a breakfast serial

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

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.


  Larry Who wrote @

“…As a child, I had an inexplicable interest in the Iditarod…”

That statement wets our taste for more.

  trzilla wrote @

I also *loved* the Iditarod, and all things Lisa Frank as a child. I even wrote a letter to a female musher and looked at her postcard (a pic of her and her dogs) reply (addressed to me personally) every night before going to bed for about 6 months straight. I wish I knew about those air brush markers then….

  abreakfastserial wrote @

I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one who had such peculiar childhood interests! It’s SO COOL that you got a letter back from the musher. I also would have read it before bed every night.

  bodhimoments wrote @

I could do with Air Brush markers now! What a concept!

  abreakfastserial wrote @

Haha I know! I’ve been searching youtube for the infomercial – I’d love to see it again and relive the magic of anticipation 🙂

  Jorie wrote @

HAHA, Jill, I totally had these airbrush markers too! Even the working ones were kinda defective. All I could ever do was “spray paint” a blank piece of paper. And oh, did I! But after a while, I was like, how come I can’t color in the unicorn like they did on those commercials?!

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