Sunday, December 04, 2005

Smells Like Kindergarten Spirit

I was at Office Max the other day. Because I love the place. It is as good as shopping for shoes gets. And if you know me, you’ll know how good that is. I own a lot of shoes. More than many women I know. Don’t ask why, I don’t know. I just like shoes. And, no, I’m not gay.

But, back to Office Max.

So there I am, with the new pen I am going to try out, waiting patiently for my turn to check out and looking around the little tubs of things they litter on the counter, like booby traps, waiting to spring on you while you are most vulnerable and least suspicious. I notice they have holiday pens. Scented holiday pens. Two varieties, pine and peppermint scented. Okay, that’s kind of a cute gimmick, but as I am discussing the pens with the young ladies behind the counter, I begin to reminisce (As I have been doing more often of late.) and my brain takes me back to those scented Sanford markers . Now Sanford also makes a permanent marker , which is the only marker I know of in a metal tube versus a plastic one. The reason that they make it a metal encased marker, I believe, is that mere plastic could not hold the distinct odor of these markers. You may have smelled these. You draw a line with one and the smell lingers for two days. If you write out an entire poster with one, you will be left a shadow of your former mental capacity. Once you come out of the coma, that is.

But, as I mentioned previously, Sanford makes the aforementioned children’s scented markers. (No, they don’t smell like children. That would be weird.) (And only priests would buy them.) (Or Michael Jackson perhaps.) I have many fond memories of coloring or drawing with these markers. Of course, you would use some colors more than others, depending on your preference for scent. I was partial to the grape (purple) and root beer (brown) (Which has now become cinnamon.) scents.

So as I am talking with the crack register staff at hand, it occurs to me that it is no wonder we have kids sniffing things to get high. We started them on it! And the more I thought about it, the more I realize how narrowly I escaped being a huffer! Between the Sanford markers, Play Doh , finger paints, rubber cement and lord knows what other school supplies that have been erased from my memory, is it any wonder that I can remember anything from my childhood days at all? I am amazed that I emerged with my brain functioning intact! (Some might argue this opinion.) Although this might explain some of my more bizarre thought patterns.

I am surprised that these items are virtually unchanged from my childhood of thirty-some years past! What with kids wearing helmets for everything and playgrounds being so softened, sanitized and safe that no wonder child really wants to play on them! Any kind of “Danger” (Real, or paranoid parent perceived.) has been so removed from childhood, that I am amazed that we still have these junior mind eraser starter kits in almost every store.

I am already concerned enough about the cognitive abilities of kids as it is. It seems like imagination is less and less a part of their worlds and the only escapism they might find is in the alluring fumes of their school supplies. Who knew the art teacher was the first dealer they’d encounter?

But then, as I said, I have reached my current place in life without ever trying drugs, and with my neurons intact, so maybe the effects aren’t as bad as all that. As a matter of fact, just to prove a point, I drew my parents a Christmas card with the scented Sanford markers that inspired this rambling. And I am just fine.

I like Spaghetti Ohs. They taste like happy. Wow, I have a lot of toes.


Random fact: Yes, you read correctly, I have never tried any kind of illegal drug. Mom and Papi, you did good.


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