In the old days of commie terror, you often heard the saying “Better dead than red.” Red referred to communists, mortal enemies to the good guys of the world, but I still thought the phrase went too far.

I mean, if you are dead, there is no guarantee that you won’t come back as the organism that causes jock itch. To me, that is lower than being a communist.

So, just in case I wake up some morning to discover that the commie pinkos have taken over the world in the dark of night, I have always kept a few red shirts and a “Pinkos Rule!” pendant around.

Better safe than sorry.

As a color, red is torn between two worlds. The devil is red, as anyone who watches cartoons can tell you. On the other hand, bigwigs in some religions wear red robes. They obviously do not watch cartoons.

Maybe it is just a power thing.

You always hear about admired lady executives wearing “power red” to a big meeting. Then again, a woman who wears a flashy red dress to a party may incite trollop-related remarks from the snippy sippers lurking on the fringes where nastiness often dwells.

I just don’t get it, but clueless doesn’t phase me a bit. I’m used to it, and the only cure for it is a little research.

It is said that red is the first color perceived by man, which most likely means it is the first one to catch their attention.

Neolithic tribes, my cherished cavemen, considered red to have life-giving powers and they buried their dead in piles of red clay. They sometimes ate their neighbors too, but it was all in good fun and had nothing to do with red.

For centuries red stones and dyes were worn to fight the pesky “evil eye,” but I am here to tell you that it does not work. I often wore red in an attempt to soothe my late wife when I did something stupid, but if my memory serves me correctly it did little to negate the stink eye.

While the red rose has been called a symbol of love and fidelity, red has also been used to paint door frames to scare demons. I don’t know any demons, but if I were one I think I would lean toward shying away from any house with red on it.


I think it would be likely to have a shotgun in it, and I can’t say why I think that. Instinct, I guess.

The general effect of red is said to be stimulating and appetizing, making it popular with advertisers. It is the favorite color of children, but is not recommended for bedrooms because it may cause restlessness and insomnia.

It is also said that red can trigger aggression and violence, and if you don’t agree with that I’ll break your kneecaps.

In the original Star Trek series, if you wore a red uniform and were transported down to a planet, you were toast. Nothing more than alien fodder. That kind of cancels out the “power red” theory, at least if you are dealing with aliens.

My two favorite baseball teams are the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals, both red themed teams with class and history. They are still not my favorite red things though.

Wax lips are my favorite red thing, and if you have never had a family portrait taken when everybody is wearing big red wax lips, you are missing out.


Last year my dog chewed up a treasured pair that cost 19 cents many years ago. Believe it or not I had to go on Amazon to get a six pack of them. It was a sad day when I realized that you can’t just pop into a store and expect a small display case of wax lips in the corner.

I suppose I should address red lips not made of wax. A woman wearing bright red lipstick can be very intimidating. It is an attention grabber and seems to breed confidence and power in many of those who wear it.

Red lips can also generate less than respectful opinions in some men, mostly cads who eyeball everything with a critical eye.

It has been in use for over 5,500 years, and it was only worn by the upper class for centuries. At one point in Roman history even the upper crust men wore it.

Some very bored researcher determined that looking at the color red can make your heart beat faster. No doubt he got a government grant to study it.

I don’t recommend filling your house with red paint or decorations, just in case he was right. It’s much easier to relax when your heart just peacefully cruises along.

It is also said that a man in red can be found more desirable by women. That sounds a bit shady to me. I have one red T-shirt, a red hunting vest and a pair of red underwear. Just in case, though, I am thinking on buying a red jumpsuit.

In closing, I have to admit that it make me see red when I paint the town red and catch some red-hot redhead red-handed giving the red-carpet treatment to a red-neck who is wearing red wax lips upside down.

Isn’t anything sacred?

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