June 23

The End of an Era…Ser. Why one Professor Wants to Ban them from Schools

Although it would have been a career-topping interview for me, someone else sat down with scientist and professor Guy Claxton to tackle the subject of erasers and their role in the lives of students.

I know what you’re thinking: “What new insight into the rubber industry could anyone possibly have at this point? It’s 2015.” Certainly, I once shared your same sentiment about eraser manufacturing being probably the most boring career in the world. But now, I have been informed, the job is up there with voodoo doll marketing and Satanic throat singing; according to Claxton, erasers are “an instrument of the devil.” Why? Well, the deceitful little demons make it seem like nobody makes mistakes, and that everyone gets it right the first time. Frankly, rubber is a gateway material to the more hard-core synthetic substances that make it seem as if we’ve got our lives together, like the ones used in plastic surgery, polyester wigs, and prosthetic legs.

If Claxton wanted to talk about a product that reflects the impossible standards set on children in our society, I feel perhaps Barbie or Vogue magazine would have been a more “straight and narrow” approach, but I commend the effort.


I sure will miss those little guys, though. But then, it was a simpler time. A time of not having to be paranoid of making the tiniest mistake, because you knew that your rubber buddy would be there to bail you out. A time of running out of paper, and sacrificing your doodles and musings to fit another chapter of notes. A time of raw exploration, of trying out words to see how they fit on the page, all the while knowing that you were not condemned to them. A time of filling in a bubble on a multiple choice exam as a placeholder, with the intention of going back to evaluate its merit more critically.

To celebrate 245 years of service, I have composed the following ode:

Office Max, Pentel, Staedtler, too

Silver-sleev’d aback my #2

I will never forget you


You never judged, for what I’d write

You don’t see colour; pink or white

You make Satan laugh with delight


It’s time to go, I am afraid

They’re on to your hellish crusade

We’ll keep the legacy you made

oh, eraser


I look forward to the day Guy Claxton’s toddler scribbles all over his white walls with a #2 pencil; perhaps, then, I will finally meet up with him at Staples, in the eraser section.

Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.

Posted June 23, 2015 by Avery in category "Uncategorized


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