This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.
Coretta Dobles was fed up.
She’d had enough, she was over it, she couldn’t take any more.
It cost a small fortune to have her house painted, a small fortune she didn’t have.
She scrimped and saved and went without.
The painter assured her that it would all come out the same colour, nothing fancy, just an annoying shade of brown.
It didn’t seem like too much to ask for.
The problem arose because Merrill Vanevery, the painter in question, had not read the side of the can. Merrill had been a painter all his adult life so his days of ‘reading the side of the can’ were far behind him.
As Coretta described it in her suicide note.
“Everything above the ground floor is in black and white, including the people and the furnishings. I cannot stand it any more. I don’t want black and white knickers. Even my new TV only shows old black and white shows from the Fifties, I’ve had the serviceman out five times and he says there is nothing he can do. The Fifties were so wholesome it’s giving me diabetes, and I cannot live without my daily dose of soaps and reality TV, so I’m going to end it all”.
The police officers and firemen were naturally a little taken aback by suddenly being turned into black and white versions of themselves.
One officer remarked that he looked a bit like his dad in their old family album.
No one knows who called the cops but when they arrived Coretta put up a pretty good fight in her quest to end it all and she can be seen in this photo fending off officer James with what looks like a saucepan lid. Why Coretta was planning to take a saucepan lid with her on her fatal plunge has not been made clear, but neighbours have said that she really hated that lid.
Coretta was later charged with beating an officer of the law with a saucepan lid, which surprisingly in this state, is a major crime.
The law dates back to the 1890s when there were a spate of saucepan lid incidents and a particularly aggressive legislator decided to show those Suffragettes where to get off. The law had not been used for nearly a hundred years but a prosecutor with ambition remembered it being mentioned when he was at law school.
During the trial it came out that this particular brand of paint in this particular shade of disgusting brown would react badly if applied to a dwelling that was at an altitude exceeding 440 metres, which as it turned out, was the exact altitude of Coretta’s first floor.
Always read the instructions on the side of the can, unless you prefer the world to look the way it did in a quieter time when cops and firemen turned up before people jumped.