Friday, July 18, 2008

Reminder of my mortality


I certainly hope that I'm not the only person to remember the Crayola "Lemon Yellow" color, because I was informed upon inverting my Snapple cap today that that that color, created in 1949, was retired in 1990. Nineteen-fucking-ninety. I've been consuming my tiny morsel of time here on earth apparently unaware that the colors that I knew and loved from my 64 color crayon box (with built in sharpener) are apparently disappearing from existence. 15 years (!) worth of today's children have never pondered the reason for 2 identical colors (distinguished only by including the word "lemon" on one of them) occupying valuable crayon real-estate in that magical moment of promise and delight upon opening a new box of crayons.

And then I began thinking, why did that waxy flavorless reaper come for my lemon yellow, opting (apparently) to not break the brotherly bonds of the yellow-green/green-yellow twins and their indomitable space-wasting redundancy? And "Burnt Umber"? Why do bad things happen to good, honest colors like lemon yellow?

Sure, I'd rate yellow a solid "3" out of the primary colors, but how many shades of brown do you need? What's next- bumping "Red" to introduce "Light Raw Sienna-Plum-Maize"?

In my naive idealistic childhood, I embraced the vast variety of 64 "unique" colors each prominently represented upon those 3 tiers within that sacred box. (I even heard legends of an elusive 128-color set. Wow). But now that I think back to squeezing that last stub of red crayon while "Cornflower" remained perfectly preserved, frozen in time, reminding me that my precious wax drawing instruments were once new and perfect, and now old and dirty. Shreds of paper wrapping blowing in the wind. Unidentified additional color on the tip of "White". No more "Orange".

If I were to assemble a box of 64 colors today, there'd be 20 "Black" (for drawing the outlines of helicopters and tanks), 20 "Red" (for Nazi blood), 20 "Green" (trees are important for background scenery), and 4 motherfucking "Lemon Yellows" for establishing that this fucking drawing is taking place during daylight hours.

Am I living on borrowed time? The cruelness of this harsh world took "Lemon Yellow" 15 years ago, snuffing it's life like a tiny flame in a windstorm. If a color can be consumed so emotionlessly by the slow march of time, do any of us stand a chance? A once proud existence entombed within our dwindling memory and Snapple "Real Fact" #379.

Apparently, when I am no longer of this world, my best hope is to be so encapsulated within a refreshing beverage's trivia lid.


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