The Most Ridiculous Crayola Crayons

When I was a kid, one of the markers of social status in school was your box of crayons.

I could have cared less about our house, car, or the 19-inch Sony Color Trinitron that forced us to get up and walk the exhausting 10 feet or so across the living room to actually turn a dial to change one of the five or six channels that we had in those horrible pre-cable days. But sending me to school after summer break without the right box of crayons?

That was grounds for a shunning by the other third-graders in Mrs. Larson’s class.

Just like today, back then, the only crayons that mattered were from Crayola. We all had them, Crayola and the yellow and green box that remains the Golden Arches of the crayon world. Crayolas are like the iPad; sure, you can get something else, but really, why bother with B-class, right?

Yet even in the Crayola world, there are various strata of class. If you showed up with the eight-crayon pack, you were basically saying your parents were cheap. Or on welfare. The 16-and-24 boxes were a little better, but still kind of like playing for the Everett AquaSox, the single-A minor league farm team of the Seattle Mariners. If you got the 48-crayon box, you started to become respectable, but you were still unable to get the code to that gated community set off in the hills outside of town.

And that gated community was, and still is the Holy Grail of crayon boxes: The Crayola 64-crayon box with the sharpener in back.

Having 64 crayons at your disposal is like having four-wheel drive in your truck; you might not need it, but you sure can do a lot more, and go more places with it. Blue, red, yellow, green, orange? How about blue green, green blue, scarlet, gold, silver, flesh and burnt siena? Burnt siena! The color never seen anywhere else in the universe but in the box of 64 options of grade-school coloring awesomeness.? It’s ridiculous.

But not nearly as ridiculous as some of the colors available today.

I probably wouldn’t have noticed any of this were it not for a small storage box full of different coloring options that my daughter, Maddo, was messing around with.. All of the contents were from Crayola. Pencils, markers, thin-tipped pens, notepads and, yes, crayons. Including one of those 64-crayon behemoths that I lusted over as a kid. Of course, I had to dig into the box when Maddo came up to me and said she wanted help with drawing a rainbow. And that’s when I came face to face with the latest creations coming out of Big Crayon. Each one was crazier than the last, and led me to create the following list. Any dad or mom will understand my dismay with the…


14. Goldenrod

This one gets the No. 14 slot because it’s also the most reasonable color of the crayons on this list. It would have been better suited to have called it “butterscotch”, which is an underrated flavor if there ever was one. Now I want a butterscotch sundae. On the negative side, “Goldenrod” sounds like the name of a porn star/superhero.

13. Dandelion

What the hell is the deal with wild-growing flora here? And yellow will suffice, thank you.

12. Tumbleweed

Because when you’re coloring an outdoor scene of Carson City, Nevada in the 1890s, tan or grey just won’t do.

11. Wisteria

I guess we’re keeping with our foliage theme here. Another word for wisteria is “light purple”, by the way. Also, wisteria always makes me think of listeria, which I know isn’t a good thing to have, no matter if it has that nice purple look of wisteria.

10. Asparagus

On to the food options. This one looks like green with a dash of black and the last thing I would think about it is that it’s the color of a vegetable that makes your pee stink.

9. Wild Strawberry

When I was about 12 or 13 I spent a day picking non-wild strawberries for $5 a flat. Only I never got the flat full enough for my five bucks. This is because when you’re a kid, picking strawberries in the summer is the worst job on the planet. Also, there is no regular strawberry color in the Crayola box.

8. Granny Smith Apple

Yep. This is a legitimate color in the eyes of Crayola. I guess they needed another form of green and rejected “Tuscan Kale”.

7. Macaroni and Cheese

I can kind of dig this one, as Mac and Cheese is one of the few things I can get my two-year-old daughter to eat on a regular basis. That is, until tonight, when for some reason, the little firecracker pushed her dish of Kraft’s Finest away, saying she didn’t like it. Maybe I should try asparagus tomorrow?

6. Timberwolf

Also known as grey. If the Crayola colors keep going on this path, this means that by the time my grandkids get old enough to use crayons, “black” will become “mountain gorilla”.

5. Robin’s Egg Blue

OK, well, this one is kind of hard to argue with, as we do refer to the color of a robin’s egg at times. Still, it’s weird to see it on the label of crayon and not in a bird’s nest

4. Bittersweet

I guess “wistful” wasn’t available. It looks more like cinnamon, but it makes me think more of the awesome song of the same name by Australia’s Hoodoo Gurus from 1985.

3. Tickle Me Pink

When plain old pink, carnation pink, mild sunburn or even salmon won’t do. Honest to God, this is a color. My guess that “Pretty In Pink” wasn’t available as it had been trademarked by the estate of John Hughes.

2. Mauvelous

Colors like this are reasons why the terrorists hate us.

1. Purple Mountains’ Majesty

Look, I am the most-American American alive. I keep a White House photo of Ronald Reagan on my desk. I don’t think anything America does is ever wrong, and that includes the Vietnam War. But this made me almost want to turn in my U.S. passport. I guess this means that by the time my daughters have lost or broken all their Dandelion, Timberwolf and Granny Smith Apple crayons and are ready for another box of 64, I can expect “Amber Waves Of Grain” to find a spot in the next bit of color-naming nonsense coming out of Crayola.

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