Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tom Robbins’s riff on colors

“She moved to the acrylic department…She chanted the names of the colors as she dropped them into her basket.

Indian red, Mars red, Venetian red, cadmium red, vermilion and rose madder. There was alizarin crimson, magenta, and that thorn in the backside of the sinful, sister terra rosa.

There was cobalt blue, cerulean blue, Prussian blue, ultramarine blue, and with just a soupcon of garlic, french ultramarine blue.

Hansa yellow (patron saint of jaundiced piano players). Zinc yellow, lemon yellow, yellow ocher, mars yellow, naples yellow and brilliant orange. Thio violet, prism violet, mars violet, cobalt violet, dioxazine purple.

Next those nightmares of newlywed homemakers, raw sienna and burnt sienna. (He likes his medium-rare, boo hoo.) Raw umber and burnt umber (There, there, dear, we’ll send out for pizza), Vandyke brown, brown madder, thalo copper, silver, gold oxide, and payne’s gray.

Viridian, o viridian! Green earth, cadmium green, hooker’s green (protectress of novice prostitutes). Sap green (patron saint of voters who believe all irish-American politicians are honest).

O sing mars black, lamp black, ivory black, and titanium white (blessed are the Caucasians who went down with the ship)…

What did she forget? Lily white, basic black, snow white, black beauty, white Christmas, black Friday, white supremacy, black power, the color purple, people-eater purple, the color of money, long green, lawn green, lone green, Lohengrin, the color of your parachute, the color of my true lover’s hair, puce, mars puce, mars chartreuse, mars bars, little-boy blue, blue bayou, blues in the night, paint-the-town red, do-it-up brown, james brown, dorian gray, red skelton, red October, tom Clancy red, better-dead-than red, better-ill-than teal, Greenberg, Goldberg, long-john silver, mellow yellow, electrical banana, yellow peril, yellow fever, mayonnaise yellow, mustard, relish, and onions.”

(Skinny legs and all)

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