Red is a dangerous rival. Blood. Passion and fire, but red tends to be the livid instigator. And red quickly turns to grey once the deed is done. “Twenty-five to life.” Clink. Tom Robbins hit the woodpecker on the head when he gave all his outlaws red hair.
The closest is purple. But even purple is too snobbish, only the king is allowed to wear it, everyone else is stealing from the crown. Besides, purple is Thursday’s color and Thursday hasn’t been the same since Friday ditched it for Saturday (and an occasional affair with Sunday).
There was only one color that a great sculptor could have possibly applied to his masterpiece. A color that symbolized whimsy and gregariousness (and that’s asking a lot, Gregary was a pretty creative guy). A color that put candy in cotton and yum in gum. The color of brave lemonades and startling grapefruits. Of the best panthers, diamonds, and bumbling inspectors. Shrimp, salmon, and waking eyes. Elvis’s Cadillac, healthy newborns, and the baby-sitter’s lipstick. The perfect steak. Floyd would have been second-rate without it.
When Don Featherstone mixed pink with flamingo sometime in 1957 (for romance’s sake, let’s say Valentine’s Day), the suburbanites of south Florida took to it like odalists to a Grecian urn. (Though that still doesn’t explain why Polish shopkeepers from Pottsville to Parma in the snowy north still can’t restock them fast enough).