Tuesday Apr 15, 2003

Who is the Painter?

I was visiting a fellow artist, a painter. He lived in a small apartment complex in Santa Monica, California. His place was tidy. Art filled the walls of all three rooms. There was a canvas in progress on an easel, and art supplies were laid out on a large drawing table. A variety of oil paint smears covered my friend’s shirt and pants.

A lady was getting ready to move into one of the nearby one bedroom units on the second floor. She was redecorating the apartment, and there was a painter helping her. My friend knew the painter whose name was Sam. He was reliable and did a lot of house and apartment painting in the area. The woman went out and left Sam to the walls, wood trimmings, and windows.

While my friend and I were talking in his apartment, Sam, dressed in white overalls that were strewn with paint dabs, knocked and asked whether he could make a local call since service in the lady’s apartment wasn’t yet installed.

Sure.

After a few moments, there was another knock at the door just as Sam was about to leave. A phone installation man stood at the door and said: “I have an order here to install a phone and the note on the door upstairs says to see the painter in this apartment. So, which one of you is the painter?”

Sam, who was on the way out, looked at me and my friend, then said: “Well, I’m the painter who makes money.”

The irony was palpable. It was impossible not to laugh.»

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