Hank Green takes us along on his road trip to the World’s Largest Ball of Paint.
The World’s Largest Ball of Paint has been the subject of vlogbrothers’ videos before. This time, Hank takes a trip to the Indiana roadside attraction after wanting to for “about a decade.”
The ball appears to be in the middle of nowhere. Hank describes the journey there as being like “you are headed from nowhere to nowhere”. He would appear to be moving closer on the GPS, but look out the window and not feel in any way closer to anything. This continued to the point where Hank stopped believing the ball was actually going to exist. When he arrived, it appeared closed, but a light soon turned on and they were welcomed inside.
Hank tells us how the ball started life as a baseball that was first painted in the 1970s by their guide, Michael, and his son. Michael explains that it now has “over 26,849” coats on paint on it, which doesn’t surpass us, as it’s absolutely huge.
Hank goes on to describe to us the intrusive thoughts telling him to cut the ball in half. He knows it’s bad and that he doesn’t want to “destroy this perfect thing”. Similar to standing on the edge of a cliff and wanting to jump off, he says, “I just can’t stop thinking it.” The layers inside would be fascinating to see. He luckily manages to stop himself from telling Michael that he wants to destroy his life’s work.
It is then that Michael, unprompted, brings up Hank’s brother, John Green. John has previously made two videos about the World’s Largest Balls of Paint and is a big fan of it. “He gave the best speech on it out of anybody I’ve ever seen,” explains Michael. Due to their mutual appreciation for each other, Hank tells John that he must go and see Michael once it is safe to do so.
They then begin painting their layer on it. Hank is told to only paint part of the ball, as more people had called ahead to say they were coming. When they arrive, Hank tells us in voiceover, “I felt like I was no longer inside my story, but inside of theirs.” He became the minor character in the story of their road trip to the World’s Largest Ball of Paint who helps them paint a layer.
This thought then extrapolates with John being in Michael’s story. It leads Hank to conclude, “Maybe the real main character was the paint and we were all playing bit parts revolving around it like a satellite.” Whilst the people and the stories may change, the World’s Largest Ball of Paint is still there in the middle of nowhere, growing little by little.