News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2005


A fancy name for the color yellow

I'm getting closer to understanding former President Bill Clinton's attempt to parse the word "is."

Remember how he tried to turn Monica Lewinsky's case in his favor by redefining the two letter word? Hating the crime but loving the sinner, millions of Americans admired the guy's moxie.

I had always thought "is" is part of the verb "to be." To me, "is" is "is." It's not a word that's long enough to have more than one meaning, not like, say, "yellow."

That's a booger we're slicing up at our house after remodeling the dining room and painting it "the same color as the living room."

The living room is yellow. But it's really not yellow. It's Provence Cream. That's yellow that's been toned down, muted to a soft color that's restful and soothing.

Then there is the newly painted dining room at the front of the house. Its walls rise two stories to the landing that connects two bedrooms. That's a lot of Provence.

"What do you think?" Regina asked, as soon as the painters disappeared.

"The crown molding is great," I said.

"And the paint?" she asked.

By then, she understood Mr. Clinton's take on "is" and that yellow isn't always yellow.

"They are the same," she timidly said of the colors in the two rooms.

"Well, I look in the living room and I see one yellow. Then I look in the dining room and I see another yellow," I said.

"But come stand here," she said, directing me to a spot in the doorway between the two rooms. "You look at one then look at the other. They are the same," she said.

"You are right," I said, but the dining room is brighter.

"You don't like it, so I will have Joe (Corville) come back and put a white wash over it," she threatened.

That's when I resolved that if Mr. Clinton can redefine "is," I can convince myself that yellow is yellow.

It's less expensive than repainting.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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