Why we're here.

A creative writing blog by Shawn M Klimek / Twitter: @shawnmklimek
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Friday, October 28, 2016

Black on Black

The reason that Ninjas wore black when sneaking around at night wasn’t because of their Goth or Heavy-Metal fashion sense, but rather because --being cunning, they recognized that it is hard to see black objects against a black background, and –being up to no good, they naturally did not want to be seen.

Similarly up to no good must be the manufacturers of electronic media appliances when they create them from molded black plastic and then label the buttons or slots with unpainted raised plastic letters of the same color. If that kind of useless eye-test is not malice, then why do they further arrange those labels, et al, on the shadowy rear or underside of said device?

If familiar smells and melodies commonly trigger sense-memories, then perhaps it’s only natural that familiar gripes trigger memories of other gripes.

I was reminded of the previous eye-strain complaint recently, because I happened to be engaged in grilling steaks at night. Consider that unlit charcoal briquettes are naturally quite black, and then recall that a Webber kettle grill—which happens to be painted black on the outside for what one presumes are aesthetic reasons-- is painted the same color on the inside, presumably  to serve as a more-effective hiding place for ninjas.

Now just imagine the maximized darkness of that recessed interior, where one is expected to arrange the briquettes into a pyramid before lighting them. Finally, picture having to do this task in your backyard on a moonless night, when the only illumination is the porch light at your rear, inconveniently casting your own obscuring shadow over all of this netherworldly darkness. Sure, flicking on the butane lighter creates a temporary flare of light, if uneven and dim, but when a few of the briquettes invariably tumble down from the top of the “pyramid” (read: “precarious heap”) to the darkest perimeter of the grill, they may as well have scurried down a rabbit hole; they’ll be found again only when daylight returns, long after the grilling is done, pristine and pointless, well away from the cold ashes, wearing mocking expressions of black on black.


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