Every year about this time, when all anyone wants to do is float in the shallow end of the pool in an innertube while drinking icy lemonade, when energy is at its lowest ebb and the wits have melted away like wax and dribbled out the earholes, it’s a cruel joke by the universe that it is also time to go back to school.
The return-to-education frenzy is fierce in this town. Not only do the pint-size scholars of all the local elementary schools and the slightly-larger scholars of the middle and high schools have to report in for instructional indoctrination, but the sizable junior college and the simply ENORMOUS AND GETTING ENORMOUSER ALL THE TIME UNIVERSITY are also starting up. This means an influx of frantic, erratic, ill-prepared, often-resentful out-of-towners (with their parents!), all converging on the very eateries and shopatoriums the local populace would wish to patronize in peace.
Traffic is beyond horrendous.
Never let it be said, however, that Loki
of Jotunheim Asgard Jotunheim Ruler of Midgard turns tail and runs before a little danger! On the contrary! Sigyn (who is also quite brave) and I have come out today to examine the “back to school” wares. In my youth, I was quite the scholar, spending countless hours poring over arcane magical texts. And though I keep my hand in, I have not been a formal student in a very long time. Would anything on offer today be magnificent enough to tempt me back into the classroom?
Sigyn, bless her heart, has been distracted near the entrance by a colorful display. Um, sweetie, those aren’t really school supplies.
And I’m pretty sure that some of those aren’t colors found in nature…
On the school-supplies aisle, the hordes of shoppers have left things in disarray.
What are—? I don’t understand these.
Twisted crayons? That are scented? And scented colored pencils? Who the what?
The worst part about this isn’t that they’re scented, or even that the crayons twist, its that the human female will not shut up! “In my day we had plain old wax crayons, and we liked them! They broke like crazy and were always dull but that was good enough for us! And they sure weren’t scented! If we wanted something to sniff, we huffed the ditto copies as nature intended.”
Moving on! Aha! Here are some pencils worth coveting. I find the yellow-orange sort to be garish and trite. These green beauties are much more my style.
Sigyn says she would rather have a rainbow of markers to write with.
What would you do with so many colors, my love?
Oh. Now she’s been distracted by something else. Sixty-four is more than fifty, and there is a contest involved.
Pfft! That’s not a very hard contest. BLUE! That crayon is BLUE! If they have to have contest to see who can identify that, this realm is in even graver academic peril than I suspected…