More of my Old Stuff: The Giant Eraser!

In another box of junk I dug out of my mother’s basement, I found this long-lost gem:


When I was in grade school in the 70’s and early 80’s, funky erasers were the big deal. They came in all shapes, sizes and colors and many doubled as toys; I had monsters and dinosaurs and dogs and safari animals, plus light bulbs,dice, cookies and hamburgers in my collection. But this one was the topper. I believe it was a Christmas stocking inclusion. There is a catalog called Walter Drake that,looking at it now, seems nowhere near as magical; to me it seems like the kind of catalog little old ladies order from, filled with stove burner covers and plastic garden fencing and fluffy toilet seat covers. However, as a kid, this catalog in its paper form was almost like a mini Sears Wish Book; see, it had about ten to fifteen pages in the middle of the catalog that were the 88-cent pages. Everything on those pages was 88 cents, and most of them were highly desirable things that kids would like; hence, those pages were perfect tools from which Grandmother could order my Christmas stocking goodies. She would usually tell me to pick out eight to ten items I liked(you had to order a minimum of 8 items to get them at 88 cents), and more often than not these wondrous items would show up at Christmas. Such items included a gorilla head pencil sharpener, a walking & sparking Godzilla-esque dinosaur windup, a plastic caterpillar pencil holder, a brown hound dog shaped more or less like a squirt gun that squeaked loudly when you pulled the trigger, a little Monchichi-like toy called Chibunkey, and a colored pencil with about 15 tiny interchangeable leads. It was glorious!
If I wanted a new giant eraser today it is easy to find one; they are still readily available,especially on Amazon. I am almost tempted to get one as my old giant eraser is now as hard as a brick. I think it might snap in half if I put any stress on it. What is so curious is how MUCH I doodled all over it. The front shows a bunch of teeny cartoon stick figures working to put up a sign reading “For BIG Mistakes”. An eyeball makes the dot of the “i”, and at the very far left, on the slanted end of the eraser, I drew a pair of headlights and a grille.


The back is laden with various threats about stealing my stuff and punishments that will be dealt out. I had several very treasured items stolen from me in grade school, including a stuffed toy my grandmother had made for me that I had included as part of a school project(the thief was never caught). I suppose that’s what I get for bringing important items to school, but who knew a bunch of seventh graders in such a close, structured environment were fine with and  could get away with stealing so much stuff. I think I had a few friends sign my eraser too, writing various eighties sayings in handwriting that is not mine on the far right. Notice the two phone numbers–by then I was gabbing on the phone frequently with friends in the evening so my parents opted for getting a “children’s telephone” that you could actually look up in the phone book. 😀


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