"You have red hair--what color your hair down there?" Jerzy Sulek once asked a woman who takes yoga classes around the corner from his home.
"She get offended," he admits, laughing.
But it's not even Jerzy's joke. In "Water for Elephants," a book he read years ago, "a woooman," as Jerzy says in his accented English, asks the same, fairly vulgar, question of a man. Jerzy scrunches his shoulders and lifts his palms to the sky. Translation: not my fault. The wrinkles beside his eyes deepen and a schoolboy grin spreads across his face. From that moment on, whenever Jerzy tires of talking to me, he asks what color my hair is.