I Love Junk

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

I’m finally back to blogging! This one will be on the short side, but I’ve got a longer article in the oven, waiting to be born and then frosted. I like mixing up my oven metaphors.

One of the reasons for my non-blogging is I’ve been on a major art kick lately, so I’ve been spending more creative time at my other desk than at this one. My whole life I’ve been a hoarder of art supplies, and I have pretty much every kind under the sun – crayons, colored pencils, gel pens, pastels, watercolors, oil paints, beads, modeling clay, random shiny things I can hot glue to stuff, etc. But the other day when a friend mentioned coloring something with markers, I realized I hadn’t had a good set of those since elementary school. Oh sure, I have more than my share of Sharpies and Expos, but a nice set of markers for actual coloring? That was like a foreign concept. So today I took a random trip to Walmart, and purchased these:

Being the good little sheep that I am, I had to have the same set of markers my friend has. This goes way back to third grade, when my childhood best friend was constantly one-upping my crayon efforts. Oh sure, I had the BIG BOX of 96 crayons with the fancy sharpener in the back, but Stephanie? Had glitter crayons, and glow-in-the-dark crayons, and jewel tone crayons, and crayons that smelled like leather, and god knows what else. She was to crayons what Bubba was to shrimp. Oddly enough, the friend with the markers is also named Stephanie. I am forever having Crayola wars with people named Stephanie.

Anyway, this is a pretty good set of markers. You get 50 markers for about 8 bucks, and if this was QVC I’d do math and tell you how little money that is per marker, but I don’t care that much and neither do you. Some of the colors are pretty repetitive – there’s eleven or twelve shades of green, depending on whether you count teal as a shade of green or a shade of blue. Personally I just call it biracial and count it as both.

The markers are also “supertips”, which is Crayola’s marketing jargon for “you can make thick or thin lines with them”. I really like that, since it means you can color details without having markers that dry out in five seconds, but this is probably not the feature that’s gonna draw the kiddies in.

This is the real moneymaker: Crayola is recycling its old gimmick of convincing small children to shove markers up their noses and inhale. This seems like a dubious marketing technique, but it’s not nearly as bad as what one of my first grade classmates once brought to school: lemon-scented glue. I shit you not. Kid strutted into class all proud of his new glue, and was all “MY GLUE SMELLS LIKE LEMON!” So of course, being first-graders, we all stood around sniffing this kid’s glue until the bell rang. This had been such a hallmark moment in my life that I ran to my mom as soon as I got home from school and excitedly told her about the AWESOME GLUE, and she freaked the fuck out and told me that sniffing glue was VERY BAD and I might DIE. That was pretty much my mom’s default technique for getting me to stop doing stuff as a child. “Don’t climb on that! You’ll fall and DIE! Don’t drink that! You’ll DIE!” It was incredibly effective, but I was totally Chuckie Finster as a kid.

You’d think the ability to inhale marker ink without worrying about the state of your brain cells would be a strictly childhood trait, but you’d be wrong. I felt the need to smell all twelve scented markers, just like I did at age 7. The markers aren’t labeled, leaving you to guess what they’re supposed to smell like. Here’s what I came up with:

Yes, you heard right. Chocolottie. It’s not her exact scent, but it was reminiscent enough to make my brain go “HOLY SHIT IT’S CHOCOLOTTIE!”, which made me all kinds of giddy. I haven’t smelled that smell in years, and this marker will probably be responsible for my eventual brain damage.

So basically these all smell like flowers, food, Christmas, or various cleaning chemicals. I was completely thrown for a loop when the black marker didn’t smell like licorice. I’m still not 100% settled on pudding, but it was definitely something weakly chocolate-scented, and pudding was the first weakly chocolate-scented item I thought of. Also, I’m pretty pissed that there’s no scented purple marker. I want to make a smelly rainbow, dammit!

If you like markers, I’d totally recommend this set. Just don’t shove them too far up your nose. You don’t want to color your brain.

September 2022