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Well, What is it when you Mix Red and Orange? Burnt Sienna Alert? Blood Orange Alert? Rust Sunset Alert? Dark Carrot Alert?

Orange Alert freakout stick figureOh my, oh me. This color alert system is beginning to really wig me out. Yesterday morning, I read that the nation’s airports are on “Orange Alert,” which among other things triggers a latte prohibition on airplanes, because latte sipping is just what the terrorists would want. Also, there will be more inspections, more people walking around in uniforms, and more questions from authorities. Also, I understand there are isolated cases of beeping instrument panels of the sort that can only be deactivated by punching numbers into a keypad that makes a “boop boop boop” sound effect.

Red Alert Panicky Person Stick FigureBut then I read in this morning’s news that international flights are under a “Red Alert,” which has involved the deployment of National Guard troops, the lengthening of lines at airports (now made convenient with Adobe Photoshop’s handy “clone” tool), the mandatory use of hairspray and/or sculpting gel for long-haired people to maximize any sense of despair caused by distraught hair-tugging, separate designated areas for Romulans and Klingons at airport departure gates, and a reconfiguration of dilithium crystals using a multiphasic tachyon pulse.

Red Orange Alert, or Orange Red Alert?The thing is, that means our nation is now on a combination color alert for, like, the first time since I started paying attention. Well, what am I supposed to do with that? When my aunt Martha calls from Sheboygan and says, “Jim lad, what is our nation’s alert status,” what am I supposed to say? Is it Red Orange Alert? Or Orange Red Alert? My sympathies to Crayola, but those aren’t real color names, they’re evasions. What is the name of the color that you get when you mix red and orange? Coral? Rust? Some kind of sienna, cypress or ochre? Are we on Ochre Alert? And what do you do on an Ochre alert? Mix one pound of it with 94 pounds of portland cement? Add a bit of vermillion powder? Counteract it by wearing light blue? How will that stop the terrorists?

Dear me. It’s all so confusing. These are, indeed, the times that try a man’s soul, not to mention his wardrobe choices.

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