Blue, Then Pink
As we gear up for the summer campaigns, pundits scramble for meaningful indicators. I think I found one.
Potbellies is a sub shop aggressively expanding in and around my neck of the woods. Great sandwiches built to order on an incredible human assembly line that makes Subway blush. Located in the Crystal Court of the IDS tower in downtown Minneapolis, the line stops traffic cold in our skyway by 11:30 (for sun-drenched readers, many northern cities have built transparent hamster tubes elevated above the streets, opening up the second floor of the connected buildings that substitute for sidewalks and retail space -- and yes, "sidewalk" cafes -- on even the coldest of January days, or the hottest of our dog days of summer). Yet the people at Potbellies get you in and out so fast, you still have plenty time to enjoy your sub, even on the most stingiest lunch break. My favorite is the Italian, the works, no oil, extra jalapenos.
But the indicator has nothing to do with food. Waiting in line, you see a wide variety of patrons lined up just like you for that succulent sub. Stepping into line today for a highly anticipated gastronomical treat, I was immediately accosted by the most horrific of sights: four guys in front of me with the same light blue dress shirt, over tan trousers.
Just ... like ... me.
Now, I am not the most fashionably conscious guy. I wouldn't know a Teva from a Toga without professional help. In fact, when it comes to fashion, I am as stuporforic as a Sunday afternoon six-pack casualty. The fact that I wear what appears to be a fashionable outfit is a strictly a credit to my wife. But when it comes to an exposure from dreaded "Bobbsey-Twin" characterizations, I take frightful note.
My first instinct was to beat a hasty, but dignified retreat. Unfortunately, it was 11:30 and I was quickly encircled by Potbellies reinforcements. Breathing exercises helped me to resign myself to this indignity. It was then I noticed a whole lot of blue. Over tan. Men as well as women. Intrigued, I took what little time is afforded queued Potbellies aficionados to open my eyes and observe my habitat. Two out of five Potbellies patrons wearing dress shirts (yes, I actually counted them) were clad in blue. Watching the scurrying diurnal skyway migration of workers from office to lunch, I saw the same thing all around. And not just any variety of blue, but shades of light blue. In a state that is still a Blue Stater, but weakening at every election, I wondered what this might portend, if anything.
But then I saw the contra-indicator that confirmed the trend. The second most popular color was pink. Or as some might say, light red. The ratio of blue to red was 3:1.
I wonder if there is a similar national trend...