Jason: The best color’s the one with the treats

By Jason Offutt

Only five colors exist to the average man.
Green: it means “go fast.”
Pink: what our steaks look like on the inside.
Yellow: our favorite shade of beer.
Black: it’s what ninjas wear.
And whatever our favorite sports team is dressed in. Every other color is irrelevant.
To women, every second of every day is a crayon box of possibilities. Just trying to see the world through a woman’s eyes makes my brain sweat.
However, to a preschool-aged girl there are two colors in the known universe: pink and purple. Other options are only shaded in tears. So when I came home with the Girl’s soccer uniform, nicely wrapped in a plastic bag I was too scared to open, I just hoped she liked whatever color jersey she happened to get.
Please be pink, please be pink, please be pink, ran through my head as I reached into the bag. Not that I was afraid of the Girl’s reaction, it’s just that her whine sounds like a combination of Lucille Ball and Fran Drescher. You try being in a room with that.
“Here’s your uniform,” I told the Girl closing my eyes and holding out her jersey.
She gasped. I gasped.
“Oh, Daddy, it’s purple,” she said. “I love pink and purple and it’s purple.”
I opened my eyes. Phew. Dodged a bullet on that one. I could only imagine what would have happened if the parks department had put her on the yellow team.
News reporter: “Mr. Offutt, how was your family affected by the 7.3 earthquake that struck the Midwest?”
Me: “Well, Chuck, I have a preschool girl and Parks and Rec gave her a yellow soccer jersey. My living room was the epicenter.”
News reporter (turning toward the camera, a tear running down his face): “A yellow jersey? But she’s just a preschool girl. A preschool girl.”
It’s a scientific fact most earthquakes are caused by preschool girls.
“Can I put it on?” she asked.
“Sure,” I said, knowing better than to argue over a costume change, and watched her scamper down the hall into her bedroom.
A few minutes later she came out wearing purple socks, black shorts, purple jersey, a tiara, and pink tutu. Hmm. I don’t remember the last two being in the sack.
“Do I look beautiful?” she asked.
“Yes, pumpkin. Yes, you do.”
The day of her first game, the purple team facing off against a very pouty yellow team, there wasn’t a tutu or tiara in sight. Coaches addressed their teams, physically directed each player to a spot on the field, and told them to play hard.
Like that would work.
Watching small children line up on the field – who’d not only never played a team sport, they’d never played a sport at all – is a lot like watching the first move in a chess match. When the whistle blew, only one person moved, the other players stood still because their coach told them to stand there.
After the game I asked the Girl if she had fun. She smiled and held up a juice box and snack crackers.
“Where’d you get those?” I asked.
She pointed toward the group of girls in yellow jerseys getting snacks from their coach. This is going to be an interesting season.

Jason’s latest book, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at

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