Baa Baa “Adjectival Colour Nomenclature” Sheep

The Committee members shuffled papers and snapped locks on briefcases. Coffee orders were taken and promptly delivered before withdrawal symptoms set in. The small bowls of lollies were passed from hand to hand and rapidly emptied. The cream biscuits were always popular comestibles, except for those who believed in the fattening effects of dairy-based products. Otherwise they were simply scoffed down with slurps of tea or coffee. Chocolate biscuits had been banned after an unfortunate incident involving The Chocolate Orgasm, otherwise known as The Tim Tam Slam, the Heimlich manoeuvre and an emergency clean up response crew from Domestic Hygiene.

The Chair of Non-specific Gender motioned for the meeting to start.

“First order of business: Inappropriate Adjectival Colour Nomenclature in the emergent adult nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep.”

Mutters of consternation rippled along the table. Tortoise shell spectacles and twin set cardigans were shuffled back into place. Spectacle chains rattled on pearl necklaces.

The Chair raised his hand and the murmurs ceased. “It is clearly understood that ‘black’ as a colour nomenclature is not appropriate. While as a colour designation it allows for a stunning example of alliteration in conjunction with onomatopoeia for pre-educational individuals, it has been suggested the adjectival colour nomenclature of the sheep contains racial overtones derogatory to the descendants of African origin. It is out task to determine another adjectival colour nomenclature. What other colours can we propose?”

“How about ‘Baa baa blue sheep? It maintains the alliterative structure of the nursery rhyme and has no apparent discriminatory overtones.”

From the other end of the desk came a response. “Blue is a stereotypical boys’ colour and we’d only be reinforcing the inherent patriarchal notions of gender, subjugating the feminine and universal womanhood.”

“What about pink, then?”

“Then you’re espousing matriarchal hegemony, which while brings a measure of equality back into society, only serves to reinforce the stereotypical colour of femininity for girls.”

“Baa baa red sheep?” someone else volunteered.

“It will give you the socialist vote, however I don’t see them reciting a chant that programs an economic model of the mode and means of production where the sheep has to give up its hard grown wool for the sake of a snotty young capitalist.”

A snort of muted laughter drew attention. “Three words: feminine hygiene product. I wonder if there’s a commercial featuring sheep playing tennis, running along beaches and generally being carefree?”

“And you can discount the colour grey as a monotonous capitalist framework for serving the system.”

“What about purple?”

“Historically it’s the colour of royalty. The monarchists would be saluting with Earl Grey Tea from their Wedgewood china cups. Especially with a royal wedding front and centre of the public eye at the moment. However, the republicans wouldn’t stand for it.”


“Too many colonial and imperialist overtones. And besides, it’s too bland. It’s like vanilla ice cream; everyone eats it, but no one really enjoys it.”


“Well, sheep aren’t really an Asian thing are they?”


“It gives you the environmental vote, but then you’ve lost the capitalist community.”


“Too Dutch. Have you ever watched a sporting event where they are playing? It’s an eye sore seeing a wall of orange.”

“Can I suggest ‘Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep’?”

“The rainbow has been appropriated by the GLBT community so come Mardi Gras time you could sing about sheep all you want. But then you’ve marginalised the heterosexual community and let’s face it, they are the ones currently filling the majority of vacancies in formative adult nurturing centres and pre-educational institutions.”

There was a pause as the committee stalled at the lack of remaining colours. An impasse looked inevitable. A voice broke their ruminations.

“I think we are overlooking a very important part of this nursery rhyme.”

The committee looked towards the member.

“Well, if you ask me, isn’t this little ditty a little bit species-ist? Why does it have to be a sheep? What about other wool-bearing animals: llamas, alpacas, goats? Shouldn’t they have a say in all of this?”



24 responses to “Baa Baa “Adjectival Colour Nomenclature” Sheep

  1. Bloody brilliant. (Oops! I mean suitiably non-violent exclamation of approval which in no way is a slur against the Holy Mother.) Brilliant can stay right?

  2. This is a satirical piece. Just letting you know. Any other point of explanation is not required. At this stage.

  3. you got me grinning so hard my face is gonna cleave. this is so good. it’s all of you all wrapped up. peace…

  4. The absurdism of it does the trick better for me than the raw satire. Please don’t explain it, Adam – you know a joke is ruined when you explain it. Artist statements are least appropriate when the point of the work is to be interpreted. I think it works fine as is, and will for most thinking readers.

  5. Fun piece, especially since I am the black sheep of my family and… intimately familiar with The Tim Tam Slam.

  6. I’m with Monica. Bloody effing brilliant. It’s such a sad sad world we live in.

  7. Count me in with the others – brilliant is an apt word for this piece.

  8. Lol. Good idea, brilliantly executed. =)

  9. Oh I love this – this is by far one of your best pieces, Adam! It’s funny AND it’s true…and goddammit it’s just very well-written.

    Personally, I favour baa baa magenta griffin, but that’s just me…

  10. Damn, Adam, I wasn’t offended in the least! And I was really looking forward to being offended. Oh well. I will have to be mollified by the high degree of sarcasm and wit-filled writing that almost made me spew my coffee on the computer screen.
    Very funny, you.

  11. Yep I’m running with brilliant too – slight coffee spit at red sheep – I don’t envy your next Friday flash taking the stage after that stirling performance 🙂

  12. Ha ha very clever, flows well and just the right tone, great examples each time. Really enjoyed.

  13. I care about the unicorn! (And the Griffin, Icy!)
    Is this the best fridayflash of the week? Could be!

    I’m waving my rainbow flag as I write. (Actually, I don’t have one).

  14. First time reading your work
    I like it, So appropriate
    PC Pendulum has swung to far
    And All things are no longer look at from the period Context and only in fear of offense.

  15. I have the solution! Plaid sheep!

    This was a good chuckle all the way through…

  16. Hahaha! I guess you’re safe from me ;).

  17. Gave me a smile or two did this. There are actually people out there who get paid vast sums of money to bounce ideas around, and usually end up with an answer that any five-year-old could come up with. 🙂

  18. Love this! I’m glad I came by to check it out. Great job, Adam!

  19. You keeping on kicking the goals, man. This is an exceptional flash not in the least because I wet myself – just a little – from laughing.

  20. I would be laughing if the bitter experience of having been in rooms like this, and part of conversations like this, didn’t make me want to kill myself.

  21. A pure pleasure to read – not “pure” as in innocent, certainly, but then I’ve been lucky not to have been stuck in rooms where such discussions take place.

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