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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Omnishambles (05/01/14)

TITLE: Go for the Great
By Beth LaBuff


“Regal Plum”— My lips formed the words as my mind rehearsed how I would roll the “R” and pop the “PL.” After savoring the moment, I would then, with an exaggerated grandiose wave, indicate the kitchen walls while I breathily intoned “Raisin Kiss.” I visualized the delight on my wife’s face as she took in the transformation. My heart accelerated in my daydream as I hastened down the back stretch toward the final curve. I would deftly pluck two grapes from a bowl displayed on the counter as I steered our attention toward the “Frosted Grape” color that made a striking accent on the window molding. While we nibbled the grapes, the pièce de résistance would rocket me across the finish line as she beheld the wall with HER inspirational phrase stenciled on it. “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great!” She’s going to love it. I could almost hear the “Wow!” escape her lips.

In our budget-conscious household, this was the year for the kitchen facelift, then, next year we would travel. We were planning a trip to our nation’s capital. But, I had conceived a better plan. With my do-it-yourself skills, why couldn’t we have our fruit-colored kitchen and eat our cake in the nation’s capital, too?

Paint was my new best friend, a dazzling remedy for an all-white kitchen. It would cover a multitude of sins and rejuvenate this bland, boring room.

My makeover scheme was known only to two: myself and Roscoe, our white German shepherd. I’d planned for weeks, hiding supplies and paint in shades of my wife’s favorite color du jour, purple. My goal was to shift into high gear and complete the makeover before she returned from work today. I wouldn’t sanction a wrinkle in my facelift plan.

As I covered the floor in preparation, I assigned Roscoe, my pit crew, his task—to repose in the canine house in the backyard. In order to complete this project in one day, there was no time to sand or prime the cupboards. It would be what it would be, as my wife was fond of saying.

I tackled the cupboards first and had just finished the walls when I heard a scratching at the back door. My pit crew needed to be fed. I grabbed his food and opened the door unprepared for his rambunctious leap into the house. I dropped the food as he skidded across the covered floor and bumped the ladder while knocking the brush off the lip of the paint can. Too late, the brush connected with his backside, giving him a little “Raisin Kiss.” I exhaled thinking, it could have been worse. I hurried Roscoe back outside; his cleanup could wait. Right now I had a finish line to cross.

Once the “Grape Frost” window trim was painted, I began the time-consuming stenciling project, doing each letter individually. The motto, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great!” summarized my plans for this year, “Go for the great!”

My wife called when I was barely halfway through the stenciling. She was five minutes away and was bringing two colleagues home with her. My racecar hit an oil slick. I heard the garage door close as the back door opened. In walked my wife, two co-workers, and Roscoe. I watched my wife’s eyes as she took in our formerly-all-white kitchen. Her gaze settled on the “Regal Plum” cupboards, and at this point, where I should have been rolling the “R” and popping the “PL,” the only thing popping was the white paint through regal-plum-cupboard doors. Then, I watched as all eyes traveled en masse to my pièce de résistance. I held my breath as they tried to make sense of the half-finished motto, “Don’t be afraid to give up the goo.”

There was no “Wow!” from my wife’s lips. I cringed as her co-workers stifled laughs. To punctuate the scene, a grape plunked to the floor and was quickly nabbed by the Raisin-Kissed-Roscoe. Instead of a checkered flag, I imagined the black penalty flag waving over my purple fruit-colored disaster.

I still got my wish for travel this year. I’m spending my vacation at the “white house.” It took all of fifteen seconds to arrive at my destination, the little white house in the backyard with the word “Roscoe” over the one and only door. I may be here for an extended stay.

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This article has been read 595 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/08/14
I can't remember a challenge piece I have enjoyed more than this one. The humor in this is priceless--every word a winner!
C D Swanson 05/10/14
Hahahaha! This was really a cute story. I enjoyed it!

God bless~
Margaret Kearley 05/12/14
This is fantastic. Wonderful story, incredible descriptions and amazing pictures for the mind's eye! I am still giggling - never again, shall I be afraid to give up the goo!!
Phillip Cimei05/13/14
Great story! My mind's eye could see it clearly. It left a good taste in my mouth. Isn't that what writing is all about? I look forward to reading more of your work.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/14/14
This is brilliant. I love the daring nature of the husband. The ending was perfect and I can imagine both husbands and wives nodding their heads each understanding one point of view.
Dave Walker 05/15/14
A really entertaining read! Great descriptive writing. One can just picture it. I love the humor.
Margaret Kearley 05/15/14
Congrats, congrats Beth. This is SO well deserved. A brilliant entry that is still making me laugh! As always, wonderful writing.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/15/14
Congratulations for EC. It's still BOB for me!
C D Swanson 05/15/14

God bless~
Laury Hubrich 05/15/14
What a well-intentioned action:) Fun fun story, Beth! A well-earned EC, for sure. You are way funny:)
Lillian Rhoades 05/15/14
SO FUNNY! Loved every word. A well deserved win. Congrats!!!
Elizabeth Baize05/15/14
Congratulations!! I just read this out loud to my grind so we could get the definition of Omnishambles.
Elizabeth Baize05/15/14
I meant to say my friend. This was so creative and colorful!
Leola Ogle 05/15/14
Ah, Beth, my dear, sweet friend! How I love this -- being the wife of a painter, I could chuckle and nod all the way through this. Excellent job! Congratulations! God bless!
Francy Judge 05/16/14
I loved reading this! You are a talented writer and so funny! Your ending was perfect for this. Congratulations on your well-deserved win!
Judith Gayle Smith05/16/14
Crazy and colorful! I like!

Hebrews 10:26-31 KJV
Charla Diehl 05/16/14
Beth, congrats on your EC win with this creative, fun and entertaining tale. You had me smiling from the start and feeling sorry for the husband when things played out so differently than what he'd imagined. You truly are a gifted writer!
Tracy Nunes 05/16/14
This is priceless. Every bit of it left me with a smile.Poor guy! A very well deserved EC. Congratulations!
Yvonne Blake 05/17/14
Congratulations, Bethy. What a fun story! I could see it all.
Bea Edwards 05/20/14
Hilarious! I'm in the midst of several painting projects gone awry so your story had me grinning from ear to ear.

A well written and a truly believable self dialogue from your MC.

Congratulations on your win.