When I tweezed the nipple off, I had no idea it was a nipple – I thought it was a tiny crusted tongue of gray oil paint emerging from the tip of the tube. The tone of the gray disappointed me. It was blacker than I had expected. I squeezed my tweezers so hard around the nipple, I popped it right off of the tube and sent it rolling onto the floor: so much for the crusted paint theory. Turns out, it was a small rubber nipple made to sit on the mouth of the tube to keep the paint inside fresh. Also, I suppose, to keep the paint from squirting out prematurely. Surprise! The paint was gray after all – the gray I had expected – and still fluid, reversing my disappointment.