LOL - fun post; Ted.
When I first started Aikido; I had come from a karate/jiu-jitsu environment in which belt ranks are very important.
My first seminar was the VKS Summer Camp; six weeks after I started. The biggest lesson I learned? NEVER TRUST A WHITE BELT!!! He might be a newcomer like myself; but he just might have fifteen years experience.
An amusing situation; I'd just got my gi tunic; a used one from the dojo. None of the pants fit; so I wore black TKD pants with it. I was confused about why people were confused about my status; I didn't realize that in some schools, 1st kyus wear black pants. Lol - it was a bit funny; after my Famous Flying Superman Imitation (as it's referred to at my dojo), a few people were scratching their heads, wondering what we taught our 1st-kyus.
(The FFSI? My first time ever doing ukemi from a technique; it was zenpo-nage tenkan. I ran, grabbed, flew...and completely forgot to roll. Nage was a nidan; I was still going up two matlengths past - absolutely horizontal. I reached apoapsis and managed to say "Oh, crap..." quite calmly before crashing back to Earth - still flat. When 50 yudansha all go "OOOOOO!!" at the same time; you know it's a spectacular screwup!)