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.

The “Fifty Shadesfilm was about sex play. My kind of gray has to do with deception not carnal knowledge.

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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