a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for December 12, 2012

santa’s satisfaction guarantee

Lisa Frank Puppies

< by Jill >

As a child, I had an inexplicable interest in the Iditarod and spray-painting. I vicariously experienced the Iditarod through books, which elucidated the perils of every mile. I vicariously experienced spray-painting through my mother, who occasionally tinted dried hydrangeas with a spritz of blue or purple.

Once or twice, I yelled MUSH! at our dog Polo. He flopped his ears back and tilted his head sideways.

One crisp Saturday morning in November, I snuck downstairs to watch cartoons. And there it was, before my very eyes: an infomercial for airbrush markers. Non-toxic! They really work! Just blow and paint! I watched as children uncapped markers, affixed airbrush nozzles, and wrapped o-shaped lips around the mouthpieces. With one puff of breath, a cloud of color burst from the marker-tips and onto the page. The kids created rainbows, unicorns, and puppies. Their creations smacked of Lisa Frank’s.

With great haste, I penciled a letter to Santa: ABOVE ALL ELSE I WOULD LIKE AIRBRUSH MARKERS PLEASE.

Santa got the message. On Christmas morning, I tumbled downstairs and discovered a pack of airbrush markers. Non-toxic! They really work! Just blow and paint! I tore up the box, plucked each marker out of its slot, and laid out a pristine white canvas.

Just like the kids on TV, I assembled the parts and breathed out through the mouthpiece. Black blotches marred the canvas. I tried another marker, and another. More unsightly blobs. The markers, they were defective. The markers made by elves were defective! What a gyp!

And then I learned something quite unexpected: The North Pole has a return policy.

In days, I had a new pack. Although the markers never lived up to the infomercial’s promise, they did suffice to airbrush a team of 16 huskies.