Wednesday Story Day – AKA Hump Day

Hump Day

Today is Wednesday Story Day and the start of a whole new story. For the regulars, you know that my stories are written entirely in dialog and without tags. The reason I do this is to continue to practice my dialog so that I can make it stronger. For any newcomers, I hope it won’t be too confusing and that you will enjoy the ride. So here we go.
“Hi, young man can I help you?”
“Yes, sir. I just got a job painting the widow Murphy’s house and I need some paint.”
“That is a mighty big house, son. You sure you can handle it.”
“Oh yes, sir. I have ladders and my own spray equipment. I will do a good job.”
“I’m sure you will. Now how much of what color do you want?”
“Well, I think I will need twenty gallons of this here ‘Autumn Harvest,’ and six gallons of the ‘Phantom White’ trim paint.”
“Yeah, that should do it. That is a lovely color for the widow’s house. I’m surprised she picked that one.”
“She told me to select the color and I think it will look good.”
“Wait a minute. Didn’t she pick the color? Has she seen it?”
“Nope. She said she didn’t care what color. I think this one will cover that gray just fine, though.”
“You know what son. I’ve been in the hardware business almost thirty years. If I were you, I would take a sample of this paint and show it to the widow. Otherwise, I think you might be in for a disappointment.”
“I’m pretty sure she meant what she said. No offense but I think I know what I’m doing.”
“Okay son. Just trying to help. You know there is no returns on a custom color.”
“Yes, I know that. Now please mix it up.”
“Coming right up. You want five gallon or one-gallon cans?”
“Let’s do the five-gallon buckets for the body color and one gallon for the trim.”
“You’re the boss. I’ve known the widow for a number of years and never thought of her as the kind to let someone else pick her colors.”

“I get that. It will be my worry though.”

“Yes sir.”


  1. Gwen Plano · ·

    Great dialogue! And, with the tension between old and young, experience and inexperience, possibilities abound. Looking forward to the next segment…

    1. Thank you, Gwen. So glad you liked it. 🙂

  2. Sounds like a good beginning, John. I hope the painter’s right for his sake. Good dialogue and tension. 🙂 — Suzanne

    1. Thank you , Suzanne. I hope he knows what he is doing. Either that or he knows how to beg forgiveness. 😀

  3. The cartoon was great. 😀 — Suzanne

    1. Thanks, Suzanne. 🙂

  4. Nice job, John! OMG…that cartoon is hilarious. Happy Wednesday!

    1. Glad you liked it, Jill. Had to hunt that one down. 😀

  5. I remember that ‘no returns on custom color’ rule from Home Depot. Made my shifts on the return desk very interesting. Thank god some people can’t swing a paint can very well. Great start to the new story.

    1. Thanks, Charles. I hope this kid knows what he is doing.

      1. Hope so too. Going to doubt it though. 😜

      2. Well at least he’s no Ben. 🙂

      3. Nobody can out stupid Ben.

      4. He makes stupid seem bright.

      5. That should be put on his headstone.

  6. Good start and the dialogue flows well. There is no question as to who is talking. Now, to see where this one goes. 🙂 Love Wednesdays at John Howell’s blog!

    1. Thank you, Jan. I appreciate your comments and support. 🙂

  7. You’re off to a good start. I’d say “what can go wrong with a kid painting a house?” But, this isn’t my first hump-day saga. I am not allowed to pick the color of paint, and the guy at the hardware store enforces that rule. I pretty much need a note from my wife.

    1. The guy is your wing man. I have a neighbor who bought some “whoops” paint on sale. Turned out to be “Barney Purple.” He used it anyway. Cost thousands to repaint. He did save his marriage though. Thanks , Dan

  8. What could possibly go wrong?

    1. That’s is what I’m wondering. Thanks, Craig.

      1. I’m sure it will come to you.

      2. Ha ha ha. Thanks for the vote of confidence. 🙂

  9. A lesson in saying exactly what you mean is ahead, maybe. Looking forward to reading a new story, John.

    1. Thanks, Audrey. It is so much fun starting fresh. 🙂

      1. Here’s to all the avenues you’re given being clearly marked. Or not. Let the fun begin.

  10. Oh dear – I see drama in that young man’s future.

    1. Lets hope so. Thanks, Keith.

  11. Looking forward to seeing where you go with this one. Great start and good dialogue!

    1. Thank you, Mae Clair. I think it might work out. 🙂

  12. Our hardware store has a note taped to the counter. “All husbands must have a note from their wives to purchase paint.)

    1. Good idea. Even then it’s risky. 🙂

  13. Oh, nothing could possibly go wrong here, right, John?? Is Autumn Harvest a beautiful shade of pumpkin or maybe timeless gold? Either way, the widow just might be in for the surprise of her life! Eager for your next installment.

    1. Thanks, Debbie. I have the next one in my head. I hope you like it.

      1. I’m sure I will. You’re off to an excellent start!

  14. A fresh coat of paint seems like a great way to begin a new serial, John.
    Hmmm… I’m with the guy at the counter. When someone (anyone) tells you to just choose for them, there’s bound to be a problem when you actually do! A twist is clearly soon to come. 😀 Thanks for a wonderful Wednesday story break. Mega hugs.

    1. My pleasure, Teagan. Thank you for the splendid comment. Hugs

      1. You’re so kind. I don’t want to know yet if he gets to choose the color because: 1 the old widow has already kicked the bucket and is stashed away in the attic, 2 He’s figured out she’s actually color blind. Or 3 She’s letting him choose a zesty color because she’s up and become a “cougar”… Oh my granny what big teeth you have… Okay… I’m losing it… I admit it. I’ll just go quietly — okay not so quietly back to my corner. 😉

      2. Ha ha ha. You can stay out here and keep on talking. You have not hit it yet but I’m sure you will one of these days. Next week he has to go to the POA and get the paint color approved. (Seems he forgot that little item)

  15. Here’s to new beginnings, John…
    Well done.

  16. Really felt these two voices… and I’m worried! I bet she doesn’t like the colour!

    1. Um….If not it is going to be expensive. 🙂

  17. Oh, my! This has the makings of a very colorful story! Nice job, John!

    1. Thanks, John. Always good to hear you like it. 😀

      1. What can I say? I’m a fan!

  18. Another sizzler coming up. Love it already. Great tension. That young fella is in for a bummer. 😀
    😀 😀

    1. I think you may be right. Thanks, Tess.

  19. Whoo-hoo! I get to be here for the 1st Installment! Can’t wait to meet the Widow. There are so many ways this could go, the stage is so perfectly set. More please!

    1. Yes you are on the train at the beginning. You will get more each and every Wednesday. Thanks, Soooz.

  20. Oh, dear … just … oh, dear 😉

    1. Ha ha ha. Thanks, Marie. 😀

  21. A brush with Destiny?

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