Back-to-school time reminds me of shopping for school supplies. It was great to get new stuff, but the most important decision came down to one thing: the crayons.

This choice moves far beyond the simple joy that comes from a new purchase. It travels deep into the psyche of a young person as it will inevitably define who you are the moment your 4th grade teachers asks you to “please get out your crayons!”

But let me warn you; the choices are vast.

First, steer clear of your off-brand types. Prang’s ‘Flesh-Tones of the World’ would be a devastating mistake. Rose Art’s ‘matte pastels’ or Dixon’s ‘x-tra large fluorescents’ fall within the same. Kids ultimately know one thing, and that’s the Crayola Brand. It’s like comparing a Ford Tempo to a Mercedes-Benz. I wanted my Mercedes, and I wanted it beefed-up fully loaded. Next comes your size.

I can remember scanning the shelves salivating at my options. There were the dinky 8-pack boxes. “Pshh… amateur.”  Next there was the 16 or 24 packs. “Lame.” It was getting better but still severely limiting to my creative ability. I was in pursuit for better. I considered myself a professional.

Finally, I would lay my eyes on the most miraculous box of crayons known to man; the Crayola Crayon 64-piece Deluxe Set with build-in sharpener. The holy grail. They were smudge-proof, waterproof, ideal for paper, water, cardboard, or fabric, and certified AP nontoxic.

Once in class I would unwrap the box and place it on my desk. I carefully opened the top to reveal 4 rows of stadium-style seating so you could see every possible color, each crayon perched neatly in line. ‘Look at this, in all her glory’ I thought to myself. ‘Miraculous’.

A devious smirk would creep across my face as I stared at the other kids’ unwrapping their crayons. Little Richard with his 24-count box, Natalie with her off-brands! HA! What fools.

Only I had sea-foam greens and fuchsias. The ‘Antique Brass’ and ‘Banana Mania’ crayons. I was on top of the world, the coolest kid in class.

Now that Iv’e grown up I look back and realize there is an important piece missing to what made me so cool… Unfortunately I was the only kid that actually cared.


2 thoughts on “Crayons

  1. Hilarious…
    For the record I was always that kid who lost his crayons and would then proceed to ‘borrow’ from a young chap like you. Remember they also had crayon sharpeners, BUILT INTO THE BOX, to create those extra fine lines and keep your crayon working like new?

    • Thank you for understanding Ira! I think we would have been best little buddies in grade school- had we met then. If I ever make it big in stand up I am attributing my success to you. Dead serious. Love you buddy! 🙂

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