Sunday, July 01, 2012

(the cone heads)

During the California Northridge Earthquake houses plunged off cliffs, concrete overpasses overloaded with cars collapsed, and downed high voltage wires crisscrossed streets. My comedian friend Lisa was on the road and called to ask if I could check her apartment for damage. When I got to Studio City, I discovered her building had been red-tagged, meaning it was no longer safe to inhabit. (loot)

I walked (tiptoed crying) inside.

When I traveled with the USO during the Bosnian War, they put us up in bombed-out Army barracks in Macedonia. U.N. Peacekeepers high up in barbed wire towers looked out for us day and night. No, not safe to inhabit. (have sex with soldiers in)

I slept (prayed) in them for 3 days.

We all know police tape means KEEP OUT (sneak in you might find a severed arm) But when it went up on a door in a building I used to live (crash) in, I limboed under that tape easily. (tripped on my own shoe)

But if I drive into a busy parking lot and see a lone space with one orange traffic cone in it? I’ll look for another spot. Even if that spot is at the far end of the lot. (two states away)

No one will move that cone because on some level we’re afraid to. Like if we do, cops will come careening around the corner with sirens blaring. (Dunkin’ Donuts cups)

In the middle of the night when no one is watching I’ll be driving down four lanes of freeway and abruptly will come up on one lane blocked off by orange cones. And not one car will defy that lane, not one truck will mow down those cones. We will all merge peacefully (brandishing firearms) into three lanes.

Why do I bow to the power of the plastic orange cone? And not the more obvious, more dangerous things like police tape and crumbling red-tagged buildings?

I have no idea. My family will tell you I'm fearless. (dropped on my head as a baby)

But I do wonder what the power of orange is. And why orange. And why a cone? Was a purple trapezium unavailable? How about a black triangle? You put a black triangle somewhere and I know death (my mother) is close by. But orange? After careful research (xanax overdose) it appears the color orange elicits a stronger response than any other color and sparks more controversy than any other hue. If that last sentence appears better written than the ones preceding it that’s because I stole it off Wikipedia where English is king. (written by disgruntled unpublished authors)

Before the entire system was replaced, orange was the color used to signify a high alert in the terrorist threat system. I would have gone with a blinking WE'RE FUCKED sign but I don’t work for the Government so I make sense. (file false income tax returns every year) (hi irs, just kidding) (only some years)

So if orange is so badass then instead of wasting taxpayer money putting prisoners behind bars, surround them with orange cones! Don’t lock your homes at night. Stick an orange cone on your front porch! Want to scare the crap out of school children? Stick an orange cone in the Principal’s chair!

Late at night if you’re walking alone and encounter a mugger or serial killer? Whip out your orange cone and watch them run for their lives. (kill you anyway) (but steal your watch first)

I think I know the real reason orange is used on traffic cones. If you look up the definition of colors, orange is supposed to stimulate your appetite. And the cone? The cone refers to the bowl of a bong, where the weed goes.

So appetite stimulant plus weed = Denny’s.

The orange traffic cone has made us fat.


  1. I think I'll start an orange cone business. Order the cone from me for $100 and I'll stick it where you want it for another $200.


  2. And what happens if you actually wear that orange cone on your head? Will the crooks and thugs leave you alone then? Cuz that would be a whole lot easier and more obvious than carrying concealed (and less messy).

  3. seems legit... but how come orange is not only my fave fruit, but also color?

  4. It's true.

    Even I break out in a little sweat if I have to move an orange cone to make it through a street that otherwise looks totally passable.