Bananas are yellow, as are egg yolks, gold dust, legal pads, lemons, sunflowers, taxi cabs, and, of course, the yellow pages. To this roster, add Eugene Harrington.
Harrington, 53, works for Yellow Cab, Inc. in Missoula. He has made his vehicle’s distinctive marking his own.
Harrington wears a yellow baseball cap and yellow-tinted prescription glasses. The breast pocket of his yellow cotton shirt holds a yellow ballpoint pen. Outside the pocket, a yellow nametag shines. His shorts are yellow. So are his socks. When it rains, he pulls on a yellow hooded jacket. When it snows, he clears his windshield with a yellow broom. In the winter, he wears a yellow skullcap and a yellow down coat.
“I started putting together the ensemble a year ago April,” says Harrington, “but I wasn’t entirely clothed in yellow until this May.” He assembled his uniform from such diverse outlets as L.L. Bean and Wal-Mart, as well as Goodwill and the Salvation Army. What wasn’t yellow when he bought it, Harrington dyed. “I’ve got a 16-quart pot that I simmer them on the stove with.”
The final touches took further effort. “I found a yellow-barreled pen at Al & Vics Bar, but it had black ends. I found yellow ends at the GTX truck stop in Green Acres, Wash., but it had a black barrel. I assembled a whole yellow pen out of the components. Everything’s a different shade of yellow, but I try.” To say the least. But why?
“I work four 12-hour shifts a week, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.” A few years ago, an accident injured his subtalar joints. “The longer I spend on my feet, the more painful it is for me. This outfit expedites recognition when I enter a bar late at night.”
Yellow, he says, is his favorite color. “I remember back in second grade, when the teacher was passing out construction paper, I wanted yellow, but she’d run out. I got green. Green’s a nice color, too. It’s complementary to yellow.”