A small number of us wear similar sweaters for work – similar in that they're self-coloured and pleasantly form-fitting. Ok, in my case it's because they've shrunk in the wash… (but that's the subject of a previous, uncomfortable-for-me, blog entry here.)

Yesterday a slightly awkward exchange occurred at the coffee machine, one which I felt an urge to follow up by email. I'd had a brilliant idea – a Eureka moment (but without the nudity and attendant spillages.) Here's the brief exchange:

"As an engineer I’m bound by a code of professional conduct to suggest a solution to the jumper hue issue; a daily palette based on the colours of the rainbow. In ascending frequency order, and by day.

Unfortunately though, my purple one today falls outside the rigid boundaries of the, it must be said, unfortunately limited scheme. Your flagrant Thursday jumper today merits a red card I’m afraid, though I’m sure you could carry the visible spectrum off better than I were you to try harder.

I’d better start work on version 2.0.


The reply came a little later. I'd honestly not expected one.

"Hi Barrie,

Thank you so much for your email. Well, what can I say? I’m disappointed with myself that I have got off to a bad start on the first day of the week, but I do feel that I need to correct you on something. Your jumper hue is not purple. I do believe it’s a wine/beetroot shade, but definitely not purple.

Whilst I appreciate and do accept the card, I can’t accept a red one. Red is just not my colour. I don’t do red and that’s that. Red is not good for us gingers, I’m afraid and as I am too bound by a professional code of conduct as a ginger, you will simply have to come up with another colour.

I eagerly await your palette…

Have a nice day,"

Me, speechless, though not apoplectically-so:

"*Baz stills sense of outrage, stands sits corrected, starts work on v2.0.1*"

The conciliatory response came an agonising-for-me 50 minutes later:

"I must say that the beetroot/wine colour does suit you though. A warm colour for these Wintery times. I would even go as far to say that it’s perhaps a burgundy. There’s not many who can carry such a shade off."

Awesome. And, with that, order in my universe was restored.

Which was nice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *