The Hot Pink, The Florescent Orange

And now, a story from the days of my youth… (I was cleaning out my hard drive again)

“In the color of forest green?” cried Sir Robert Walshfellow Alfredricosnubury III with disbelief.

“In the color of forest green,” said the messenger, and fled from the rage.

“Oh, what an evil day in an evil year,” cried Sir Robert Walshfellow Alfredricosnubury III (or Sir Rowa for short). “The town of Bigganbetta, beyond the mountain range and forest and river and desert was very small in my childhood. Now it has grown so large that at last they are painting the wall.”

“But why should a wall three thousand miles away make my dear friend the governor worried and mad so quickly?” asked his personal advisor.

“They painted their wall in the color forest green,” said Sir Rowa. “Don’t you get it?” Our wall is painted in the color forest green. No one will be able to tell the two towns apart.”


They both thought and thought and thought.

Sir Rowa cried and sobbed and wailed. “It’s hopeless! This city is destined to meet a miserable end.

“Okay,” said the advisor. “Call in all your royal painters. You wear this headset, and I’ll tell you what to say.”

So Sir Rowa paged all the painters in the city. All the men and women who knew how to paint came as fast as they could. Sir Rowa faced them nervously, waited for a voice from the headset.

“I paged you,” said the whisper in his ear.

“I paged you, ” said Sir Rowa loudly, “because our city is painted forest green, and the evil city of Bigganbetta painted their city forest green.”

“And so,” said the whisper, said Sir Rowa, “you painters of walls must go with brushes and rollers and trays and change the color of our city!”

The painters were flabbergasted. Sir Rowa was shocked himself at what he had said. The whisper whispered. Sir Rowa went on. “And you will paint the walls sky blue and make our city more beautiful than that ugly forest green city of Bigganbetta.”

The painters cheered loudly. Even Sir Rowa clapped with delight as he stood to his full height. “Hurry!” he cried. “To work!”

When the painters had scurried off, Sir Rowa turned to find his dear friend the advisor. “Advisor,” he whispered, “I want to thank you.” There was no reply in his headset. He peered around, but his advisor had disappeared. Such modesty, he thought. And so unlike most advisors today; he has snuck away and left me with a victory and favorable public opinion, as if it was own doing.

The news spread across the country; Sir Rowa was popular. His approval rating was through the roof. Everyone brought paint to the wall. By the end of the month, the wall was a lovely sky blue.

But the joy was short-lived. The very afternoon that the wall was painted, the messenger rushed in. “Sir Rowa!” he cried. “The city of Bigganbetta, which was an ugly green, has heard of our new sky blue walls and has painted theirs sky blue as well!”

Sir Rowa nearly fainted with the shock of the news. “Oh, awful! Once again no one will know the difference between our wonderful city and the evil city of Bigganbetta. And my approval ratings will drop to new lows! The horrors!”

“No,” said a whisper in his headset.

“No,” said Sir Rowa, surprised at the sound of his voice.

“Tell all of the painters in all of the city,” said the whisper of a rainbow of colors, “to paint our walls a vibrant bright red.” Sir Rowa repeated the words, and began to smile. “And with this vibrant red wall, everyone will recognize our wonderful city,” said the whisper, said Sir Rowa.

The city celebrated and planned a parade upon hearing the news that Sir Rowa had once again saved the day. They gathered more paint and ran to the walls, painting once again a new coat of paint. They were not quite as energetic as the first time they painted, since the painting had taken them away from their businesses and good healthy meals. They all were somewhat poorer and sicklier.

Then there came a series of never-ending days—first wonderful, then awful, the back again, one in another like a shivering stack of measuring cups.

“Oh, Sir Rowa,” cried the messenger, “Bigganbetta has painted their walls red as well, to once again match our city’s walls!”

“Then,” said Sir Rowa, pressing his headset close to his ear, “paint our walls yellow to stand out once more!”

“Sir Rowa!” screamed the messenger, “they painted them yellow as well!”

Sir Rowa shook like a leaf in a tornado. “Then paint them white!”

“Oh, Sir Rowa,” the messenger begged, “they painted theirs white as well.”

The town grew weaker and weaker. All of the painters were exhausted from painting day after day, night after night. The town was growing sick, for many of the people were helping to paint as well. Sir Rowa himself, and his faithful advisor, were both getting weak, their voices decaying.

Finally, the whisper cried out, “Send for the governor of Bigganbetta!”

The last day of summer the governor of Bigganbetta arrived, starving and weak, just like Sir Rowa. Their words were quiet, much effort for weak bodies.

“We must stop this,” a voice said.

The governors agreed.

“Bring some paint samples,” a voice said again.

The two old governors were slightly confused. “These are only paint samples,” they said.

“Yes,” said the advisor, “but you’ll each pick a color, and paint your town that way, and then both towns can be different and healthy, but at the same time, complement each other nicely. For example, Sir Rowa, this lovely hot pink color would look stunning on our walls. And for you, governor of Bigganbetta, this florescent orange would make your town stand out.”

And so both of the governors were pleased by this answer, and ate and laughed and praised the advisor of Sir Rowa. Quickly they parted and returned to their towns to give orders for one last repainting of the towns.

And so, after not too many more days, and many more gallons of paint, the town of Bigganbetta was florescent orange, and the town of Sir Rowa was hot pink. The people were happy with their distinctly colored towns. The dear advisor was also very happy, and now very rich, for he owned all the paint factories in both of the towns. And not only that, but he had just gotten rid of the last of his least popular colors—hot pink, and florescent orange.

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