“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.”