The frame of the Triumph is finally cleaned of all paint, oil and crud.
I'm thinking about paint, but instead, John tells me, "Now you get
to learn how to use bondo." Hooray. I'm thinking this shouldn't be
too hard because half the cars you see cruising down our country roads
are full of bondo. And I know some of those guys . . .meaning a high level
of intelligence does not seem to be a requirement.
Interrupting my visions of myself as a high-tech body repair person,
John says, "Here's the bondo, here's the hardener." Hardener?
I guess it never occurred to me.
The hardener is a red color, and when mixed with the bondo turns into
a pink substance similar in texture to Crest toothpaste. It looks quite
a lot like the Bazooka bubblegum that used to come with the fold-out comics.
I am now told the more hardener you use, the faster it sets. I'm thinking
this shouldn't be a problem. I was wrong.
In showing me how to apply this pink bondo stuff, John hastily swipes
it on the frame with something that looks like a wide butter knife, telling
me that I'll sand this stuff down later. I understand this is to smooth
out all those dents, bangs, and knocks the frame has taken during the
last 40 years.
Lesson One - Females should probably not do bondo. All that heavy
smearing of bondo is getting on my nerves. I figure why put so much on
an area when you're just going to sand it all back off. I start using
my fingers to spread the bondo evenly and nicely. That's when I came to .
Lesson Two - The hardener really does make it hard. Duh. The bondo
on my fingers started to harden so I had to find a quick place to wipe
it off. Naturally my pants leg was close by. Now, I not only had little
pink concrete bondo pieces on my pants, my fingernails were now filled
evenly with hard pink bondo plus bits of fabric fuzz sticking from it.
we go again. I'm not having fun anymore. My fingers are stuck together
with bondo. And my nose is starting to run. I'm cold. I'm tired. John's
looking at me with that "what's the problem" look while holding
the putty knife in his hand. I quickly notice his hands have no bondo
on them. I now have bondo on my clothes, bondo on my hands, bondo on my
fingernails and now, bondo on my nose.
My husband begins to tell me about sanding. "You'll use the file,
then sandpaper," he said. Logical makes me wonder why we applied
all this bondo and now must remove most of it. I have the file in my hand
this part really seems like work. I'm now referring to it as damned bondo
and thinking about going inside to the bathroom again.
Filing and sanding. Not for the faint and weak hearted. I think I spent
more time filing and sanding than I did taking the whole motorcycle apart.
Gradually, it comes to me that riding is not sounding real appealing to
me now. Neither is anything else. The idea of picking out a paint color
just doesn't have the same excitement. I'm filing and sanding in my sleep.
I now have nightmares about big chunks of pink bondo which appear from
nowhere and adhere themselves to the frame.
Finally it's done. John proclaims it to be so, and again, I'm smiling
like a little kid. He cleans the frame and gives it a nice coat of primer.
He now brings out a little tube of orange stuff and declares it to be
glazing putty. He smears a little on the frame and says, "We just
sand it down when it sets." Oh no. Not again. Why are we doing this?
Will it ever end? I need to get away for a while. John suggests a trip
to the local PPG paint store.
On the way, I'm not very talkative. After an hour's drive, we reach the
paint store. I walk inside expecting to see little cards of paint samples
like they have at any paint store. Not here. The clerk asks about the
color. I'm thinking about Candy Apple Red. He turns to this book on little
rollers that must be at least four feet thick and begins to explain the
different colors of red. It appears that you pick the red color before
you add the candy apple coating. There are approximately 3,000 different
shades of red. I went into the store knowing exactly what I wanted. Now,
I hated paint. I thought of riding the Triumph with just the primer color
and the thought didn't sound too bad. I finally told John, "I'm going
outside. I hate red. I hate paint. Just make it black."
I heard John tell the clerk we had decided on black. The last thing I
heard before I opted for a nervous breakdown was the clerk ask, "What
shade of black?"