Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Man Who Painted His Toyota Red

Indiatlantic, Florida -

We slept with the sliding glass door open so we could hear the surf roar in the night.

I love sleazy, tacky Florida beach motel rooms. This one is over the top with plastic palms festooned with colored lights. I had two margaritas and a sushi eel roll for dinner last night.

I get up at 5 AM and go into the bathroom to read so I won’t disturb Mrs. Phred. In the harsh florescent light I see that there are apparent bloodstains on the bathroom mirror frame and similar smears on the door jam...too much for a laid-back housekeeper to deal with.

The beach is white sand extending north to space shuttle at Cape Canaveral and south to Sebastian Inlet where they found Spanish gold bars on the reef. The sun comes up on the horizon in the morning on this side of Florida...We could go back to the other side and watch it set tonight...

My cousin and her two of her grandchildren drop by for a picnic. The day is perfect, about 72 F and breezy. My niece tells me that she is ten. I ask her when and she tells me next September. We spend about three hours getting knocked down by the waves. She shrieks with delight after each wave sends her tumbling in the surf...She feels something touch her foot and I tell her it’s probably a banana fish…

I give her my camera and she takes some good pictures. She catches a water-skier being pulled along by his own personal kite thing, a surf fisherman and several Hibiscus flowers. My nephew brings a SF book. We talk authors for awhile and trade books.

Strangely, my cousin and I both made the decision to join the Air Force in August, 1963. She was a WAF. I looked her up at basic training in Texas and we went to the movies together at the base theatre. We try to remember the name of the movie but nothing comes.

I spoke to the motel manager about the apparent blood stains on the door jam of the bathroom. He told me about the man who painted his Toyota red. He was the motel maintenance man. His name was Oliver. He had an old 1985 Toyota which he liked to paint red. The unusual thing was that he used a paintbrush and a bucket of red paint and did it about once a week.

The Toyota must have weighed an extra 1,000 pounds or so at the end of the first year from the inch thick layers of peeling red enamel.

They always asked him why he liked to paint his Toyota red, but he would only giggle and never gave an answer. He painted the tires, hubcaps, bumpers and everything red. Once he went too far and painted red over the headlights and the police stopped him when he drove to the 7-11 for a six-pack at night and gave him a warning not to paint over the headlights again.

Then he really went too far and painted red over the windows and got involved in an accident out on A1A. They arrested him and the judge gave him a stern warning not to paint his headlights, windows or rearview mirrors red any more.

One evening he was painting the Toyota red and a young college student named Leo who was on Spring Break from New York City came close to ask him why he was painting his Toyota red. She was wearing a bikini on her way to the beach.

He whispered something inaudible and she came closer to hear the reason. He began to paint her, holding her arm tightly as she screamed and dipping the brush in the bucket rapidly.

Leo ran into room 15 and called the Indiatlantic police and then locked herself in the bathroom. The other students that Leo was with told the police that Oliver had gone back into his darkened living quarters with the red paint. The police entered with flashlights and found him in the bathroom painted with red enamel from head to toe. He would have painted his teeth, but he forgot. He tried to paint his eyeballs, but it hurt too much.

They sent him too the state mental hospital in Chatahootchee for observation for six months. When he got out, he got a job distributing pamphlets for a Koreshan minister. Koresheans believe that we live inside a hollow sphere. They conduct frequent experiments to prove that the horizon slopes upwards.

Oliver did well on that job for about a month, but then he painted the minister and several of his parishioners red. Then he drove the Toyota to Webb City, Missouri and now lives near the public library, where he is considered fairly normal and is a good customer for the nearby Glidden Paint store.

Anyway, that’s how the red stains got on the door jam and mirror in room 15.


  1. Oh - that's just too good! I'm going to have a smile on my face for the next few hours after reading that!

  2. are we bored?????;-) sil

  3. Yes, We are bored. I've been thinking about painting the Toyota red. Hope it dries before we hit the love bugs.