Aside #1: I've never seen "umber" used as a color outside crayon-speak.
As any kid that has ever owned a single crayon will tell you, when one of these wax sticks was worn down to a useless nub, it was a sad day for all involved. Even worse, when one broke into two equally useless pieces, the resulting anger unleashed from the single affected child could be dangerous.
Or, if you were like me, you'd simply throw away the pieces and get on with your life. Such was the case, one afternoon during the second grade. I'd snapped my "basic" green crayon in half while coloring something with the sort of feverish back-and-forth motion that is usually reserved for the most violent of those among us males who masturbate regularly. Not wanting to walk all the way to the trash can in the kitchen from my boy-cave located in the far back of our house at the time, I opted to throw the bits away in the bin located in the bathroom next to my room instead.
Aside #2: When I was a kid, I begged my parents to let me have a trash can in my bedroom, something they didn't give me until I was well into my teens.
I should have never seen that crayon again. But I did, the next day after I'd come home from school. Both pieces were sitting on the dining room table in front of my mother, who was sitting in her usual dinner-time seat, waiting for me. Immediately, she launched into what I now assume was a rehearsed speech about how she had been cleaning the bathroom earlier and had found the crayon pieces in the trash. Upon further inspection, she said, it appeared that the crayon had been bitten by a pair of human teeth, assumedly mine.
Now, I feel like I need to mention my age again at this point. I was in the second grade, around the age of eight or nine. I started reading when I was three or four. At the risk of sounding slightly egotistical, I was by no means a dumb kid. Sure, I'd done dumb things just like any other child, but I was way, way beyond the point of eating crayons. Wax, to me, just didn't seem appetizing.
Which is precisely why I was baffled when faced with this accusation. Not knowing how to handle being falsely accused at such a young age, I immediately started bawling and trying to string together a sentence to form a defense without sobbing in-between words. Taking my crying as a sign of admittance, my mother demanded that I go to my room and told me that we would discuss my punishment when my stepdad came home from work a few hours later. I don't know what happened inside of my head at that exact moment, but tears stopped flowing and the gears in my head started turning. I knew that once the both of them had rallied against me, all hope was lost, and that I would be labeled a "crayon eater" forever. So I summoned every bit of courage I had at the time, and outright denied having nibbled on that crayon or any other crayon before, and that the one in question had just broken in two.
Naturally, my mother was having none of this. Having been given the entire day to form this batshit crazy scenario in her head, she was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had in fact taken a bite, her argument driven home by the fact that the crayons' edges didn't match up as if from a break.
Aside #3: I don't know if I colored with one of the broken halves before throwing it away, or if she'd tampered with them, but they really didn't match up. I'm still not sure why.
Then she brought something up that must have seemed like a trump card in her mind. A few days previous, I'd gone to the restroom and stood up to see that my feces was a dark green. Freaking out, just as any paranoid child would, I immediately ran to tell my mother about this revelation, dragging her by the arm into the bathroom to show her what had just come out of me. Being assured that "sometimes it happens," I thought nothing more of it.
Aside #4: Over a dozen websites tell me that this is a side-effect of either eating too much green food or an iron overdose. Being a kid that survived off of artificially colored crap and chicken nuggets, it very well could have been either.
But she did. Seeing my green poop as the final piece of the puzzle in her case against me, she would hear none of my arguments in defense of my maturity level. Logic didn't even sway her, refusing to admit that it was odd that I'd tell her about my bowel movements when I should have known the cause outright.
This was the stalemate we were in until my stepdad arrived. Taking her side just as any good husband would, all hope seemed lost. But some small part of me knew that an injustice had happened, and continued to refuse to admit that I'd done anything that they were accusing me of. Seeing this as insubordination and an outright lie, I was told that I would have to sit on the couch in our family room, doing absolutely nothing, until I admitted that I was lying and that I had in fact eaten the crayon.
I sat there for three weeks. Every day after I came home from school I'd make a beeline straight towards the couch and sit there until it was time to eat dinner, after which I'd go straight from the table to bed. There was no way I was ever going to own up to something I hadn't done.
And I never did. Eventually, my couch-sitting sentence was reduced to a few hours a day, followed by an hour, followed by nothing at all. My parents had given up on trying to get their version of the truth out of me, and we didn't really speak about it much afterwards. They never admitted their folly, and I never again tried to correct them. It became an anecdote lost in the sands of time.
Years later, after all of the wounds from this event had healed, the three of us were out to eat with my younger brother at a generic chain restaurant that gives children a packet of crayons to every child that walks in the door. Of course, my brother received one, along with whatever coloring placemat they were offering that month. Opening the crayons, my stepdad removed the green one and offered it to me.
"Appetizer?" he asked, grinning smugly.