Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

In Which The Bestie 'Does' Her Back and My Inadequacies Are Exposed

Several weeks ago The Bestie asked me if my face painting skills were still alive and kickin'. She had a fund raising event to run and she needed a free face painter to add to the carnival atmosphere of the occasion.

"Er....well, it's been awhile. When is it?"
"Sunday the 19th. You'll have to miss church."

Hmm. This was tricky, after all I am the Kidzone Co-ordinator; I'm rostered on 3-4 times a term and there are just not that many volunteers to swap with.

This was not done by me....

Add to this that its been a long time since I did any face painting and you will start to sense my nervousness over the whole request. But, it was for a great cause and I love to help The Bestie out. Perhaps someone would swap Kidzone with me and perhaps I could get a bit of practice in before the big day? You never know.

Initially it didn't look good. There were no replies to my 'can anyone swap?' email and I regretfully informed The Bestie that I may not be available. She was understandably disappointed but assured me that 'if necessary' she would simply hire a face painter, although they would prefer not to have to eat into the charity proceeds in this manner.

Well, blessing of blessings, one of my lovely friends from church was able to swap weeks with me and, lo and behold, I was suddenly available.
"Ah....," said The Bestie, "The sponsors have actually already found a face painter."
"Oh, um...never mind....perhaps you'll need two?" Having got myself off the roster I was determined to offer what assistance I could.
"Sure!" she enthusiastically agreed. And so the date was set.

In the week or so leading up to the event, I checked my face paint supplies and realised with a sinking stomach that, as I had used a school's make-up kit the last time I had done this, my own supplies were woefully inadequate. Never mind, I reasoned, I could buy a selection of paints and then I would have them for other occasions.

Saturday was to be my shopping day; I also had plans to buy a quilt for the guest room and possibly to scope out some bedside tables at IKEA. A late night text message from The Bestie put all plans on hold.

Might need to ask a favour tomorrow. Have put back out and can't walk.

I don't think I really understood the extent of 'put back out' in that first text message. When I phoned her the following morning, reality bit. Not only could she not walk, she could not drive. She could not lie comfortably in any way and, after lying uncomfortably, she could not get up....
She was in need of some major help.

So our Saturday went like this.
* Visit Bestie and take over Voltarin to ease inflammation. Also rub Voltarin gel into back. Wash dishes for her, refreeze her ice pack and ensure she was sitting quietly with a book in a semi upright position.
* Go to her office and retrieve items for the 'event' in the morning. This involved a gate lock,
a door lock, an alarm and no idea of where to look for said box of items. With the capable
help of the Baby Angel all was achieved.
* Stop by local big name hardware store to buy tubs for holding drinks and ice at Sunday's
* Buy the face paints (a couple extra for Her beloved)
* Pick up her iced coffees and >:-( ...fags [I do not approve].
* Return to pick up prescription left by locum (it's either a torn ligament or a slipped disc.
Fingers crossed for the first option) and get this filled at the chemist.
* Keep Bestie plied with food, drink and painkillers. Wash dishes. Watch 'Spooks'.

And so our Saturday was filled. It was actually very pleasant, being in the mid 30s and having no immediate pressure to be anywhere at a particular time. It was also pleasant just hanging out with the Bestie, even if she was kind of immobile :-)

Whilst there I practiced a bit on The BA and just as well I did! I had forgotten all the designs which used to flow off the brush with such ease back in the UK where my career as a facepainter began. Nevertheless I managed to execute a butterfly, a snake and a tiger before the light and fast diminishing bottles of wine rendered my efforts unrecognisable.

Fast forward 10 hours and we arrived back at the Bestie's house to take her to the event. My first job was to put on her shoes and socks for her! She couldn't bend down y'see. We loaded up the car with face paints, tubs, cash boxes and the like; she manoeuvered herself v-e-e-r-y slowly in through the passenger's side door and we were away. ( You might ask why she was even going out in her condition but that would be a pointless question. The Bestie is The Boss and these things do not run without her :-(

By the time we arrived at the scene of the event, things were beginning to get underway. We propped The Bestie upright and pointed her in the direction of proceedings. Marquees were being erected; T Shirts and hats distributed and donations taken.
Oh, and the face painter had arrived.

Across her eyes was a confection of black and gold deftly painted curlicues with a scattering of glitter and opalescent sheen. She had a double sided sandwich board with examples of her wares emblazoned upon it in full colour. She had a high chair, stool, folding table and the most glorious array of rainbow coloured facepaints imaginable.

I decided right then and there that I would not be face painting today.

Rather at a loss for what to do instead, the BA and I took drinks down to the halfway point of the event and stamped people's hands. We then had a jog up the beach and made it back in time to cart the woe begotten Bestie off home to sit quietly and recover with her drugs.

But I could not leave it at that. To add insult to injury, on our return, the Bestie sported a deft and glittering pink confection across her eyes. Yes, in our absence, through her agony, she had had her face painted!

Back at her place I set up my gear again and, observing her flowery visage, attempted to recreate the delicate and multi coloured petals of the other face painter's design. >:-( I was at it for about an hour. The BA was once more my guinea pig. After about 30 minutes she expressed an impatience with being my model and we left with my own forearm bearing the tattoos of my shame in the form of petals and tiger stripes.

So what do I take from this experience? You tell me. But if anyone needs any free, second rate face painting done, I'm available. >:-D


SSG said...

Arizaphale you sound like a really good person to know when anything goes wrong, or to get drunk with! I think drunken face painting may actually be under-rated, I mean, the results gotta be hilarious! And way to go Himself, in the top 1000!

Arizaphale said...

Thanks for the warm fuzzies ssg! Drunken face painting. Hmmmmm...... there must be a market for that!

Blueberry said...

oh poor Bestie!!! sounds terribly painful.

i'm sure your face painting was perfectly fine! (maybe not after drinking- but other than that completely fine!) ;)

A Free Man said...

Well, you may be a shite face painter, but sounds like you'd make a hell of a wet nurse.

Miss Betty Fjord said...

You were indeed a ministering angel - and I thought your face painting was very good! A million thanks for being such a good friend ... :-)

Arizaphale said...

Thank you Miss Betty! And, A Free Man, a wet nurse is one used for breast feeding babies. Not sure Miss Betty would be up for that, even if we have known each other for 40+ years!!!!!! :-D

Maggie said...

I'm with Blueberry - poor bestie indeed! Ouch!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful friend you are! The Bestie is lucky to have you. :) Face painting has come a long way hasn't it? When I was little it was balloons and soccer balls on your cheek. Now... my goodness, I can't believe what they do!