The Column: I’ve been consistent in a small too well
September 21, 2018 - Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades of Gray?
I’ve got 51, maybe more.
Check out my shirt rack. Dust gray, gunpowder gray, china gray, blue-gray, battleship gray, colourless gray — adequate for a Confederate Army over-abundance store.
“I bought we a new sweatshirt,” pronounced my wife, Wink, after a weekend in Greenport with a dual daughters. “Gray, of course.”
After 55 years, Wink has given up. I’m usually not a clear type. She wanted Hawaiian shirts and pinkish polos, she should have married a other guy.
Last year, Wink was roving in a West. She brought behind a Denver T-shirt a tone of one of those lovable Chartreux cats and another from Idaho that looked like a dirt rag.
“Perfect,” we said. “Can never have enough.”
Already in my drawer were 3 matching shadow-gray tees that we quite treasure.
Across a front is a word, “Mizzou,” jargon for a University of Missouri, where, yet from Brooklyn, we somehow arrived in a early 1960s to attend a famous broadcasting school.
For a man who to that indicate had no commercial skills, Mizzou was a lifesaver — vocational training during a college level. With help, we schooled to fibre together adequate verbs and nouns to make a living.
Here’s where a deception partial comes in.
At Mizzou, and a period of newspapers that followed, we — like all reporters — schooled to be fair, balanced, objective and, if we know what’s good for you, undetectable. In other words, stay out of a story.
“We are not meddlesome in what we think, if we occur to be meditative anything,” an editor once told me when we had wandered off a true and narrow. “We are meddlesome in what everybody else thinks.”
I took a censure to heart, and afterwards some. If a thought was to be unimportant on a page, it struck me that we should be further tough to mark on a job.
Unlike a associate contributor who infrequently wore a luminescent tie in a figure of a fish and another who, behind in a tobacco days, smoked a full focussed calabash siren and, on assignment, resembled Sherlock Holmes some-more than Clark Kent, we sought usually to go undetected.
This query for low cover fast eliminated into private life.
For instance, we do not wear name tags.
I know this can seem uppity — oh, atonement us, Mr. Mystery Guest, you, no doubt, are with a CIA? — though it is not probable for me to hang something on my slot that says, “Hi, I’m Fred.” Come adult and shake hands, we could have a crony for life. But we do not wish to travel around labeled like a can of soup.
Also, we am not accurately a life of a party. we suffer seeking questions — So, accurately how did we confirm on a tongue stud? — though can't be approaching to tell jokes or mangle out a guitar and strum a chords to “Tom Dooley.”
Of course, a risk of consistent in so good is that we might shun notice entirely.
Here’s a kind of thing that happens all a time: I will sequence a cut of pizza and step aside while it is warming. A notation later, a counterman will locate my eye. “Yes, sir, what can we do for you?” he’ll ask as if we usually arrived.
At such moments, we wish to yell, “It’s me, awready, a fungus slice.” Instead, we say, “Thanks, already ordered.”
Going incognito runs other risks.
I was out walking during eve in gray shorts and shirt when a military automobile pulled adult beside me.
“Have a vest?” a officer asked.
“I should wear one,” we answered.
“Make sure,” pronounced a officer.
I told a story to aged friends on a revisit to New Hampshire. Soon after, a padded pouch arrived — interjection to Bill and Nancy. Inside was a yellow, light-up, battery-powered reflecting vest.
The bulbs are hiss red and have 3 settings: fast-blink, slow, constant. It’s out of character, though we have been selecting a full, up-tempo, unusual option. In a semidark, I’m tough to miss.
“Hey,” a immature lady jogger called out a other night. “Cool vest!”
I’m not going to start display adult during a pizzeria with lights ablaze, though there are times when it creates clarity to strew anonymity and let a universe know you’re alive and kicking. we wish Mizzou understands.
By Fred Bruning
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