Mrs. Monk intended to delight me when I walked into the living room to discover that she had painted a field of life-size pumpkins on the living room window.
All I did was ask her what paint she had used and, “Would it wash off”.
“Don't worry”, she said impatiently, “I used water based paint and it does wash off. I made sure it would.”
I felt I should press her on this and asked her to show me the paint she had used.
“There,” she said pointing at the tube of orange paint with the lid missing.
I felt obliged to point out that yes, that was indeed water based acrylic paint that would wash off with water as long as it were still wet, but when it was dry it might well become as permanent as the paint on the front door.
Mrs. Monk then felt obliged to call me a philistine, and a philistine that never gave her credit for her creativity.
I felt that this was unfair but I kept silent and waited for Mrs Monk to realise the error she had made.
The next time I walked into the Living Room the still wet pumpkins had been removed, but that was in no way an admission of wrong doing by Mrs. Monk.
“There, I hope you are satisfied” she said, “No pumpkins”
This difference of opinion could have simmered all day, but I did have the presence of mind to offer sarcastically a set of Ikea water colours. “These colours are designed for messy children” I said, “If you have to make a mess, why not use these?”
Two days later this picture of a Halloween Cat appeared on the living room window and everyone is happy, including cat flap Charlie.