Saturday, March 23, 2013

Yellow Marks on My Record

I admit that I'm not a big fan of the color yellow.  I just don't appreciate it. There's just not a lot of good coming from the color yellow. Examples of yellow's evil:
  • It exposes people with bad oral hygiene, as seen on their teeth
  • As the main color of the sun, it burns my skin with minimal exposure
  • Should your skin become that color, called jaundice, it is a sign of illness
  • It completely clashes with my complexion (see most of the above) rendering it useless in my wardrobe
  • It can single-handedly destroy the Green Lantern
(Aside: The Wife once painted a room in canary. It was a sure fire way to keep me out of that room and yet more evidence of her genius. End Aside)

A Brief Understanding of Yellow
Situated dead smack in the middle of ROYGBV spectrum, yellow refused to take sides in the Color Wars. (Note: many people insert an 'I' for the color 'indigo', which is not a true color of the spectrum but rather an advertising gimmick for an 80's cult band who refuses to stop playing.)

The Color Wars were aggressive in the early days. Infrared and ultraviolet were assembling armies in their own Axis/ Allied-esque. Rumor has it that they weren't trying to hurt anyone, they just wanted to make themselves useful to mankind. We're still not sure why they wanted this. Historians are forever arguing about the motivations of this war since there were no women, money, land, or religion involved.

The Dark Side of the line amassed powerhouses like gamma rays, x-rays and UV light and were making their case. On their list of successes was the ability to kill germs, see right through skin, and provide super-human strength to mere mortals. That last claim was ultimately refuted as the test subject also demonstrated an increase in rage, decrease in intellectual capacity, and a change in skin tone. (Which, originally, the Colors were proud of as Green was a founding member of the team.)

The Light Side of the equation assembled the likes of radio waves, microwaves, and infrared who were defending their dissertation. They provided the ability to see at night, ways to cook food poorly but quickly, and send picture and sound streaming to various sized boxes. (This last one might have tipped the scales in their favor if it wasn't for the fact that it made people so lazy that they stopped caring about the outcome of the War.)

Yellow played the part of double agent. It's wavelength and frequency characteristics made it difficult for the other colors to eliminate it from the group. While the other Colors shot themselves at each other resulting in various forms of interference, yellow chose to rely on trickery and deceit to keep the war going. Eventually, yellow became known as the Loki of the Color Wars. Some colors, like mauve and chartreuse, died. (Humans tried to resurrect these colors later in life. But, like most extinct species, we fail to get them right and most people don't even understand those attempts at colors.)

Once the war was over, both sides tried to figure out what to do with the mischievous color. Everyone agreed that the color had some usefulness as a primary, but no one trusted it. Since they couldn't trust Yellow, they put it right in the middle of the spectrum where both groups could keep an eye on it. As a consequence, they decided that Yellow would henceforth be indicative of a warning. As danger.

Yellow as Danger
Since the war has ended, everyone has learned to be cautious around yellow. Take race car events: a yellow flag is called 'caution' and the race, for all intents and purposes, stops. Once the yellow is removed, the race continues. Green, on the other hand, means that all is well. (It was a proud moment for the team when that decision was made.)

Some up and coming sports, like soccer, use a yellow card punitively. Should a soccerer violate the rules, an official flashes a yellow card. The purpose is clear: Knock off your shenanigans. A second yellow card means removal from the game (commonly, the second yellow magically morphs into a red card, thus providing more fuel for the Dark side as victors.)

Even a real sport, like triathlon, uses the yellow card to impose penalties on athletes. Should some bloke come by on a motorcycle and wave a yellow card in your face, you can bet that you will have a time consequence or be required to serve a detention.

Stoplights use yellow as a warning that something even worse is about to happen. Green, a good color, allows for free travel. Red effectively halts forward traffic. Upon seeing yellow, most people are confused as to what action they should take. Some slam on their brakes. Others hit the accelerator. Yellow just watches and laughs at the idiocy.

Other Consequences of Yellow
It turns out that computer people are also aware of the Color Wars and the powerful meanings of the different hues. They don't have a firm grasp on who won the war so they arbitrarily assign colors for different meanings. Except for the blue screen of death (that all PC users will inevitably experience- score one for the light side), computers will always use yellow as a warning.

Here's an example:

Looking at the yellow blotches on my training log, it can only mean one thing: Danger. That, or I started swimming again. As a triathlete and a former swimmer, this should come as no surprise. As a pansy who hasn't been in the water for about half a year, I'm sore from the experience. Yellow strikes again.

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