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Sidewalk Chalk - How Does It Work?

It shocks my eyelids that Insane Clown Posse didn't include sidewalk chalk in their list of magical mysteries in the smash hit song 'Miracles'. Granted, yesterday was the first time I'd touched a piece of sidewalk chalk in what I'm guessing is at least a dozen years. But something weird happened when I came home to find my wife and daughter drawing on the sidewalk in front of our home. As soon as that chalk tickled my hand, it's like I had a reverse-Tom Hanks-in-Big, Freaky-Friday-except-without-Jamie-Lee-Curtis moment where I regressed to a carefree child. Fortunately, not to the extreme of uncontrollable bedwetting, but enough to have an amazing time with some colored pieces of calcium sulfate.

I should note right off the bat that as a general rule, I HATE the feeling of chalk in my hand. In school, I always counted my blessings when I had a classroom with one of those new-fangled¹ whiteboards and dry erase markers. For some reason that initial touch always sends a weird shiver up my spine. But something about sidewalk chalk brings about an exception to the rule.

Stop for just a minute and think about your childhood experiences with sidewalk chalk. Is there a single bad one? I'll bet you a Cheesy Gordita Crunch that there isn't. Meanwhile, other childhood sources of entertainment probably caused you some pain or grief at some point in your days of play. Falling off a bicycle, taking an aggressive bubble to the eye, getting strangled by a Skip-It²; few things provided pure entertainment and fun without risk of injury or strife, but sidewalk chalk was one of them. And not only that, but if you think about it, chalk could very well be the OLDEST children's toy around. Hell, little cavetoddlers were using chalk in prehistoric days to draw pictures of their friends getting eaten by woolly mammoths.

So when my wife went inside to get dinner ready, it was ON. I didn't even mess with changing out of my work clothes, I wanted to dive into this chalk action. As Ava dutifully drew her straight lines, I stared at my canvas with a complete lack of vision. How does one conquer over a decade's worth of chalk block? I decided I'd start with a circle. Ava looked at me and gave an approving fart. Or maybe that was me. It's not important, I was too caught up in the moment to pay attention to details. A few more well placed lines here, a little shading there. IT'S A SUN! FUCK YEAH! I was on a roll and wasn't going to let it stop. Now here's a moon to go with the sun! What a minute, forget celestial bodies, I'm switching it up: A MONKEY! Finally, after a sad attempt to draw a hopscotch court (is it called a court?) and show Ava how to play (you're welcome for the show, neighbors), my wife was back outside telling us to come in and wash up.

I nearly had an old-fashioned 'AW, DO WE HAVE TO?!' moment. I walked in a little dizzy, a little confused, and as my eyes adjusted to the dimmer light in the apartment, I realized just one thing: Sidewalk chalk may very well be one of the greatest sources of natural entertainment that God³ has ever graced this Earth with.

So whether you've got a child or not, I will make this one recommendation to you: Go get yourself a $3 bucket of sidewalk chalk and have a blast now that the weather is getting warmer. Even if you just use it to draw fake dead body outlines to freak out your neighbors, I'll still applaud you for bringing back a 'lost art'. And maybe if you're lucky, you'll find the magic piece of chalk, and all of your drawings will come to life in the ChalkZone (will anybody get this reference except me?).

Draw on!

¹ I swear, I'm only 26.
² This statement is not representative of any former or pending lawsuits against Tiger Electronics and its subsidiaries.
³ Allah, Buddha, Krishna, Ram, whatever you're down with. I say God though. 'merica.


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