ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AUGUST 29TH, 2006
It can’t be on the site if its not sci-fi or fantasy. That’s the rule. Its my rule. What kind of asshole goes around breaking his own rule? I can’t. I won’t. Somehow I will justify reviewing this damn thing. I can’t think of any way I can do it right now, but I’m hoping if I just keep writing, something will come to me. ‘Cause, damn, brother, this thing is CHOICE.
SPOILER ALERT: I’m working on a ninja article for the site, and the next episode o’ the show be all about pirates. Arrr! Big Lots has a new selection of inexpensive pirate toys which I really want to buy ’cause when all is said and done, I’m basically a 31 year old infant with a steady income. I’ll review the Pirate Expeditions figures on the air, so you’ll have to tune in for that. But those pirates got me thinking back, and I remembered that Big Lots also carried a selection of cheap ninja figures a couple of years ago. They were called Ninja Fighters: Hero Of The Dark, and they were your typical low price point action figs: no joints at the elbows or knees, figure and weapons made of soft, cheap plastic, minimal manufacturer’s information because they probably bootlegged the molds from some other toy… the usual. However, these figures stuck in my mind because they were particularly well detailed and beautifully painted for a bargain toy, and they came with a lot of really cool accessories. No joke, some of these things had better paint jobs and mold details than some G.I. Joe figures I’ve owned. Alright, own. Anyway, these things were the upper echelon of Bangladeshi sweat shop dollar toys, and now that they’re relevant to my life, however fleetingly, I want them. Bad.
Depending on your area of the country, Big Lots may be called Odd Lots or Odd Jobs, but its probably all the same crap. My obsessive compulsive ass could not get these things out of my mind, and I eventually found myself in a Big Lots in fucking Indiana, scouring the toy aisle for Ninja Fighters figs. This weekend I plan to hit some Big Lots in the seedier parts of the Cincinnati hood to look for these fucking things, so it was nice knowing you all, and give my love to mom.
I’ve also looked all over northern Kentucky, and that’s where our story begins. I was walking through a local Big Lots, and what to my wandering eye should appear but this glorious bright beam of sunshine from baby Jesus in heaven.
See that kid on the box? That kid’s dead. His name was Timmi Zell, and he was an up and coming Tasmanian child actor. He and his mother and two sisters were shot during the Port Arthur Massacre; click on the link to read more about it. Crayola had taken some photos of the kid the previous year and nobody knew they still had them. Eight years after he was murdered, Crayola slaps his picture on a box and ships it all over Europe and North America. Of course, once people eventually realized what was up, a lot of parents went apeshit. Crayola pleaded ignorance, saying that the picture was used from a “stock image bank.” Because the company has apparently never heard of the internet, I guess they though no one would ever notice that they used a completely different box in, survey says… Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. That’s one hell of a coincidence, huh? You can see a picture of that box after the next paragraph. Pretty fucking sleazy for a company that makes products used primarily by children, but it gets worse.
It turns out Crayola does this shit ALL THE TIME. Since the late 1950s, Crayola has been notorious for putting the faces of dead kids on their products to skirt paying royalties to live people. In 1967 they actually used a photo of a little girl who had died in a car accident on her way home from the goddamn photo shoot. How horrible is that? A little girl dies and two months later her mother sees her dead child on an ad for Crayola Crayons in the store where she was shopping for back-to-school supplies for her other kids. That’s how the family found out, and Crayola never paid them a dime. Its pretty fucking deceitful and loathsome, but not as deceitful and loathsome as someone who would just make all this shit up to fuck with his readers. Booyah! Oh, yeah, admit it – I had you. How pissed were you at Crayola? I made you hate the people who brought the world Lemon Yellow and Periwinkle. That’ll teach ya to believe everything you read.
While its pretty cool, the prospect of making my own crayons honestly doesn’t thrill me. I hardly ever play coloring books anymore… when people can see. And I’ve worked with melted wax before, so that’s nothing new. About six years ago one of my major hobbies was candlemaking. No, I’m not gay. I’m just a man who’s comfortable enough with himself to display his artistic side by making interestingly colored and shaped scented candles for the rest of the girls in his quilting class. Also, I used to have a vagina. It was the prettiest little vagina you ever did see, and it told me that I should make candles, and buy candle molds, and learn how much scenting to use, and understand the importance of thickness of wick to candle radius, and that lead core wicks are bad, bad, bad, and that the girls down at the craft store really believed me when they saw me with my girlfriend. Not my sister, my GIRLFRIEND. And they believed me. Honest, they did. STOP JUDGING ME!!!
Anyway, I’ve melted down my fair share of crayons to color candles with, and let me tell you, crayons make SHITTY candles. They’re not meant for burning, especially the yellow ones, which spit and sputter and leave a horrible . It stands to reason, though, that melted down crayons might make pretty decent crayons. Its not much of a leap of faith. And even though I’ve established that the prospect of making my own crayons doesn’t thrill me, I TOTALLY dig on the idea of making my own crayons and then coming up with clever names for them, which I can then put on the SWEET ASS CRAYOLA LABELS INCLUDED WITH THE MACHINE! Those labels took this thing from just plain old “interesting” to “holy fuckin’ lord, I would punch a 95 year old nun square in the asshole to own one of these!” I couldn’t believe it was only ten bucks. Plus, it was the last one on the shelf. I immediately grabbed it, and pointed at the little chubby, smelly kid who was eyeballing it in my arms.
“I got the last one, fucker!” I screamed at him with malicious delight. “Why don’t you and your white trash mother go back to your piece of shit hovel and you can watch her give 50¢ rimjobs for the rent while I go home and melt crayons with MY awesome new crayon making machine?! HA HA! Maybe you could ask for one for Christmas, but guess what? THERE’S NO SANTA CLAUS!!” And then I kicked him as hard as I could square in the chest. Because I’m territorial. Like a man. A manly man who is NOT GAY.
I knew I was gonna need some raw materials from which to manufacture all the coolness. I went looking for crayons. Fortunately for me, Big Lots supports all manner of third-world child slave labor, so you can buy a 64 pack of crayons, complete with crayon sharpener in the back, for fucking 88¢. 88¢! Which makes this the first Sci-Fi Guys article in which I’ve used the “¢” symbol more than once. So fuck you, little malnourished Sri Lankan child with a life expectancy of 14; your poverty and indentured servitude means my fat American ass can melt cheap colored wax for just pennies! I got out the store with the machine, a two-pack of light bulbs (not included), and two boxes of crayons for under $13, and only 41 starving Asian children had to die to make it happen. God bless America! It was shaping up to be my kind of day.
Honhg Ngu Phohl, 7, was apprehended after stealing a blue crayon from his production line and eating it to “stop the belly pain.” Likely story, Honhg. Maybe a week in the hole will teach you a much needed lesson.
Because I run in to so many of them, a big pet peeve of mine is over packaged toys. Males my age might remember opening a G.I. Joe vehicle and being faced with forty sealed plastic bags, each containing plastic rectangles full of vehicle parts and stickers. Putting the toy together really wasn’t my problem; I actually liked the idea of building an awesome new toy, and I have a feeling that Hasbro purposefully cashed in on this sense of accomplishment to make us ’80s boys love our toys. Hell, the instruction sheets usually had realistic schematics of the toy detailing its weapons and secret features as if it were a real life vehicle. It was all good. But even back then it bothered me that after you put your toy together, you were left with a pile of packaging as big as the toy itself. I don’t know why it eats at me so much, but it bothered me 20 years ago and it still bothers me now. Fortunately, the Crayola Crayon Maker is relatively free of that crap, so once you open it up there’s little to throw away.
Now we just need to open it up and install the bulb. To melt the wax we gotsta have heat, and we gets the heat from a light bulb. I was thinking that the 60 watt bulb (not included) would be underpowered. You know what that means…
But I was wrong. In fact, the 60 watt bulb may be a little too powerful. Because I’m a cheap fuck and I’m not willing to pay GE four dollars for a 3¢ light bulb, I got the ghetto bulbs from Big Lots. They’ll probably work for about 15 minutes, but these crayons should melt in 10, so I win again. A little scrounging around the racks of crap netted me an overpowered, unsafe 45¢ light bulb, which from this point forward I shall call the “photic thermal core.” Maybe if I’d sprung for the GE SoftLite gynobulb with the estro-pink coating the crayons would have melted more evenly. What I actually, inadvertently bought was apparently the bargain basement, unfiltered Eye of Sauron, which melts these little fuckers like it ain’t no thang. Seriously, its like I’m putting crayons into that reaction chamber that fried Spock at the end of Wrath Of Kahn. This thing gets fucking HOT.
The more I look at this thing. the more I like it. It looks like some kind of retro-future, art-deco fun machine. It may not be sci-fi, but you can fuck me in the nostril and call me Pearl if this thing isn’t ninety kinds of beautiful. Its almost perfect. All it really needs is a better name. Since it makes crayons and its heat comes from a light bulb ala the Easy-Bake Oven, I almost decided that CRAyon + eaSY-BAKE = Crazy-Bake. The Crazy-Bake crayon oven. Then I realized that was just fucking stupid, ’cause you don’t bake crayons and there’s no z in easy. I decided what I needed was a serious name. A strong name. Something inhuman and vaguely threatening. Something like:
The Melt-O-Tron 6000X’s instructions warn you to use only Crayola crayons, and its more than just a marketing ploy, my man. Its fucking SCIENCE. If you’ve ever used cheap crayons you know they don’t color well. That’s because ghetto crayons are made of a different wax than Crayolas; organic chemists call it “ghetto wax” after its inventor Geppetto Ghettolicious of the South Tuscany House Of Wax ‘N Shit. According to the STHOWNS Research & Development Department, ghetto wax melts at a lower temperature than Crayola wax, which is scientifically referred to as “fine-ass wax.” When you melt ghetto wax crayons, they turn very transparent and the coloring settles out of them fairly rapidly. I used to run into this problem when I made candles, and that’s why the crayons I made from the ghetto wax turned out with a very glossy plastic sheen. Ghetto wax is very thin when melted, and the colors run together too much to create a nice swirl pattern. This quality of wax is not good for crayons; its more suited to scented candles where you want the glossy finish and the quick, thin melt so your scenting will be distributed evenly throughout the candle, which is something I know despite the fact that I AM TOTALLY NOT GAY AT ALL NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT SO SHUT UP.
My first couple of attempts at crayon making were pretty weak. The crap crayons I bought look decent enough out of the box, but in the Melt-O-Tron 6000X they turn into little puddles of faintly colored liquid shit, and then cool into hard plastic glue sticks. They color decently enough if you can hold one without it snapping, which you can’t. They were leaving my boat noticeably unfloated. I tried the unlabeled crayons I got at Big Lots, as well as some Raymond Geddes brand. They both suck. Time to go back to the store for the real deal.
I now own two 64 packs of ghetto color sticks and two 64 packs of proper crayons. When you include the 12 crayons the machine comes with, plus the 8 pack of Raymond Geddes that I don’t remember buying, that brings the grand total of crayons that I own to 276. I’m pretty sure that’s more coloring potential than I’ve ever had in my life, which is not exactly something that a 31 year old man should be bragging about. I only mention it here for the sake of completion.
Look at my little sacrificial victims in the melting chamber. They have no idea what’s in store for them. By the way, I have discovered the secret to making these crayons well, which no child will ever do, because stuff like this isn’t fun to normal children with friends and lives and well developed senses of self esteem. Only people like me discover this sort of thing, which I suspect is the sole reason that society continues to tolerate us. Anyway, the secret to good homemade crayons is two-fold. First, always use Crayola. Second, and this is vital, choose your main color, the lightest color in your soon-to-be crayon, and use a LOT of it. Whatever your darker secondary color is don’t use much, and put it all at the pouring end of the melting tray. Otherwise you just end up with a crayon that is one single, ugly color. Considering that this is marketed to kids, they really should have included this in the instructions.
You can make even cooler crayons by filling the crayon mold partially, then melting a bunch of different colors and filling the mold the rest of the way. Crayola knew that kids would figure this out about 30 seconds after they bought the thing, and because Crayola hates kids and lawsuits and me, and because they are apparently run by the same people who made every television show from the late ’70s though the mid-’80s with a “locked in a bank vault ’til morning” episode, they built a time lock into the machine. A fucking time lock. You can’t open this thing up for 20 minutes after you start it up. This irritating little feature needs to go, so here’s how you do it:
See that little plastic tab? That’s the fucker causing all the problems. Solution: remove it. The transparent plastic is pliable enough that you can just use a pair of scissors to snip it off without worrying about cracking the casing. Now I can add colors at the last minute or play mad scientist with other things I want to melt over the hellish inferno of the Melt-O-Tron 6000X’s photic thermal core. Fuck yeah! Removing this thing makes the Melt-O-Tron a lot more fun, but I was serious about what I said before: this thing gets HOT. Hey, kids, follow the instructions above for great crayons and even better burn scars. Scare your parents! Impress your friends! And when you get to the hospital, be sure to tell ’em Uncle Chris sent ya. Enjoy the skin grafts!
You know, it really destroys my “I’m not gay” arguments that I sat around the house and office for the last week making colorful little wax penises. I have not had sex in a very long time. To make myself feel better about my crayonmongering and acute unfuckability, I have chosen not to think of this experience as sad display of immaturity and regression brought on by sexual frustration, but rather as an organic chemistry experiment involving the artistic use of chromatic hydrocarbons. That at least sounds adult, and if I can’t get laid, then I can find solace in using some big words to make myself feel smarterer.
I also chose to think of this little adventure as a way of testing myself to see if my creative skills are powerful enough to let me turn this into a sci-fi article. And guess what: they are. Here’s how I’m going to make this a sci-fi article: I’m going to make sci-fi crayons.
Here they are:
ARTICLE UPDATE: August 31st, 2006 at 7:51 pm
SCI-FI-GUYS.COM CONTEST #3: NAME THAT CRAYON!
Hey, my sci-fi peeps: brand new contest for dat ass!
When I was making these crayons I made a number of duds that went either right back into the Melt-O-Tron or straight into the trash. If they didn’t turn out at least somewhat like I was hoping, their malevolent overlord – me! – sent them to their deaths without mercy or hesitation. These lucky five, however, caught my eye. Like Thulsa Doom gazing down at a young Conan, I recognized that they were each destined for some unknown greatness. And so they were spared. And even though their destinies are hidden from me, perhaps you can succeed where I have failed.
I can’t think of anything to call these bastards. Lawd in heaven knows I’ve tried. Its your turn. They need names. More specifically, they need sci-fi names. Sci-fi names from YOU. Here’s the deal:
1. I want to make sure that the author of the winning name for EACH of the crayons gets something, so I’m giving away five (5) prizes total – two (2) big ass Starship Class prize packages and three (3) not quite so big ass Shuttlecraft Class prize packages.
2. In the spirit of spreading the love, I’m giving the five packages away to five different people. Now before you start to bitch, rest assured that if you’ve thought up the winning name for more than one of the crayons, I will definitely show you a little extra love. But only one prize per person, that way more people get something. I want to give, Mother Superior. I want the orphanage to have my bike. I know I sold a lot of magazine subscriptions to earn that bike, but I want to give. I’ve just received the two best parents a boy could ever hope for. I am an inspiration to you all.
3. This is a totally public contest, so post your entries as comments on this article for everyone to see. I’ve numbered the crayons, so be sure to let us know which crayon you’re naming. Post as many entries as you like, as often as you like – the more the merrier as far as I’m concerned. Spread the news. Your lazy butts are in this, too. We going up north to put the word in the streets!
4. You can post any kind of name you want, but winning names will be sci-fi/fantasy related. Probably. Depends on how much you make me laugh.
5. Names should be appropriate to the crayon colors. “Warp Core Breach” may be a kick-ass crayon name, but if the crayon doesn’t look like a warp core breach, then it probably won’t be the winning name. Then again, there has to be a winner for each crayon, so if the end of the contest is approaching and no one’s named a crayon, then you can enter pretty much anything and have a good shot at a prize.
6. The cleverer the name, the better. I like things that are cleverer.
7. Obscurity is worth a LOT. Has anyone figured out what Unibihexium refers to yet? You come up with something that obscure, there’s a damn good chance you’re getting a prize.
8. Not a rule, really, just a tip. I have given a lot of these crayons Star Trek, Transformers, and G. I. Joe names. I’m not saying you can’t do the same, but since my list was already pretty heavy with these franchises, you’d be better served avoiding them. I’m looking for variety.
9. This contest ends at 11:59 PM, Sunday, September 10th, 2006.
So don’t waste your holiday weekend doing nothing. Its Labor Day; do some labor of the mind. Don’t just sit on your ass and get drunk – sit on your ass and get drunk and come up with cool names for these crayons. And if you can’t think of any names for the crayons, think of some sci-fi/fantasy crayons you’d like to see, and I’ll see what the trusty ol’ Melt-O-Tron 6000X can come up with. Long weekends are MADE for thinking about sci-fi crayons. Seriously, I read that somewhere.
NOW, NAME THESE CRAYONS, DAMN IT!
There you go. Good luck to you all, and let the games begin!
The lord loves a workin’ man,
ARTICLE UPDATE: September 6th, 2006 at 6:55 pm
While you guys are working hard on your sci-fi crayon names, I just thought I’d drop in and show you another sci-fi crayon I came up with:
Keep thinking up those sci-fi crayons names; Sunday’ll be here before you know it!
ARTICLE UPDATE: September 11th, 2006 at 1:22 pm
=THIS CONTEST HAS ENDED=
Okay, guys, the time for submitting entries is officially OVER. Great job to everyone on all the great crayon names, as well as making this the most commented article on Sci-Fi-Guys.com to date. Great work all around. Our judges (okay, just me) will be reviewing the entries and making their final decisions by the end of the day. Best of luck to you all!
ARTICLE UPDATE: September 13th, 2006 at 8:00 pm
=AND THE WINNERS ARE…=
The contest is over, the results are in, and the article is so damn long I am afraid it may break our server.
Alright, gang, here we go. I know I’ve said it about fifty times already, but thank you all once again for participating, and you guys did a FANTASTIC job. Really outstanding. I know this sounds pretty overinflated, but I really mean it when I say that the wide range of these crayon names is a real testament to how much diversity you guys bring to the site. Basically I’m kissing your collective ass because I am very happy this went as well as it has, and I couldn’t have done it without you guys. So thanks a million. Now, on with the show…
Crayon #3: Yeah, that’s right, we’re starting with Crayon #3. I’m going to go in order of coolness of the winning names. I don’t want this to seem like I’m busting on these first few crayons, because I’m not. I just want to save the very best for last. And the fact that this crayon is farthest away from that position is nobody’s fault but mi-i-i-ine, yeah.
Despite the fact that the crayon is kinda sucky, the entries were damn good. I loved the idea of a crayon called Dagobha, but the colors just aren’t right. Orc Breath is a fairly ass kicking name for a crayon also, but once again, I’m not feeling it with this color combo. I don’t know what the hell Vulcan’s Lament means, but I’ll be damned if its not a cool name. I even found two poems with that name: here and here.
But at the end of the day, daddy’s all about the visual. I need my crayon to make sense, color wise. That’s why I’m going with Suliban Cluster Fuck. Until I saw this entry, I had somehow managed to completely forget that there were green and purple Star Trek aliens. Its probably due to the fact that this crayon was a failed first attempt at creating the Devastator crayon, and I just couldn’t see beyond what I meant for it to be. Yeah, that’s right. I remade crayons that didn’t turn out just how I wanted them. Its a totally normal thing to do. So shut up.
Congrats to Dan for coming up with the winning name. Dan is NOT the winner of our third Shuttlecraft Class Gift Package. Mark thought up Dagobah and Vulcan’s Lament, but he isn’t the winner either. Sci-Fi Girl is. She thought up Orc Breath, which made it to the finals, so she gets Shuttlecraft Class prize package numero uno.
Why, you ask? What the hell, you scream, indignant and incensed. Dan and Mark are being cheated! Where’s the fairness? Where’s the justice? Did you finally sell out, Chris? Did you finally SELL OUT TO THE MAN?!?
No. SPOILER ALERT: They win other prizes later on.
Crayon #5: I almost chose Vulcan Hemorrhoid. Seriously, you have no idea how incredibly close this crayon came to being called Vulcan Hemorrhoid. As a matter of fact, I did choose Vulcan Hemorrhoid. For a bit. Then it occurred to me that there would be no red in a Vulcan hemorrhoid. They’ve got green blood, so unless they shit red – and I think we can all agree that the color of Vulcan shit is a glaring missing page from Trek lore that the various shows and movies have yet to touch upon – there shouldn’t be any red in this crayon. At all.
Would there be red if you stuck a Goa’uld in a blender? I don’t know. But I think the chances are a lot better. Crayon #5, I dub thee:
Congrats to bj who has won has won a luxurious Shuttlecraft Class prize package. Dan, your entry was a tough contender, and you had bj on the ropes, but at the end of the day, she rallied and took you down. She took you down to Chinatown. In a blender.
Crayon #4: I have no idea what I was trying to make when I forged this thing, but it turned out ugly as hell. To be honest, I’m surprised that anyone came up with a good name for it, let alone the three good names that made it to the finals. My first inclination was to just call this thing Outlaw Star, from the Japanese cartoon featuring a red and blue spaceship of the same name. The color scheme is right, kinda, and I could swipe the cool Outlaw Star logo to make the article look even prettier. But I think its important to remember that not all sci-fi is spaceships, and wormholes, and invaders from the 8th dimension. Apparently Mark thought so, too, and that’s why he used his mystical mind probe amulet to sift through my brain and find my very favorite power from my very favorite Dungeons & Dragons monster.
For those of you “normal” guys out there with active sex lives and girlfriends and penises which have been touched by real live women, here’s the scoop: the mummies in old school Dungeons & Dragons are bad motherfuckers. You can’t kill them ’cause they’re already dead. You can’t beat them down, because they have no flesh left to damage. You can’t overpower them, because they’re strong as hell. You can set them on fire, but it usually won’t destroy them before they kill you. And even if you do manage to take one down, there’s no guarantee that it’ll STAY down, because these guys are mummies, and mummies are all about coming back from the grave. It should be pretty clear by now that D&D mummies hang out high at the top of the “DO NOT FUCK WITH” list, but we haven’t even touched on the #1 reason for that: mummy rot.
In any decently run D&D adventure in which you happen to tangle with a mummy, even a weak one, you’re probably gonna get hit a lot before you manage to defeat it. Mummies usually don’t go in for swords or clubs, they’re into punching and throwing and crushing. These guys are hands-on. Enter mummy rot. A mummy’s touch can be even more devastating than having it pummel you into submission or throw you from the top of a pyramid. Whenever you make physical contact with a mummy you have a chance of contracting mummy rot, which means you start to decay like a corpse while you’re still alive. Its a horrible way to go, and even in a magic heavy game like D&D, there’s not too much you can do about it, because mummy rot is more powerful than most healing potions or spells.
Of course I’m mouthing off a lot about a monster I haven’t read about in years. Mummy rot may not be as bad as I remember, and the newer versions of D&D mummies may not even have mummy rot for all I know. Nevertheless, we need a non-space sci-fi crayon name, and I can imagine human flesh staring to look a lot like this crayon in the first few hours after mummy rot sets in. Of course, Tutankhamen’s Curse would also be an excellent name for a crayon, but I’m not using it since Mark spelled it wrong. Crayon #4, I dub thee:
Congratulations to Mark on coming up with the winning entry, and to Dan, who’s single entry once again lasted all 12 rounds, but just wasn’t enough to overcome Mark’s devastating Tut-Rot combination. Great job, guys. Mark has won our third and final all expenses paid Shuttlecraft Class prize package. I told you I wasn’t cheating him.
CRAYON #1: The race to name Crayon #1 was very, very close. Leia’s Plug is so offensive and disgusting and childish, yet so completely appropriate when you just look at the crayon, that I had to love it as soon as I read it. On the other hand, Wormhole Pinkstream is a GREAT sounding name. I have looked all over the damn internet hoping like hell that Wormhole Pinkstream was a real thing from some show, any show, so I could justify giving this crayon a wicked ass Stargate/DS9/Sliders name. But, no dice. And as much as I love the name Wormhole Pinkstream, I simply cannot pass up the opportunity to name a crayon that I made in a child’s toy after Luke Skywalker’s sister’s used tampon. I don’t have much to add because this name is just too perfect. Crayon #1, I dub thee:
Congratulations to Frog Boy on coming up with the winning entry, and to bj who put up one hell of a fight. Great job, you guys. Frog Boy wins our first Starship Class prize package.
Crayon #2: Ok, folks, this is it. The big Kahuna. The top dog. The king daddy. The big cheese. This crayon got the most responses, and the best entries of all five.
Why was this one so popular? Was it because you were feeding off each other creatively, creating an environment more conducive to artistic expression? Was it because you were all consumed with the good natured spirit of competition among friends? Was it because you had all finally found a fun sci-fi contest to rally around?
Its because this crayon is mostly silver, and even as adults, deep down we all still feel very seriously about what was so obviously and religiously true to us as children: silver and gold are the best fucking crayons EVER, and if you don’t agree you’re a communist shithead ratfink piece of crap, and you eat your own boogers.
Remember when you’d open up a fresh Crayola 64 pack, and that beautiful wax smell would hit you? You know, that smell, that warm, Christmas, birthday, Halloween smell. You loved the smell of crayons in the morning. It smelled like victory. And after you got enough of that sweet bouquet, what did you do? You’d immediately start scanning to find those miraculous little wonders of science and alchemy that you loved so very, very much. Those legendary little sparkling sticks that allowed you, a mere mortal human child, to motherfucking COLOR WITH METAL. Fuckin’ a! You LOVED silver and gold, admit it. There’s no shame in it; we all did. It didn’t matter if they dressed silver up like it was white, and it didn’t matter if gold was never quite as gold as you’d hoped it would be; we knew the score. Those were the gods of coloring, the Holy Crayons, and the only reason besides the built in sharpener that any of us kids ever really wanted the big 64. They were sacred. They were pure. They were something to believe in. And woe be upon any of your little friends who stole, or chewed on, or broke a gold or silver, because as soon as you caught them those other 62 crayons were going straight up their little ass, sharpener and all.
Calling this crayon V-ger was a big temptation. Not only is it one of the most interesting sci-fi villains ever, but when Captain Kirk finally got a good look at it, it was kind of corroded and mottled, just like this crayon. Unfortunately, there were a few other entries that fared a little better, but good work anyway, PopRox. This crayon may not be V-ger, but I’m working on one that will be.
I’ll bet she never thought she’d get a mention on the site, but Kristina, aka K-Dizzle, aka her brand new Sci-Fi Guys name Firebush, came up with a damn good one. Not only is Sorcerer’s Stone Grey a great sci-fi/fantasy name, but she also spelled ‘Grey’ with an ‘e’. That’s how I spell grey, and god as my witness, its a crayon related story.
I was a big reader as a kid, and back in the 4th grade I came across a book with the word ‘grey’ in it. That’s not how I was taught to spell it, but it was from a book. It couldn’t be wrong. I mean, it was in a goddamn book. I was baffled, and as I do with anything that baffles me, I made a ridiculous fuss about it. After five minutes of intense argument that I was sure would culminate in a landslide of complaints to the publisher, causing the Kentucky school systems to recieve hundresd of millions of dollars in refunds for defective books, my teacher explinaed to me that ‘grey’ was used more in England than America, but that both spellings were correct. BOTH WERE CORRECT. Even though my mother chose to saddle my little brother and I with oddly spelled names, two correct ways to spell a word was more or less unheard of. I just assumed that my mom spelled our names wrong. But then I started seeing the mysterious ‘grey’ spelling here and there. Not enough to make me frak out, but just enough so that it But despite this faint epiphany, I soon lost interest. Until I got my fourth grade 64 box of Crayola, that is.
Frog Boy and I only got a Crayola 64 box once a year, at the beginning of the school year. You would have thought those boxes were filled with liquid gold electric orgasms by the fuss we made over them, but in retrospect, Ma Sci-Fi was right to limit us to one per annum. After all, by the time school rolled around again, half of the crayons from last year’s stash were still left over. I think they’re still in a bag at her house somewhere, waiting for the grandkids she doesn’t have because her sons don’t love her enough.
Anyway, I was almost to the age when I was over the whole “Crayola 64 = the return of Jesus” phase of my childhood when I opened my 4th grade box. I’d had it open for days before I ever noticed, but when I finally got around to seeing if any of the crayons had interesting names, I noticed that the grey crayon was labeled ‘grey.’ Not gray. Grey.
And my little mind was blown. I had a grey Crayola crayon with the word ‘grey’ on it. I checked my stash at home; all my other Crayola greys were spelled ‘gray.’ I asked around, and everybody else’s in my class was spelled ‘gray.’ What the fuck kind of Twilight Zone shit was going on?! In the span of a couple of weeks I went from not knowing the gray/grey thing existed, to seeing it all over the place, and now it was on my own fucking crayon. I didn’t know what the deal was, but right then and there I made the decision: from that moment forward, I would only spell it ‘grey,’ and I didn’t care if I got points taken away for incorrect spelling. It was grey from then on. It took a little while to recondition myself, and but that’s how I’ve spelled it since then.
So clearly if I’m going to go to the trouble of telling you the saga of Chris’s Grey Crayon, Sorcerer’s Stone Grey must be the winner, right? Well, no, but Firebush did real good coming up with that name, especially when you consider that half of her other entries were just the names of similarly colored frozen desserts with the word ‘spaceship’ tacked onto the end. Good work, Firebush, and welcome to the web. Firebush may not have given us the winning name, but remember all this talk about gray/grey. It’ll come up again later.
You have no fucking idea how much I love the name Uni-Crayon. Its hands down my favorite name out of all the entries. Its just so perfect. I’m gonna spell it Unicrayon because that’s easier for me to type, but it doesn’t diminish the sweet rapture of knowing that my own brother thought up a crayon name that pays tribute to the giant evil robot that ate two of Cybertron’s moons and still had room to swallow Galvatron whole. If it weren’t for the fact that the colors are all wrong, you can bet your ass this name would have been the winner. Unfortunately for my little bro, this crayon’s colors are more like Megatron’s than Unicron’s. This is no accident; this crayon was my fist attempt at making a Megatron crayon. Obviously I fucked up the mix, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. I’m still working on making a Megatron crayon, and thanks to Frog Boy, I’m now also working on making Unicrayon. As soon as I saw the name I knew it was something I had to do. I’ve got it all planned out, and I’m melting it together this weekend. I can’t wait. Incredible work, bro. You have no idea how close you came to winning.
When Mark posted ‘Riptorn (rides the grey planet),’ I didn’t have a clue what the hell he was talking about. After a little Googling I was impressed to learn that he wasn’t just making it up. The title of the 1952 British children’s novel was actually Rip Foster Rides The Grey Planet, but Mark was close enough. I was even more impressed when I learned that it wasn’t even Mark’s idea, but some teenager whom Mark met a truck stop and then murdered and brought home in the trunk of his car. I wasn’t listening too closely so I may have gotten the last bit of that story wrong a little, but I was nonetheless astounded that some teenager knew about this book. In any case, it’s safe to say that none of the rest of us had ever heard of it. It’s also safe to say that this is the most obscure entry of the lot, and that impresses me to a large degree. Rip Foster Rides The Grey Planet is not the wining entry, but its a damned impressive display of sci-fi knowledge. Kid, I don’t know what your name is or who you are, but if you post a comment here and Mark can verify your identity, you’re getting a prize despite the fact that you didn’t win. Impressive… very impressive.
Rip Foster Rides The Grey Planet was written by Blake Savage (a pseudonym of author Harold Leland Goodwin’s) and republished in America as Rip Foster Rides The Gray Planet, then later as Rip Foster In Ride the Gray Planet. Told you the grey/gray thing would crop up again. Despite the apparent lack of success of Rip Foster Rides The Grey Planet, the Rip Foster series was popular enough that it still has a small following today. Project Gutenberg offers the American version of the book free for download. Click here to read Blake Savage’s Rip Foster Rides The Gray Planet.
Well, here’s us, on the raggedy edge. And what do we find out here in the black? Reaver. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the winner. If you’re familiar with the Firefly franchise, then you probably knew it too. Its like I melted down the Reaver/Alliance space battle scene from Serenity and dumped it right into the Melt-O-Tron 6000X. Its so simple, so perfect, so obvious; the crayon looks exactly like a crayon called Reaver ought to look. I tried several times to make a Browncoat crayon before I wrote this article, and I guess my repeated failure to produce one I was happy with blinded me to what was right there in front of my eyes. It never occurred to me to make a Reaver crayon, but it turns out I already had. Crayon #2, it is with great pride and pleasure that I dub thee:
Dan, my hat’s off to you. This is the most impressive crayon name of all. It just fits so well. If my legs could bend that way, I’d kick my own ass for not thinking of it first. I told you I wasn’t gonna stiff him from the other crayon he named. Dan wins the second and final Starship Class prize package.
Way to go, guys, but don’t think its all over yet. Just when you thought you’d seen the last of melted crayons and crazy sci-fi wax, something totally unexpected shows up. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Crayola GadgetHeadz Robot Lab!