Non-Toxic Assets

“Dad, what does ‘toxic’ mean?”  Daniel and I were sitting in the car, waiting for Meka to come out of the store.  I had the news tuned in, but I hadn’t really been listening.  I wasn’t sure which definition of ‘toxic’ he meant.  He leaned forward and showed me a box of off-brand crayons Grandma got him for Easter.  NON-TOXIC was printed in bold green letters at the bottom.

“That means they’re not poisonous,” I said.  Daniel thought about that for a moment.

“Are Crayola ones poisonous?” he asked.  I shook my head.

“I’m pretty sure Crayola crayons are non-toxic as well,” I replied.  “I remember reading that.”  Daniel thought another moment.

“So, which crayons are poisonous?” he asked finally.  Now it was my turn to think.

“I don’t know, Daniel,” I said.  “I don’t think poisonous crayons would advertise the fact they’re toxic like non-poisonous crayons advertise they’re non-toxic.”  I looked in the mirror and saw Daniel nodding to himself, processing this information.

“Then you probably shouldn’t eat crayons,” he said.  “Just to be on the safe side.”


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