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Living color

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I am sitting here drinking a diet pop. The can is mostly white, with a couple of different shades of blue and slivers of green. Despite those other colors, the dominant color is orange. The pop is colored orange. “Orange soda,” it says on the can, although the word “orange” is not to be found in the list of ingredients, and under the words “orange soda,” it says, in smaller type, “Flavored with other natural flavors.” Flavors other than orange—at least that’s my translation.

In fact, the drink doesn’t taste a thing like an orange or orange juice. I just swirled some around in my mouth to be sure. But—and this is interesting—the beverage smells a little like an orange. Anyway, I drink this pop routinely, often three or more cans in one day.

Why? Because I’m a sucker for bright colors and artificial flavors. Bright colors appeal to me: orange, yellow, red, green, purple. And I like the artificial flavors associated with those colors in hard candy like lollipops. I can’t keep that kind of candy around, though, because I’d be likely to eat Life Savers by the roll or Saf-T-Pops suckers by the bag. Purple suckers don’t taste like grapes—they taste like purple. A red Life Saver doesn’t taste like a cherry or a strawberry—it tastes red. I like those tastes.

I used to have a cheap floor lamp in my office that had five bulb fixtures, and the shade on each fixture was a bright color: red, orange, yellow, green, purple. After my office got new industrial carpeting (a gray-ish, dark blue-ish mix), I decided to paint my office. I brought dozens of paint store color strips into my office but couldn’t match one to the rug, so I called in Sherry for some design help.

She looked at my lamp and said, “You’re all about those colors.” From there, it was easy: yellow walls with the biggest wall in mostly orange with a yellow accent. The accent is invisible now because just about the entire wall is covered by a Bob Marley tapestry—done in primary colors, of course.

This color scheme may sound loud, but most of the walls’ surfaces are hidden by bookcases or bulletin boards, so the colors kind of peek out like the sun peeking through puffy white clouds. And invariably, students who come into my office for the first time like it. “You’ve got a cool office!” is the comment I hear most as they sit down. The Marley tapestry gets a lot of attention.

To help the students relax further, I offer them a cold drink. Something orange or red, perhaps?


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 24th, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)

The Venerable Dr "J" used to say, "Succinctness & Brevity, Sir!..
Aug. 24th, 2013 03:05 am (UTC)
He'd say that to David Thompson before dunking over him.
Aug. 24th, 2013 03:13 am (UTC)
At age 59, given the choice of any soda available I still go with grape...you are right it tastes purple. When I was a kid the local theater in town would run a matinee for kids. on Saturdays..50 cents ...1-5 pm...loads of cartoons and a feature film...Our parents would drop all the kids off and be free for four hours...I now know that, that time period made it possible for our parents to give us siblings...we always had a dime for popcorn, a dime for pop, and a nickel for a candy...I always chose Chuckles Jelly Candy...something about the array of red, green, yellow. orange, and black that attracted my eye...I always saved the black for last...I still do-Holiday
Aug. 24th, 2013 01:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah, black tastes so powerful that if you didn't eat it last, you couldn't enjoy the other flavors because they would be—wait for it—blacked out.
Aug. 24th, 2013 03:28 am (UTC)
I am a hypocrite. I tsk-tsk to others who indulge in foods with artificial flavors and colors, but I will cut off the fingers of the first person who tries to take my Red #40 licorice.
Aug. 24th, 2013 01:37 pm (UTC)
Twizzlers or Red Vines?
Aug. 24th, 2013 02:53 pm (UTC)
Red Vines. But I ultimately prefer the thick, cable-like licorice that can bought in bulk, or better yet (and if I can afford it), the homemade, chewy licorice from Watson's Chocolates.

Excuse me while I run out to Tops.
Aug. 24th, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC)
So interesting - surly youth #1 loves "orange" and "grape" flavored drinks, freezy pops, and candy. Those are my two least favorite flavors.

Love the description of your office. I'd love to see photos, or maybe I'll pop down for a visit someday.

I do love red twizzlers, though. And black jelly beans, but those actually taste licorice-ish.
Aug. 24th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, man—you had to mention jelly beans. Same deal with the colors.

My office door has a long (say, 48-inch), narrow (8 inch) window. I filled it on the office side with layers of jellybeans—green layers, a black one, red, orange, etc.—by taping pieces of cardboard over the window frame in my office and then pouring in layers, working my way up cardboard piece by cardboard piece, layer by layer. I get a lot of comments.
Aug. 25th, 2013 01:32 am (UTC)
My favorite has been original skittles. The original 5 flavors were red, purple, orange, yellow, and green. Now they have gone and changed the green to green apple. It doesn't taste like apple and it doesn't taste green either. I am so, so disappointed. Now I have to find a new artificially fruit flavored and colored, suitably chewy treat to hide in... oops, I almost revealed my hiding spot! The search is on!
Aug. 25th, 2013 02:45 am (UTC)
I always thought Skittles worked better as a concept.
Aug. 26th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC)
Oh man. I love those artificial, but in large doses, Red #40 (and maybe others too, I stay away from many of them, for that reason) makes me headache-y and shaky. Doesn't mean I don't chow down on twizzlers from time to time, though. This post is making me hungry.
Aug. 26th, 2013 09:58 pm (UTC)
Every now and then is OK. At least that's what I tell myself after I've eaten a pound of the stuff.

I hope things are well with you. Your wandering soul has taken you away from LJ.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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