Sunday, April 1, 2012

Painting Names

Choosing a paint color shouldn't be too difficult.
That's what I wanted. All I needed to do was go to the local paint store and pick out a blue to adorn my walls.
But it's a little more complicated than that. The color blue turned into Billow, Sonic Sky and  Sky Blue No. 1, 2 and 3 as well as a bunch of less masculine sounding names of which I wouldn't even consider.
So not only was I overwhelmed with the variety and various shades of blue, my mind became distracted when I began wondering, who comes up with the names of all these colors?
That immediately led me to thinking, "I could do that".
And of course, instead of picking out a color as I'm supposed to be doing, I'm mulling over my ability to name various paints and writing a Tweet, Facebook post or blog about it. That's what this writer's mind does - whether I want to or not.
Now I recognize that naming paint colors can't be as easy as it sounds. There are more shades for paints than I know what to do with. It starts with blue and then becomes less blue, lesser blue, even lesser than that blue and the lessest blue of all blue. And there's more blue, a little more blue, a lot more blue, really really blue, as blue as you can get blue and soooo blue that it's almost black blue. How do you name all those?
I've always thought it funny how they name cars. They give them this somewhat exciting name like the Elantra. No car dealer is going to call their car the Ford Lemon or the Saturn Hunk a Junk. They've got to name the car in a way that is inviting and cool sounding - for those who only buy things because the name sounds hip. It first makes me wonder if they really think buyers are that stupid and then it makes me wonder if buyers really are that stupid?
The same would go for paints. You have to be descriptive but also stylish in the name. I'd still have some fun with it but it would probably get me fired the first day.
I'd start with naming paints after bands - Metallica Black, Beatles White, Sammy Hagar Red, Deep Purple Purple, Moody Blue, Coldplay Yellow. I'd name some after sports figures - Bud Black, Randy White, Vida Blue, Mean Joe Greene.  Then I'd use my sense of humor. I'd invent Hi Ho Silver, Kermit Green, Guinness Black and Tan, Tighty Whitey and Tuscadero Pink. There would be the token softer less manly colors like Girly Pink and Sissy Blue. Then there would be the rough and tough man colors like  Burly Black and Bad Ass Blue. And, of course, I'm a sucker for wordplay. So there'd be something like Don't Red On Me and Hullablue.
After awhile, the fun with the paint names would be gone. I'd have to settle for coming up with names like they have now. I'd be putting aside fun and funny for something boring, safe and lame sounding. And that's not me.
So maybe naming paints ultimately isn't my thing. I should just stick to picking out the color blue and paint my walls with it. Afterall, it is just paint.
The final choice? It's called Skywriter. How appropriate.

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