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"I don't care much for the color orange," I randomly blurted to my friend, Karen, as we sauntered through the craft fair booths. "It seems like trouble to me."

Karen raised an eyebrow and glanced at our surroundings dotted with orange doodads and yard art.

"Oh, I like orange juice alright, and pumpkins are pretty cute," I explained, "but there's a reason folks chose orange for prison jumpsuits."

She chuckled as we headed toward the car after our time spent at the beautiful Spanker Creek. "I've seen it done well, but no, it's not usually a flattering hue," she said.

"Not unless you're a Monarch butterfly, Nemo or Beeker from the Muppets," I agreed. We stepped aside to allow stony-faced parking attendants in orange reflective vests to pass us.

A Clockwork Orange film freaked me out. Agent Orange isn't something I wish to marinate in, and Cheetos don't taste like they've actually been in the vicinity of real cheese. The orange properties -- St. James Pl., New York Ave. and Tennessee Ave. -- are said to be the most landed upon spaces in the game Monopoly. I'll vouch for that fact as I land on them repeatedly once an opponent puts four houses on them. They're aptly nestled between the jailhouse and the parking lot on a road that goes in circles, which is exactly where I found myself the other night. I wasn't entirely sure how to get home.

This had never happened to me before. My house is in a fixed position. I've never lost a house -- keys and socks, yes, but never a house. For now on 21 years, I've managed to navigate the roads of Benton County and confidently deposit myself at my door. Until now.

You see, I don't drive on the interstate unless I absolutely have to, and I haven't absolutely had to for quite some time. I take the back roads where black and white cows chew cud and folks wave at you with five fingers. But I found myself, somewhat unintentionally, in a lane on Highway 71 -- ahem, 540 -- er, 49. Seems there's a bit of construction going on. Before I knew it, I was immersed in a sea of orange.

Orange barrels, orange lights and orange road signs all warned that my three-minute journey could take three hours. Traffic was either full throttle or full stop, so I aimed Blue Belle for the nearest exit. But Exit 88 had not survived Hurricane Orange. It twisted and split in two. I heard Life's Narrator urging me to "Go west, middle-aged woman, go west," but I couldn't. I slowly eased onto the newly bifurcated ramp and merged where I had never merged before, lest I circle right back on the interstate.

Fall in the Ozarks is a lovely sight with leaves of crimson and orange. But one wrong turn, if you haven't learned, will ...see? Nothing even rhymes with orange!

NAN Our Town on 11/02/2017

Print Headline: Orange you difficult?

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