The Joy of Watching Paint Dry

For someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen, I pride myself on being able to whip up a good mess. Since I don’t have any formal training, this must be a God-given talent. All I have to do is enter the room and the counters go from pristine to a disaster area in 4.9 seconds.

Some of those who’ve witnessed my creations suggested I launch my own cooking show, “Wrecking with Russell,” on cable TV. While I’m flattered by their faith in my ability to trash an entire room in an attempt to boil water, I’m told the show would cost far too much to produce due to the excessive staff required for clean up.

If this is your first visit to Friday Flash Fiction, the retired cake decorator who never let a dollop of icing hit the counter is Betty Crocker Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness, head over to her blog for instructions. To rent a box in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block, click here.

PHOTO PROMPT © Shaktiki Sharma

“Perry, you and JB attended the Pre-Paint-Drying Banquet last night. Is there one player who might come from out of nowhere to pull an upset?”

“Any of these four could win it. But keep an eye on ‘Plain Jane’ Jones. If she performs with the same level of energy and passion she displayed in my hotel room, she’ll blow this thing wide open. That is, if she’s not too exhausted from last night.”

“Perry, surely you don’t mean—”

“That’s right, Willard. She painted all four walls AND the ceiling. We spent the next six hours just watching it dry.”

*an excerpt from “The Joys of Watching Paint Dry.” 

52 Comments on “The Joy of Watching Paint Dry

  1. Dear Willard,

    And I was asked how I went from that prompt to MY story? I’m not sure which of us went farther afield. Sounds like Perry had an interesting evening with Jane. He must’ve been exhausted after all of that “whole lotta watchin goin on.”
    Just to set the record straight, when I decorated cakes you could eat off the floor around me. That was because there was so much icing on there and on the counter there was plenty to go around. Sweet tidings to you and long suffering Connie.


    Betty Crocker Wisoff – Fields


    • Dear Betty,
      The grasshopper could be named Perry, AND he is intently watching something. I realize the concept of Perry being in the same room with a woman all night is quite a stretch, but hey, isn’t that what fiction is about?

      If that’s a testimonial on your cake decorating, I’m glad they didn’t ask you to boil water. I’ll pass on your condolences to long-suffering Connie.

      Happy Baking,


    • Ok, love you both mighty, but I think Russell’s is closer to the prompt than the Divine Ms. Ro this week. Love your story, Rochelle, was at a loss for the connection. With Russell’s I immediately saw the tie to color and decoration… the all nighter with Plain Jane… well, that’s just a Russell twisted… err, twist. 😉 Both of you sure make 100 words fun!


      • Harrumph! 😉 I suppose I’ll concede…but not apologize. 😀 The mind goes where the mind goes which is what makes this challenge so much fun! How much do I love this group and folks like Dauntless Dawn and Gayer the Grand. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • How much indeed! And I do believe I used those very words (“The mind goes where the mind goes “) a few weeks ago, when you were feeling canudged a bit too hard! The love is returned in spades… or hearts.


      • Thank you for your insightful comment, Dawn. I think you’ll find my next post even more twisted. 🙂


    • With the new Museum of the American Revolution set to open in your neighborhood on April 19th, I bet there are a lot of good opportunities to watch paint dry. Are they also setting up a special exhibit on the oldest living relic in America–YOU?

      For those who haven’t heard about the new museum, here’s a link


  2. Funny! I have a good mental picture of two grasshoppers sitting together, eyes bugged out, watching the paint dry 🙂


  3. You are a master of misdirection, delicious humor and kitchen chaos, obviously. For this sort of treat, I’m sure you can find someone to help you clean the counters.

    Thank you for the laugh.


  4. We had a patient at our office who took what seemed to be half a lifetime to fill out a check. Yep, it was like watching paint dry. Another smile-invoking take on a fun, if not supremely odd, photo.


    • I think I was behind that person in the check-out line at the grocery store. Every act, no matter how simple, was performed in extreme slow motion. My toe nails must have grown half an inch while waiting in that line.


    • The Janes in Spain are seldom plain,
      except when left out in the rain
      Then they become a royal pain
      and beg to have you write their name
      hoping for 15 seconds of fame
      that comes from being featured in a blog

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ll bet Jane worked in the time watching it dry as part of her strategy, as training for the next phase in the competition. This was a quirky, fun read.


  6. Nothing worse for a bug then landing on sticky wet paint.😉


    • Oh, I’m sure there’s something worse, Michael. After all, the poor girl is stuck in a room overnight with Perry.


  7. Watching paint dry could be a way to force someone to stop and breathe… unless a bug gets stuck in the paint, then that could cause more stress!


    • I think Perry is starting a team of paint watchers if you want to join. From what I understand it is a riveting sport.


    • I can’t remember when I first referenced him in a post, but it’s been a quite a while. We enjoying picking on each other. Perry is a very talented writer with a great sense of humor. He is also a great sport to allow me to feature him (and author, JB Hogan) in the paint-drying story which will be included in my upcoming book.


  8. The very fact you saw past the bug to the fact the place could do with a coat of paint started me laughing, turning it into a contest with commentators completed a very satisfying 100 words. Funny as always, tremendously so this week.


  9. And there I thought it was about the pretty colours of the grasshopper. I’m far too impatient to watch paint dry. I would watch you boil water in your kitchen though. If I could watch being bent over from laughing, that is. 🙂


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