A Taste for Crime

9 Aug

This week’s Lollipop Tuesday was a learning experience.  And a taste of how simple and sweet crime can really be.

Happy Lollipop Tuesday, folks.

After reenacting the Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Virginia not long ago and then laying down some mad beats by rapping at a crowded open mic last week, I thought I’d switch things up a little this week and go graffiti.   Well, not graffiti so much as tag. I’d pick out a logo or icon, cut out a stencil, and go spray it in conspicuous places all over town.   After seeing it so long and so often, people would be inspired to search for the meaning of it on Google, which would inevitably lead them to my blog and shoot me into super blogger stardom.

Except not really.

In order for a Google search to be effective, you kind of have to be the most clicked-on result to show in, I don’t know, even the first hundred pages.  So that idea was a big, thoughtless bust.   But that’s all right, I thought – I’ll just write out “thejackieblog”.  Because when you search that on google, it’s one of the top results.  I’ll just tag that all over the place.  Which will then lead to people to my blog, and shoot me into super blogger stardom.

Except not really.

Because as it turns out, graffiti’s pretty illegal.  So I couldn’t just go make a stencil and grab a can of spray paint.  Though I would have loved to dress like a midnight ninja and market my blog in the wee hours of the morning, it was obviously a one-way street to arrest given that my blog has my name in it.   So I thought of something super genius: spray chalk.  Spray chalk! I’d spray it on stencils all around town and it would wash away with the first rain! It’s the ultimate balance between criminal genius and socially acceptable marketing tactics.

Except not really.

Because I didn’t actually buy spray chalk.  Instead, I decided to doom myself by not ordering it ahead of time online and instead resorting to a last-minute run to Dick’s Sporting Goods, which Yahoo Answers promised would have it.

Stupid Yahoo Answers.  You’re never right.

And since Dick’s didn’t have it (or Michael’s, or Lowe’s, or anyone within a 40 mile radius of my city) I decided to invest in powdered chalk, a spray bottle, and a dream.  A hopeless, wilting dream.

Surprisingly enough, I thought ahead enough to send a stencil cut-out to a print shop and get it put on some super heavy cardstock.  Then, I carefully cut out each any every little curve and tittle to “thejackieblog” with a little club over the “i” just for pizzazz.   After a few grueling moments with the Xacto knife, I started to doubt my entire plan.

What was I thinking? I can’t just throw powdered chalk in water and expect it to work.

And I was right: I couldn’t.  Because powdered chalk and water clogs even the mightiest spray bottle.  And unless I was headed back to Lowe’s to get myself a super awesome, super long, super-powered sprayer that people use to paint house siding, it was  unlikely I was going come out victorious.

I decided to resort to Google to find some homemade, trustworthy recipes for spray chalk and found that corn starch, hot water, and food coloring seems to do the trick.  But I was fresh out of food coloring and I’d just spent a large fraction of my paycheck on stencils, a spray bottle, and powdered chalk.  I know better than to ever attempt anything without consulting Google first.  Silly rabbit.

So I hardheadedly charged forward into the pit of despair with my 8 1/2 x 11 pathetic attempt at a tag.

Have you ever really looked at how big one single slab of a sidewalk is? Like, really looked? Because they’re big.  Really big.  Too big for an itty bitty 8 1/2 x 11 piece of cardstock to make a difference.  Even in landscape orientation.

Dave managed to dab powdered chalk on the stencil and get it to leave a light impression on the cement.  A small, barely-noticeable impression.  I, however, forged ahead with a sponge and a bowl of powdered chalk and water, intent on plastering my blog name at every major bus stop in the area.  But as I dabbed my sopping wet, maroon sponge onto the paper, it soaked through it entirely.  And when I picked my pathetic excuse for a stencil up off the sidewalk, it left one enormous blob of disgustingness in its place.  Which I then tried to turn into an enormous club (♣) so as to not leave, well, a hideous blob of disgustingness.  But I kept trying to round each of the little circles perfectly and you know when you cut a heart out of construction paper and you keep making it tinier and tinier because you’re trying to make it perfect?

It was like that but the opposite. I was left with an enormous maroon puddle that looked as if something had died there not long ago.  Like all my hopes and dreams, for example.

So this Lollipop Tuesday was a bust.  But I made pretty much every mistake I possibly could, so I can try it again and actually get spray chalk and a stencil on a piece of plastic that’s big enough to be seen after spraying.  I’ll be a tagging wiz in no time.  I’m determined to do this the crime-free way.

Though in the midst of my frustrations, I must admit a life of crime looked quite appealing. 

Proof of failure.


17 Responses to “A Taste for Crime”

  1. pegoleg August 9, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    When I read that you were taking up tagging, which is shorthand for defacing someone else’s property, my heart sank. “Don’t do it, Jackie!” I was shouting in my head. But then you mentioned wash-away-able chalk, and totally redeemed yourself.

    Good luck when you retry this!


    • Jackie August 10, 2011 at 12:23 am #

      Careful, Peg – your motherhood is showing 😛


      • pegoleg August 10, 2011 at 10:50 am #

        You don’t know how much. My 19-year-old and I got into this discussion when walking through New York, She admired the “artwork” covering a turn-of-the-century building, and I decried the vandalism.


  2. misswhiplash August 9, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Hiya Mrs Wonderwoman..
    Whatever are you going to get up to next? The mind boggles..
    My husband thought that I had gone ’round the Twist ( good play on words there) because i am sitting here laughing to myself.
    It was hilarious and I greatly enjoyed reading it, Thank you for a good laugh


    • Jackie August 10, 2011 at 12:23 am #

      lol Thanks, P! It’s always so lovely to hear from you.


  3. sanetes August 9, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    What a great idea!

    I’m sorry it didn’t work out as planned the first time. Of course, I want to know what will happen after your next, successful attempt. Good luck!


    • Jackie August 10, 2011 at 12:22 am #

      Thanks! I’m pretty determined. And I’m sure it would be fun if I wasn’t so stupid about it. Here’s to next time 🙂


  4. thesinglecell August 9, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    I’m picturing you painstakingly stenciling things all over greater PIttsburgh. You’d be arrested just by virtue of how long it would take you to do one. 🙂 But it’s a badass idea. Better luck next time! What about stickers? Like the oval white ones with the black lettering that you can order to say whatever you want? Then you can stick your blog everywhere, it’s not spray paint, and it’s slightly less illegal. PS I love that Dave gets involved.


    • Jackie August 10, 2011 at 12:22 am #

      I’ve thought about the stickers. And magnets too. I’m just super concerned with people getting upset about it. Not much of a criminal, I suppose 🙂


  5. egills August 10, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    How about trying washable fake snow…..

    Good luck


    • sanetes August 10, 2011 at 9:46 am #

      … good idea that made me think of hair colour spray


      • Jackie August 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

        oooh I wonder how that comes off concrete. perhaps a test patch is in order 🙂 thanks for the suggestion!


    • Jackie August 17, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

      oh! perhaps I’ll test that beside the colored hair spray patch as well and see what is the most easily washable with rain 🙂 Thanks for the suggestion!


      • sanetes August 18, 2011 at 5:55 am #

        Since you are spraying your blog address, you can sticky-post what kind of colour you used and removal instructions on your blog.

        Whatever you use will come off after a shower of rain or two, but if someone wants to get rid of it sooner and can read it’s just a water-based colour, he may want to use a bit of dish soap and wipe it off.


        • Jackie August 20, 2011 at 10:36 am #

          I like the idea here – I could even do washable paint then and just spray a little P.S. with it that says soap and water or something. Very cool. Thanks!


  6. Jules August 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    You are so busted.


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