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A different view of a tainted hue

By Dalia Wheatt
Published February 20, 2007


It's the color of envy, inexperience and the sky just before a tornado touches down. In The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West is green, while Glinda the Good Witch gets blond ringlets and plenty of rouge. But the musical Wicked shows us that the so-called bad witch is merely misunderstood. Bottom line, it's not easy being green.

The Grammy- and Tony-Award winning musical opens Wednesday at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. In honor of the show, we've compiled a list of 10 green people, places and things that aren't as bad as they appear at face value.

Elphaba of 'Wicked'

Think Dorothy was all sugar and spice? In Wicked, Elphaba - yes, she has a name - takes center stage and offers her side of the story. As if being severely allergic to water weren't bad enough, the poor thing is actually a good girl with a bad rap.

Green eggs and ham

Sam-I-am professed to hate this verdant breakfast combo, whether in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse and every other way - until he tasted it.

The Jolly Green Giant

This purveyor of hated green veggies is a foe of children everywhere, but only because he wants them to grow up big and strong. Spinach went through a bad patch last fall, but our knight in green armor was there with brussels sprouts and other maligned produce.

Oscar the Grouch

You try co-habitating with dirty diapers and last night's Chinese food, and see how chipper you feel. Considering his living conditions, we think Oscar is surprisingly gregarious. This entry was brought to you by the letter M, for misunderstood.


His face is puke-green, but this lovable ogre has a heart of gold. Given the choice between looking like Prince Charming and keeping his mossy hue, Shrek sticks to his true colors and still snags Princess Fiona. Bonus: Shrek's BlackBerry includes contacts for Pinocchio, the gingerbread man, Baby Bear and all three little pigs.

Al Gore

The former VP preaches the green gospel of Mother Nature in his global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. But don't doze off just yet. On Thursday Gore announced the lineup for Save Our Selves - the Campaign for a Climate Crisis, a worldwide concert series slated for July 7. The Live Earth concerts will feature the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bon Jovi and Snoop Dogg. Not bad for a man who didn't even invent the Internet.

Mean Joe Greene

Sure, this former defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers played in four Super Bowls, six AFC title games and 10 Pro Bowls, but don't let his game face fool you. Turns out Charles Edward Greene isn't so scary after all. As we found out in his 1980 Super Bowl commercial, all it takes to melt Mean Joe are a Coke and a smile.

The Philadelphia Eagles

Their fans may be a bunch of booing, battery-chucking louts, but these footballers from the City of Brotherly Love finished the 2006 season at a respectable 10-6. Off the field, the team's Go Green initiative has led to recycling bins being placed outside the stadium to help Philly clean up.

Slimer from 'Ghostbusters'

So what if his Hi-C Ecto Cooler juice boxes contained only 10 percent real orange juice? This nebulous nuisance from the big screen was recast as one of the good guys in the animated series The Real Ghostbusters.

The grass on your side

It gets the shaft because it's constantly being compared with the grass on the other side, which is supposedly more lush. But c'mon. Is it really?

Dalia Wheatt can be reached at

[Last modified February 19, 2007, 19:17:44]

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