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In Defense of Orange...........or How to Make a Perfect Orange
Orange! Okay, so my favorite color is Orange.
I remember once when a friend had the audacity to challenge my choice of colors by asking, “What do you mean by orange, Rob?” This was from a man whom I thought had a very high IQ, asking me a question slightly more or less intelligent than my five year old granddaughters’ inquisitions.
Orange is created by mixing the two primary colors or red and yellow to the eyes liking. Surely my friend, a chemist, knew this, and his question “What do you mean by orange”, sort of threw me off.
“Orange, you know Orange”, I replied.
“No, do you mean like fluorescent Orange, burnt Orange or what?”
“ No, just Orange”, I replied again lacking for any other description.
No, like Sunkist stupid, Orange”, I shot back.
My friend got the point and the subject changed quickly and the subject of oranges or Orange never came up again, even during the Orange Bowl game.
I imagine that whatever genetic chemical reaction that is taking place in my system can be blamed for my fondness of Orange. It is all genetics these days it seems. My appearance, health and behavior is all influenced by genetics and their environment. My ancient ancestors may have been from a beach resort tribe, a likely hypothesis since those who know me will attest to my disdain for cold weather.
It would explain Orange too. Orange was associated with warmth and the sun. My ancient ancestors probably worshipped the warm sun that tanned their skins as they played, swan and fished along their beachfront caves. The impact of Orange may have been inherited through genetic chemical reactions inspired by my current environment, epigenetics is the new term.
It probably isn’t true though, since it is a pretty cold day in St. Louis, thinking about my first Orange scarf. That was a scarf!
It was a while ago, when the world of business demanded dress codes. It was 1987, Reagan was in office, liberal arts degrees were declining rapidly and conformity was in. I was told once that a tie I was wearing was “inappropriate”, and it wasn’t even Orange, imagine that. My scarf was brilliant, as Orange and as a loophole. With my black overcoat, hat and gloves, I must have resembled some dark corporate image, yet finding the scarf that day in the mall changed a lot. My dark, cliché, power image was now tainted with a brilliant swath of Orange, breaking the atypical tradition of darker colors and white shirts.
They didn’t like it, but it stayed, as it seemed invaluable when an important client went astray at a convention in a strange city, but found us because he recognized “my bright Orange muffler”. He sure couldn’t remember what any of my ‘important’ bosses faces looked like, but he did remember my “muffler”.
Orange adds that flare of brilliance, creativity, spontaneity and enthusiasm to anyone’s wardrobe or décor. In the Victorian Era, from which we now draw our standard symbolism for colors and the meanings associated with the colors of roses, interprets Orange to be a color of enthusiasm and desire. Surely if the overly romantic people of that era found such special qualities in Orange, I must be doing something right.
Holding the Victorian meaning in thought, know that I am very enthusiastic person filled with many burning desires. Modern psychological studies indicate that people who choose Orange as their favorite color tend to be intelligent and creative – a highly unstable combination as Van Gogh or Poe, along with the other artsy, genius and mentally unstable types would testify to. I am sure it is all because of genetics too.
In fact, Sunkist - my favorite shade of Orange - is really a company that picks oranges off the trees in Florida and California, proudly stamps them with their name in blue ink, then ships them to our grocery stores. So it is really the color of the fruit I was describing to my friend that day.
Sunkist knows a lot about genetics too, it seems. They know how oranges resist diseases, produce nutrients, sugars, juices, etc. It seems they experiment, genetically engineer, cross-breed and performs who knows what other atrocities to oranges to create oranges with better taste, nutrients, longevity and color.
I guess that Sunkist doesn’t like Orange either since they are screwing around with the color of an orange, causing the inevitable recall of billions of Crayola’s and markers because they will no longer truly be Orange.Though, in reality, Crayola will probably just cash in with the “New Genetically Improved Orange” version of a crayon that will be in the new set of “New Genetically Improved Colors!” I imagine that after tinkering with the genetics and color, Sunkist will own the new color Orange, corporations are already getting patents for genes and I can imagine the rush for the right to have ownership and naming rights for all of this stuff. Ragu Red, Sunkist Orange, Chiquita Yellow, corporate naming rights will be the new norm. Coloring will become as much fun as singing The Farmer in the Dell – oh boy.
Well, I wonder what a genetically perfected/altered Orange would look like if the color is imperfect now, and , I also wonder how much longer it will be before my own genetic stuff needs to be altered because Orange and oranges for that matter, will be more genetically perfect than I.
I wonder if the FDA understands this. Genetically altered tomatoes have been everywhere since the mid 1990’s and all I hear are complaints that tomatoes from the store don’t taste good anymore. Tomatoes have been genetically altered for better color, longevity, taste, nutrition and to survive drought and pests, but they don't taste very good. The FDA tends to be on average, a fifty or so years behind food tech, and I don’t think anyone truly understands the full scope of genetics. Proof of this is in the sequencing of the human genome, long thought to be the first step to solving all of our problems, but scientists only found more clues in epigenetics and messenger RNA, and that our “junk DNA” has some purpose still to be determined. There is no one to protect us from the tinkering of manufacturers and corporate scientists. Yet our food, health and choice of colors are in peril.
So I say again “What’s wrong with Orange”, I just can’t seem to find anything wrong with Orange. Of course, my liking Orange will surely be determined to be a genetic flaw too, or my Orange liking genes will be owned by Sunkist sometime in the near future.