“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Report from suburban Atlanta: Where are the red cars?
Monday, October 20, 2008

I just got back from the Gwinnett County Reading Festival in Atlanta, where I spoke on a panel called "Original Voices" with a fun writer named Doug Crandell who works with mental patients in his day job. A lot of writers work with mental patients in their day jobs. Hmmm.......
Must be a connection there somewhere.

I wore my tool belt (the one from my publicity photo), complete with feather duster and hammer, for the length of the entire festival, and I must have looked like a real Janitor Joe because in the course of the day I was asked to:

1. Clean up a mess in the bathroom. (request denied)
2. Move a table. (request granted)
3. Help someone retrieve their keys from a locked car. (request denied)

I like to rent pickup trucks when I go out of town because I'm used to being up high, in my own truck at home. This time I got a bright-red F150. We're talking stoplight-red. VERY red.

I spent my first night in Atlanta at a friend's house in suburban Cobb County, which is a neo-con zip code that is home to Newt Gingrich. And as I drove through the neighborhoods, lost, I couldn't help but notice the beige sameness of everything. No one did anything to stand out. No bright doors on the houses. No eccentric mailboxes. And I found no cars of any fun color. Indeed they all were black, white, dark-blue, tan ... all very SAFE! No teal. No bright green. No blues brighter than those you'd find in military uniforms. It's as if they are all afraid of being spotted by a predator of some kind. I suppose one moves to the suburbs for privacy, so I guess it makes sense that you'd try to blend in with the environment.

When my friend saw my truck she said, "Your truck is very ... red, Ad." And I think I detected a hint of Judge Judy in her voice.

It got me thinking: Why are bright colors banned from the mega-home landscape of affluent suburbia? Are they considered too ethnic? Too lower-class? Why? Why? Why?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You also remoof palm from over my house after hurricane. You good man, Mr Menner. Flán for you. Marta

October 21, 2008 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Kathy Grey said...

Q: "Why are bright colors banned from the mega-home landscape of affluent suburbia? Are they considered too ethnic? Too lower-class? Why? Why? Why?"

A: Bright colors, or anything outside the "norm" indicates non-conformity. This throws most people off. Consider the rows of homes in SWFL planned communities.

I'm quite surprised you find this surprising!

October 21, 2008 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Flan!! Did someone say flan?

October 22, 2008 at 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not flan, ¡flán!
-- Marta

October 25, 2008 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Hey...how'd you get that upside-down exclamation point, Marta?

October 26, 2008 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Kathy Grey said...

The best flan in the world (and I've eaten the stuff a-plenty in Spain) is made by our very own Martha Hill of TNP.

Hers is so sweet and creamy (but stands up nicely by the serving), you'd love to go back for thirds (near impossible to say no to seconds), but it's got a self-monitoring consumption counter. You can't have thirds or you'd burst or die (happily). Probably both. Martha Hill is the hands-down maven of flan. (Not to be confused with Marta. Sorry, Marta.)

October 27, 2008 at 8:47 AM  

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