Kid: Knock, knock.

Adult: Who’s there?

Kid: Banana.

Adult: Banana who?

Kid: Knock, knock.

Adult: Who’s there?

Kid: Banana.

Adult: Banana who?

Kid: Knock, knock.

Adult: Who’s there?

Kid: Banana.

Adult: [deep sigh] Banana who?

Kid: Knock knock.

Adult: [long silence] Okay, this is the last time. Who’s there?

Kid: Orange.

Adult: Orange who?

Kid: Orange you glad I didn’t say “banana” again?

Adult: Very.

Hearing that joke from my son (yes, I am the adult quoted above) set me on a voyage of self-discovery, radically changing my world-view.

I saw the light. A big, orange light, shining into my eyes like a tangerine sun or a clementine supernova.

My favourite colour is orange!

That epiphany struck me like a thunderbolt, making me physically stagger and clutch my son’s Lego table for support.

My God! Orange! Could it really be true?

From my own childhood until that moment, I had always claimed that my favourite colour was green. Why? The psychological roots go back to my early life experiences. In my childhood, green and blue were seen as “boy colours” and safe to pick. (GI Joe wore lots of green, after all, as did Godzilla.)

Things have changed, but in the ‘70s and ‘80s in Hamilton, a boy who said his favourite colour was pink would be called a “wimp,” if not a “gaylord,” by his friends – who might stop being his friends after such a confession. (I don’t know why, as kids, we called gay people “gaylords” instead of just “gay.” “Gaylords” is actually a compliment, when you think about it, as if all homosexual people are classy aristocrats, wearing white gloves and monocles, sipping ice wine on a Mediterranean yacht.)

Anyway, when I was a boy, choosing pink as your favourite colour was social suicide. Liking purple was almost as risky. Red and orange were acceptable, but only barely so, as they were too loud and flashy. Liking loud and flashy colours meant you wanted to attract attention to yourself, which was weird. Brown and yellow were oddball picks, revealing a kid as an eccentric, while white and black aren’t real colours at all, so anyone picking white or black would fall under vague suspicion.

So, blue and green were the safe picks. I picked green and, for decades to come, I stuck loyally with green. I even ran in an election for the Green Party. (No, I did not win; no, I’m not writing this from a cushy, taxpayer-funded office in Queen’s Park.)

No longer a boy myself, these days I deal with boys as a parent, not a peer. And the world has changed – my two youngest sons both got pink anti-bullying shirts from Prince Philip School the other day and like wearing them.

Young Canadians either don’t associate pink with homosexuality or don’t care. That’s new. Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s of my youth, a lot of people – including me – were mean or ignorant towards gay people and gay symbols; I’m glad that’s changing.

I used to stare at traffic pylons – bright neon orange cones shaped like Madonna’s ‘80s-era boobs – with a strange yearning.

I think I’ve always loved orange but was too afraid to admit it. I conformed, living as a closeted orange fan. As an adolescent, I used to stare at traffic pylons – bright neon orange cones shaped like Madonna’s ‘80s-era boobs – with a strange yearning. Whenever I’d see a Florida license plate, with its seductive picture of two ripe, bulging, squeezable oranges, I’d stare and stare. And when I guzzled back my favourite beverage – 7-11’s Orange Crush Slushee – I’d exult like a triumphant supervillain in the intense blast of sugar, fake flavour and edible hail-stones, followed by the concussion-like brainfreeze.

As a kid, many people I considered cool wore orange uniforms: garbage collectors, the crew of the International Space Station, construction workers (who wore flamboyant orange vests when setting up pylons), prison inmates, the great Dutch soccer team, etc. I loved my pet goldfish.

And my favourite fruit has always been the common orange. There are very few things in the world – e.g. sex with someone you love, the birth of a child, getting the job of your dreams, a long-delayed bathroom visit, winning a Juno for Best Barbershop Quartet – that can compare to the joy of cutting an orange into wedges and sticking one in your mouth, daggering front teeth into soft, cold flesh and feeling the acid explosion of flavour-jolting fruit-blood … closing eyes in near-orgasm as you suck back sweet orange sap like some Vampire Diaries character on a quivering throat, ahhh.

Other favourite foods included grilled sandwiches with orange “processed cheese product” singles and orange-powder-dusted Doritos.

But I’m not a fanatic about the colour. I still think boiled carrots are yucky.

Ontario’s NDP uses orange in their branding, but I find them yucky too. When I think of the NDP, I think of Hamilton’s unpopular public school board and NDP trustees like Alex Johnstone, Judith Bishop and Jessica Brennan, who sell schools in struggling neighbourhoods (like Ainslie Wood) to fund lavish renovations at schools in their own well-off neighbourhoods. So, this election, the NDP can go eat boiled carrots.

I almost forgot another great thing about my new favourite colour – free range eggs have firm orange yolks and taste much better than those watery, jaundiced-yolked eggs from Fortinos, No Frills, Mac’s Milk, etc. And I’m still inspired by Ukraine’s Orange Revolution a few years ago, now threatened by Russia’s “little green men.” And, of course, you remember ‘90’s soul musician Oran “Juice” Jones, singer of the smash hit “Walking In The Rain”? (Neither did I, until researching this article on Wikipedia.) And when your lawn gets too full of weeds, just spray it with Agent Orange!

But I haven’t given up on green completely. I still like green. Green and I hope that we can stay friends. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for green. I just published a book called Hidden Harvest about cannabis (which is green) and have signed a contract to publish another, Weed World, which I hope’ll bring in some money (which is nicknamed “green,” even in Canada where cash comes in different colours – blue [$5], purple [$10], green [$20], red [$50], brown [$100], pink [$1,000.]

But no orange cash. So I want the Bank of Canada to immediately start printing polymer $1,000,000 bills in bright tangerine; with the traditional portrait of the Queen on one side and, on the other, a tasteful picture of a traffic pylon.