What Happens in Rhodamine Red, Stays …

There’s this giant Korean grocery store a few miles down the road that offers a shopping experience that’s truly from another world.

Between ordering your whole fish (seemingly every species, normal and freaky, is staring back at you) and shouting a number that corresponds to which filleting process you’d like followed to vast displays of frozen stuff you’d never imagined putting in your freezer — never mind your mouth — to a football field-sized table of fresh string beans to fruits grown to  the size of your head, the place is just a maze of enchantment and wonder. And then you get to the appliances and knickknacks.

You know, mostly, oh, Hello Kitty toasters, Hello Kitty alarm clocks, Hello Kitty salt and pepper shakers, Hello Kitty TV sets, Hello Kitty phones, Hello Kitty flashlights, Hello Kitty lamps, Hello Kitty mirrors, Hello Kitty lip gloss, Hello Kitty water bottles …

Mary’s eyes get huge at the explosion of pink. She loves Hello Kitty as much as she used to love Paul Frank’s stuff … before Frank’s business partners forced him out of his own business and tried to take his name away from him. Now, in his honor, she wears only monkey face T-shirts made while he owned the company. Hey, what’s right is right.

Last night, then, Mary was right in her element.

With her very own walking, talking Hello Kitty Shop Boy.

Then there were the Hello Kitty Heidelberg rollers, the Hello Kitty ink plate, the Hello Kitty rubber gloves, the Hello Kitty ink knives, the Hello Kitty apron … I mean, wow.

That Rhodamine Red ink sure does leave its mark.

Forget the name … the stuff is ppppiiiiiiiiinnnnnkkkkkkk! And it’s a bear — OK, a large pink bear — to get off a printing press. Believe me, Shop Boy tried everything short of plastic explosives. Still, the ink stained the pristine blue rubber rollers. And it got on absolutely everything.

You know how when you maybe miss a spot, like a mini dab of ink is left in the smallest crevice? A “holiday,” some room painters like to call it. No problem. You’ll get it next time.

Well, neon holidays are the order of the day until Mary’s done with this Rhodamine Red craze. And if Hello Picky can see it, you might, um, want to go over that spot just once more.

Geez. Did I mention that Mary borrowed her portion of Rhodamine Red ink — after trying in vain to reproduce the color normally — from one of our favorite local printers, Vince Pullara III? Shop Boy used to like that guy.

And did I call this a craze?

Mary just e-mailed to say excitedly that she’d purchased more gloves, more environmentally sensitive press wash, a die for cutting business cards … and her own tub of Rhodamine Red.

Sigh.

Looks like the Kitty’s out of the bag.

The pink horse has left the barn …

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