The Gum Fence, Episode 2

In my last blog entry on the Gum Fence, I didn’t mention my employer’s fence-painting program. Even while I was photographing lumps of chewing gum on top of every spike at the back end of the property, painters were priming (grey) and painting (black) the fences round the front doors.

I wasn’t clear on the ownership of the land, so I didn’t know whether the painting program was going to reach all the way to the gum fence. I wondered, when I did think about the possibility of the workmen getting to that section, what they would make of it. What would they think of the thankless task of picking all those bits of gum off of the spikes?

Well, the priming effort reached the gum section a few weeks ago. The weather was windy, cold and snowy until just recently, so I didn’t particularly rush to investigate their progress. It’s only now, with the sun out and the temperatures up, that I’ve gone to check. Quite frankly, I hope our property people do so too, because it’s not impressive.

Fact one: the rails are primed but not painted, and have been for over a fortnight. This is a drastic change from the speed at which they did the railings at the front of the building, where there was a 3-day turnaround from ugly to painted.

Fact two: they haven’t removed the gum. They’ve just painted the primer on over it.

Taken 2 March 2005

Really – who paints over a lump of chewing gum? Who primes 300 lumps of chewing gum? Surely if you want the paint to stick (which is why you prime) you should remove any extraneous substances?

Taken 2 March 2005

On the plus side, if they ever finish painting, the black enamel will preserve the gum for the edification of future generations.