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A good way for poor kids to pass the time.

When I was very small, we had not much money to buy dolls and such. I only had two of my own that I cared anything for: a stuffed rabbit in overalls which my aunt had procured for me from a flea market and Black Dolly, a sparsely haired doll that my cousins used to kidnap and torture mercilessly. With no kids my age in the neighborhood to play with and a shortage of new and interesting toys to keep me busy, I was often left to my own devices for finding amusement about the house. Crayons saved my ass from maddening boredom many a time.

Aside from being neat drawing utensils, crayons make excellent substitute dolls for the financially challenged youngster. You can peel off their paper covering to mix and match outfits. The really used up and short ones can be the children while the taller ones serve well as moms and dads. Sometimes it is favorable to break the tips off and... voila! a newborn crayon baby. If you are especially deft with your hands, you can carve little faces in the wax with your fingernail.

Crayon families are cool because they are interestingly diverse. Everyone in a crayon family is a different color (kind of like my own family.) With a whole box, towns are born. Blue crayons become cops or mailmen(for mail, just rip off more bits of paper covering and you've got a bunch of letters, ready to be delivered.) You can chip off bits of the silver and gold for currency. Pinks can be ballerinas. Browns and greens become forest rangers. The white crayon becomes the friendly albino next door. Black crayons can be judges. And if you scrape off a bit of the white crayon and mush it on the black crayon's head you've got yourself a member of parliament.

I really spent hours doing this when I was little. I had whole functioning cities going on in my crayon box. I did it with rocks too; kind of like pet rocks only with a little more intellect.

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