17 May 2007

The Crass Class Crayola Caste Case Society

We had a visitor recently-a little black boy named Jacobi. He likes to hang out with my sister, especially since she feeds the little guy ice cream. He also enjoys jumping on beds, knocking houseplants over with the remote-control Hummer, making funny faces in the mirror while singing funny little songs, and chewing crayons. He also thinks my weight bench is either a car, or a horse. . .we're not sure which.

I thought about my own child experience with crayons. Really quite traumatic, but I have since recovered. Every year, we were given a list of essentials for school; pens, papers, pencils, crayons, the newest Trapper-Keeper (remember these? They always trapped and kept my homework for weeks. . .hidden and lost), glue, etc. Now at Barrackville Elementary, we had a caste system based on crayons.


The Lower Class Crayola Caste: These people had your basic eight colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and purple) plus black, white, and gray.

The Middle Class Crayola Caste: These were your Blue Bourgeois Bills and Pink Proletarian Pams. The middies could splurge a little. In addition to roy g. bip and the generics, they owned your heavy metals (gold, silver, copper), mustard, charcoal, teal, aquamarine, and various flesh tones (tan, sepia, light brown, indian red.)

The Aristoclass Crayola Caste: Remember these people? Yeah, the ones with the 120-color-Big-Kahuna-all-you-can-see-colorized-pallet-buffet-smorgasboard of visual delights. You had your periwinkles, your mauves, your ochres. . .chartreuse, scarlet red. These people had colors that didn't even exist in nature. . .esoteric orange, purple mountain majesty..........helloooooo. You hear what I'm saying! Some pot-smoking hippy chemist from Haight-Ashbury mixing chemicals. Taking FD & C # 3 Red and bathing it with radiation. Mixing Uranium isotopes in with the copper. We're talking Fushia Phils, Sepia Sams, your Magenta Marys. . .and if that wasn't enough. They didn't even call gray-gray.

Called it grey. Spelt like the Queen of England spells it. Another slight at us outcast Lower Class Crayola Casters! You know what I'm saying!

Yeah, yeah. I remember those days. How Mauvelaus Mahogany Maude would sidle up to me in art class, toss her curls, and nonchalantly twirl one of her golden locks with a 'burnt sienna.'

"My trees are ochre and chartreuse. What are yours?"

"Green and Brown," I mumbled while staring at the floor in shame came my less than colorful reply.

"Figures. You're parents just don't luv you like mine. Besides, you're probably. . .ya know. . .adopted. . ."


kludge said...


My wife and I have had this same conversation. I was of the underpriliged hand-me-down-basic-color-unwarpped-stubs-crayon kids.

My wife apparently, had the deluxe with the fancy sharpener!

Jason said...

I remember the pencil sharpener boxes. Just another coffin on the nail.

Leah said...

To this day I love a new box of those 120 count crayons. ;-)