had spent the past two weeks worrying about it. Knowing that I had added an additional two coats put his mind at ease. Now that pesky leak won't return. You know what? It never did.