“It’s not easy being green”. I like to use that line with people who dye their hair green. They don’t seem to mind, as they are extroverted enough to do such a thing and be seen in public. I particularly like the phrase because I have a green pickup and my totem animal is the frog. I even have a couple of stuffed frogs people have given me. I have been kissed, but, alas, never turned into a prince. I do tend to hop and croak, but draw the line at eating flies.
I have found that at my age, I can initiate conversations with strangers I wouldn’t have dared to do when I was younger. People just figure I am a silly old man. Right on. I am bald and usually wear a hat. I walk up to African-American people, men and women, with dreadlocks and tell them I have wanted
dreadlocks for years. Then I take my hat off. I always get a laugh and a couple of comments. It’s my way of connecting with black people. It is also a way of showing respect for how they look in a humorous way. I have had a lot of fun with it. I also have a bit of a Rastafarian streak.
Another joke I use with strangers is when I see someone with a college shirt on. With the Denver University people I ask them why Colorado College grads keep a copy of their diploma on the dash of their car. It’s so they can park in the handicapped slot. Here in Colorado, it’s often CU and Nebraska. By the way, that N on their helmets stands for nowledge.
I used the joke with Duke-North Carolina, Auburn-Alabama, Notre Dame-Penn State, Denver Metro-CU Denver, USC-UCLA, and sadly after Saturday’s game, Washington-Oregon. The combinations are endless. I have had the most fun with Texas Tech-Texas A&M. I told the joke to a couple, he with a Texas Tech T-shirt. She screamed, “I’m an Aggie!”. He couldn’t stop laughing. I used Purdue with a guy wearing an Indiana shirt. “My dad’s a Purdue grad and an engineer”. He promised to use it on his dad.
Then there are the Gingers. I tell them they should rule the world. Gingers are a downtrodden minority no one is really aware of. The pure redheads are usually able to effectively protect themselves, given their temperament. Of course many of them are Irish, which opens up a whole new area.
I also have my New York joke, useful with anyone from a four-state region around the city. “Do you know why the suicide rate is so high in Manhattan?” “The light at the end of the tunnel is Jersey.” Even Jersey natives laugh at that one. Now, New Jersey truly is The Garden State, except for those ugly industrial flats across the river from Manhattan. When in the Army, I was stationed at Fort Monmouth on the Jersey shore. This child of the Colorado Plateau was overwhelmed by the lushness of that area. I had never seen so much green.
So, now you know how I make a fool of myself in public. Try it, it’s much better than expressing panic about the election.