Friday, October 10, 2003


I was looking through some Crayola crayons this evening (this sort of thing happens a lot when you have two small children) when I came across one called Raw Sienna. Now Burnt Sienna I remember, but Raw Sienna? Sounds like a porno flick. Intrigued, I searched for Deep-Throat Blue and Behind-the-Door Green. No luck. Only a matter of time, I'm guessing.

UPDATE: According to the Crayola web site, Burnt Sienna was born sometime between 1949 and 1957, with baby sister Raw Sienna arriving in 1958. I'm getting old, but not that old: all of my crayon-intensive years were well after 1958, not before. So chalk (?) this one up to faulty recollection.

Also, the web site confirms that there is no Deep-Throat Blue or Behind-the-Door Green. Yet. However, Hot Magenta and (I shit you not) Beaver are available. So now you know what to use when you write your condolence cards to Mary Carey.

Flesh would have been another good porno-crayon, but, in an early instance of political correctness, it was renamed Peach way back in 1962, "partially as a result of the U. S. Civil Rights Movement," we are told. Partially? Four years earlier, Prussian Blue became Midnight Blue "in response to teachers' requests." Teachers named Gertrude and Bertha, no doubt. And, in a positively niggardly development just four years ago, Indian Red was rechristened Chestnut "in response to educators who felt some children wrongly perceived the crayon color was intended to represent the skin color of Native Americans. The name originated from a reddish-brown pigment found near India commonly used in fine artist oil paint." One would have thought this a fine candidate for (excuse me while I hold my nose) a "teachable moment." But that would require that our "educators" do some educating, and that of course would take too much time away from more vital duties like making complaints to crayon manufacturers.


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