If you need to use a lot of Liquid Paper (or other brand of white-out or correction fluid) in a short time, particularly if it is the variety that says FAST DRY on the label, you will soon find that it is all gummy and impossible to spread and it seems like there isn’t any more in the bottle.
This does not mean your bottle is empty.
It does not mean that the remaining white-out in your bottle is ruined.
It means that you have had the bottle open too long and the applicator exposed to the air too long. The fluid is drying before you can spread it. But this is not a permanent state! All you need to do is close it tightly, set it aside for a few minutes, then shake it and resume using it. (If this doesn’t solve the problem, then maybe the stuff is used up.)
Therefore, if you have a big whiting-out project to do, get two bottles of white-out, and whenever one of them becomes impossible to use, switch to the other one!
But it really would be better to avoid the tedium, smelliness, and blotchiness of excessive white-out use, wouldn’t it? On that note . . .
Things Not To Do:
- If you are running a longitudinal research study, for which you have to get your participants to sign a new consent form every time you get a new grant for more rounds of interviews, and the exact wording and formatting of each form has to be approved by the Institutional Review Board . . . do not destroy all remaining blank copies of the form when you switch to a new one. Someday, perhaps 23 years after the first time you did this, a federal agency may ask you for blank copies of all the different consent forms you ever used, and you will have to have somebody go into the files of actual precious documents signed by your participants and dig up one filled-out-and-signed copy of each different consent form, photocopy them, and then cover all the names, dates, and other identifying information on the copies with white-out. You will find that a clueless work-study employee is not able to do this job competently, so you will have to get your trusty data manager to spend an entire freaking day on it just when you’d rather have her making a splendid new Moderate+Serious Violence Desistance variable. (Not that I blame my boss for shredding those old forms! Who knew we’d ever need blank ones? Nobody ever asked for them before!)
- If you are the person in charge of filing the consent forms for a longitudinal research study, and you are putting them in a little sub-folder just for consent forms, do not also staple each one onto the back of the stack, creating a massive clot of overlapping heavy-duty staples. There’s just no reason for that!
- Do not put off transplanting your potted plants into new pots until after the first frost of the year. Not only does this mean you will have to bring all the plants indoors to save their lives, then bring them outdoors again temporarily to repot them, but it means you will spend two hours crawling on the concrete porch floor in 30-degree weather. If you are older than, say, 28 (at least, that’s the first time I experienced this effect), it may seem okay at the time, but it will cause a terrible stiffness and aching in your leg joints and shoulders that will last 3 days.
- If you’re going to do #3, do not do it 2 days before being assigned the above file-digging and white-outing project. Even if you can find all the forms you need in elbow-level drawers so that you don’t have to crouch next to the file cabinets, you will find that you need a large space in which to spread out the pages so that the white-out can dry, and the conference room will be booked up, so you will have to spread them on your office floor, and you will spend the above-mentioned entire freaking day crawling around with bottles of gummed-up white-out.
There are some days I feel I’ve earned the right to spend half an hour of work time on the Internet!