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Smelly Pencils: The Kindergarten Crack


Have you ever heard of Smencils?  Okay, I am admittedly new to the parenting of an elementary kid, so when Silly Monkey told me about the “Smelly Pencils” my first thought was, “Oh please lord, do not let it be smelly in the way I am afraid it is smelly”, which quickly led to, “Oh, please say you did not touch it!”.  Turns out ‘smelly pencils’ are some kind of fundraising junk that are exactly what they sound like; pencils that smell like stuff.  Apples, cinnamon, grape, fruit punch… you get the idea.  Why?  Who the hell knows, but the kids go crazy over them.  Now, if I walked into a room full of kindergarteners and saw them viciously sniffing away at the shafts of their pencils I would think someone had given them the special kool aid.  But I guess this is a normal sight these days.

So of course Silly Monkey mentions the smelly pencils on our walk home from school yesterday, with the warning that tomorrow (today) is the last day he can get one, and he reeeeeeaaaallllyyy wants to get one.  Fine.  Smelly pencil.  Whatever.  BUT REMIND ME BEFORE SCHOOL so I can give you some money.  Stupid mommy, why the hell didn’t I put a damn dollar in his backpack that very instant?  Stupid, stupid, stupid. 

Come the dawn, as Mr. Martini is scrambling to get our little monkey in to class before the tardy bell, Monkey exclaims something about smelly pencils to which my husband’s response is, “What the hell is that?  Get moving; you’re going to be late.” Melt down ensues, followed by a quiet yet stern “shut the yapper” or something to that effect.  Mr. Martini gets home 10 minutes before I have to leave to take this ri-god-damn-diculous earlyglucose test I told you about last week, and exasperatedly tells me the story of Silly Monkey’s major malfunction re: smelly pencils, and how he (Mr. Martini) had no idea, doesn’t carry cash, and really doesn’t know what the hell all the commotion is all about but feels terrible his little boy feels like daddy failed him by not scoring the smelly pencils.  

 So I call the school.  I actually call in an attempt to see if I can get some on reserve.  And of course, no one is there to take my call.  So I search the big box stores online to see if maybe I can drive across town to buy one of these crack pencils my son needs like a junkie needs a fix.  “Why don’t you just go to the school?” 5 minutes before my appt.  Hell yeah, I’ll just go to the school (where 3 staff members are communing in the office, while the phone rings off the hook with frantic parents on the other end wondering what the poop is up with the smelly pencil supply, and can they get one).  I score the damn pencils (grape and crack-scented I think), and I am told I am the mother of the year for coming down just for smelly pencils.  Little do they know, I would have driven 50 miles to get those damn crack shafts if I had to.  My little Monkey wanted a smelly pencil, and damnit, I forgot to give him a dollar.  So there.  Mommy saves the day.  And I even made it in time for this piece-o-crap-waste-of-time test, where at least I got to knock out this story for y’all.  So in the immortal words of Ice Cube, “Today was a good day”.  


  1. Seems like only yesterday it was My Little Pony that caused a breast-heaving, sniffle-nosed sob-studded fit...

  2. Ahh yes.. I can still smell them :)

  3. Oh the dreaded smencils. In a world where we have to be careful how much perfume or deodorant we wear because of all the issues people have with smells and allergies, how these awful things made it into schools is beyond me. We can't eat peanut butter sandwiches in the cafeteria but we can have these chemical filled pencils in our classrooms??? I am extremely smell sensitive and I have banned these from my classroom. In our school, we dont' sell smencils, but sometimes they bring them in from their siblings' fundraisers. Seriously, these are the worst smelling things, nothing but chemicals. And a dollar for a pencil???? I can't get kids to buy a 10 pack of pencils for $1. Normal, yellow pencils. This company should be ashamed of themselves for so many reasons. How many fights have happened on the playground over who stole whose smencil? If you dont' have kids, you'd be amazed what they will fight over!

  4. Ha ha ha! I think you said it perfectly, "the dreaded smencil". And truly, given the amount of school supplies I know our teachers have to pay for out of their own pockets because parents either don't or can't pitch-in with supply drives, it is kind of a smack in the face. One of the two stupid smencils I got my hands on has been sitting on our counter since the day Silly Monkey was presented with it. Maybe I'll donate it to the class "treasure chest" so another kid can have the opportunity to get funky with his smencil.


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