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Looks Like a Purple People Eater
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My color preference had to be "Purple People Eater."

I'll probably be fiddling with the format of this journal for a long time but the purple has to stay.

Me and purple go back a long way. The mysteries my wife and I weite are set during the Byzantine era when purple was reserved for the Emperor. Long before I wrote mysteries I published sf fanzines in purple ditto, not to mention even purpler hecto. I probably still have a few fading ink stains under my fingernails from the latter endeavor. In between the fanzines and the novels there was a lot of overly purple prose.

In the very beginning, though, was the Purple People Eater.

That Sheb Wooley number was my first Favorite Song. A lively beat, funny lyrics, a science fiction theme and the silly voice of the alien himself. What more could a kid want?

In the summers, until I was in fourth grade, my parents ran a lakeside picnic spot. It was summer when the Purple People Eater landed. My parents had their orders. I wasn't to miss a single radio play. If the tune came over the car radio while my dad drove around the park doing his morning clean up, or on the radio in the cottage as my mom cooked breakfast, or crackled out of a transistor radio during a break down on the beach, I had to be called so I could frantically race the opening notes in time to hear the first chorus. The alien invasion cost me more than a little skin off my knees.

Eventually I owned a plastic Purple People Eater, which, like most of the artist's conceptions that appeared in Look Magazine (if I recall) was colored purple, even though the lyrics make it clear that it was the people he ate who were purple.

I suppose he might've been purple, too, due to his diet.

For years I kept my 45 rpm single, even after it had broken half way through and become unplayable. There were decades when I didn't hear the song, during those dark ages, before the internet and CDs gave new life to every scrap of popular culture that had seemed as dead as the dust of dried up sea monkeys.

After that summer of glory there were disappointments. I was crushed when the Purple People Eater outfit my dad made for me, with the enormous papier-mache head, did not win the prize at the annual Halloween parade. (A big pair of dice won. Can you believe it? Philistines!) Also, I don't recall any good cover versions. Surely some punk band missed out on a hit. I should have liked to hear Johnny Thunders' version. Now it is too late.

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