When you were a kid, did you ever get one of those paint-by-numbers kits?  They had a pre-designed “art work” and all you had to do was follow the number scheme to put in the correct paint where designated.   They looked like this:

were perfect for those of us with no artist inside.   Or maybe they served to awaken your hitherto unknown inner artist.  In either case, using one took all the guess work out of creating your own “masterpiece”!

I recently attended a book launch party for a friend at an establishment that specializes in free-hand painting – where you really are the artist!   A class gets set up with acrylic paints, brushes, an easel, a canvas, and before you can say ready-set-go we were painting our own pictures.

Of course, there was an instructor leading the class, and we were all painting an image of the same picture.

Despite the protestations of some that they couldn’t even draw a straight line, the pictures all began to take shape along the same general theme.  By the time the class was over, everyone had a canvas that, while it might not hang at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Louvre, was at least refrigerator door worthy.  (If you could find a way to hang a canvas on a refrigerator door)

What relevance does this exercise have for 811?   Just this.   Before the class, people thought they could NEVER manage a painting.   After the class, they could.  It’s the same with calling 811 prior to a dig.  If you’ve never dialed it, you might be thinking it’s going to be some inordinate hassle.   Truth is, it will be the easiest five minutes you ever spend.

And possibly the most profitable, too.  Repairing broken underground utilities is not cheap.

Now is a great time to get into the 811 habit during National Safe Digging Month!  And even if your art class paintings never sell, you’ll still be a Rembrandt or Picasso to your local utilities for calling 811 before you dig!

Until next week, safe digging!

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