Color me purple

Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham

I was feeling a little red-state the other day.

How I could tell: I found myself watching NASCAR.

“Come on, Elliot. Don’t let him jostle you like that?” I was screaming at the TV.

For no apparent reason.

And then it hit me.

I’m not a red-state kind of guy.

“I just said the word jostle in reference to a NASCAR race,” I realized.

So then I was feeling blue.

Or so I thought.

“That song … I don’t know. Should they be playing that … ever?”

I was driving down the road, listening to the radio, minding my own business, when …

I’m not sure if I can even describe the lyrics to the song that left me red in the face – literally.

I had my nieces in the car with me, and the singer – or whatever he was – was going on and on about how his girlfriend du jour prefers a certain, er, gymnastic routine, only the routine in question didn’t involve gymnastics.

“Why did you turn the radio off, Uncle Chris?”

“Um … no reason,” I responded, attempting to provide a cover, hoping that they hadn’t heard a word.

Turns out they had – “they play that song on the radio all the time,” I was informed.

Leading me to rant and rave – silently, of course, so as not to be a bad influence on the kids.

So I’m not a blue-state kind of guy, either.

I’d thought that I was.

You know, given that I don’t view myself as a prude when it comes to these kinds of things.

I mean, I watch R-rated movies, listen to CDs that Tipper Gore wouldn’t approve of, that kind of thing.

In a flash, I knew what was going on.

I’m purple.

I’ve got the red – the part that likes NASCAR, that doesn’t like little kids being able to listen to bawdy songs on over-the-air radio, that also complains about “that nefarious MTV.”

But I’ve also got the blue – the part that uses words like nefarious, that watches “Will and Grace” religiously, that has developed an appreciation for musicals later in life.

Personally, I like the idea of being purple more than what the media tries to portray those of us in the middle as being.

I’m only 33 years old, after all – so any talk of having a touch of gray is just not something that I’m going to be willing to embrace anytime soon.


Chris Graham’s Stop the Presses column appears on this blog on Tuesdays and Fridays. For more on Chris Graham’s humor columns and other fiction writing, visit

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