Hopefully kids these days are still using crayons and not just swiping iPads with their baby fingers, because for a lot of us, Crayolas are a signifier of a certain sweet (at least in our memories) time in life. You know, childhood! The 64-box? Opening it for the first time, looking at those beautiful, unsullied, rainbow-bright objects with which we could draw the many strange things cluttering our imaginations? It was one of the best parts of the year, even if Mom or Dad would invariably only buy the 16-pack, forcing us to rely on our "latent creativity" instead of the glut of color options available to the rest of civilized second-grade society.
But what happens when one grows up and ceases to use crayons? What happens when one's primary concerns are not about drawing the best picture one can with the colors available — the one that gets praised and placed in a prominent position above the chalkboard or on the fridge — but instead are about paying rent, getting to the gym regularly, dealing with one's boss or spouse or in-laws or children, or coping with general adult-onset ennui?
Zwicky writes, "Think of it as a complex exercise in sociocultural knowledge. My favorites are yellow and purple, for their grotesque specificity, but the more cerebral among you might favor gray or black."
Ben Zimmer pointed us to the source of these colorful creations, the Coloring for Grownups book (and its associated Tumblr). The book, by Ryan Hunter and Taige Jensen, was released at the end of October. With your adult crayons, you get to color in adult pictures, of course. Fun.
Note there are only 10 crayons pictured, so we see lots of room for innovation. Can we get a "Cold Coffee at the Bottom of the Cup" Mahogany? How about "My Goodness I Seem to Have Developed Some Sort of Infection!" Chartreuse? "God I Could Use a Drink Right Now" Cabernet? "My Underwear Matches My Bra" Rose, or "This Is What My Face Looks Like When I'm Angry" Fuchsia? And no pack is complete without a "Burnt Out on Online Dating" Sienna.
Make your own at home! Crayons are forever, until "You Break Them into Tiny Pieces and They're No Good to Anyone" White. Pro-tip: Buy your own kids the 64-box, lest the Color Wheel of Pain continue.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.