Wednesday, June 10, 2009

FoodingPencil Boxes

So, someday, I am going to do a scientific study of male Korean students, their pencil boxes, and their sexuality.

Okay, probably I'm not going to do such a study, but I think someone needs to. In the meantime, I'm going to start posting these pencil boxes of theirs with these weird, weird messages on them. I see fifteen and sixteen year old boys with Hello Kitty pencil boxes. Or two teddy bears proclaiming their undying LUV for each other, or for me, or whoever happens to read it. Mickey Mouse I get, but a plush Panda-shaped one with a zipper down the gullet? A pair of unicorns shrouded in heart-shapes? Or smiley faces that--well, I'll stop describing them and start photographing them, the problem being explaining to a kid why I want to image his pencil box.

After all, it contains a perfectly ordinary set of implements: a ballpoint pen or two, 3 to 5 mechanical pencils, possibly without lead, a marker, a highlighter or two, two drawing pencils that are dulled to the point of unusability, a high-quality polymer gum eraser, a white-out tape roller, 17 Pokemon stickers and an all-but-empty 0.7 mm lead refill cartridge.

No, it's not the contents that intrigue/disturb me, it's the logos, designs and slogans. Of course, they are riddled with Konglish, which drew me particularly to this inaugural example, but they are also--well, fey. I wonder who selects them, but I have to assume Mommy and Daddy don't really give a rat's ass what logo their kids' pencil boxes sport ...

Anyway, first up is this one:

Fooding pencil box
In case you can't read it, it says: "FOODING.... /It's true love we're making/a sonething to lost for all time/(c) Dream Box"

A new tag in the label cloud to your right will be "pencil boxes", also filed under students.


MKM said...

Yeap. I teach adults (like more adult than *me*) and today I noticed one of the men carries a pencil case with teddy bears and hearts stitched on it.

I commented on this weird (I think) immature and eye-brow-raising feyness before but most Koreans really REALLY don't get why we (i.e., *I*) think it's laughable. Cute, in Korea, has no age limit and English, in Korea, is just meant as a decorative design and is not meant to be always read.

But I'm with ya! It's amusing.


Jo-Anna said...

I never realized that the ridiculous and cutsie pencil boxes my elementary school students have were also used my adults... I'm not sure what's the problem here... me who thinks it's weird, or they, who use them....