Crayon Eaters – The Marine Joke Got Real With Edible Crayons

Faye Higbee
crayon eaters

The joke that Marines are “crayon eaters” is no longer a joke after a Marine veteran invented edible crayons. But the crayons had to be able to draw…and with the help of a pastry chef, they do!

Marine veteran Frank Manteau is a carpenter by trade, so sticking a drawing item in his mouth is, well, normal.

While finishing up a work project, Marine-veteran-turned-carpenter Frank Manteau decided to employ the use of a popular piece of Marine-issued gear: crayons. Switching from one color to another, he absentmindedly stuck one waxy stick in his mouth for safe keeping and continued scribbling. Before he knew it, he was doing what Marines do best: nomming on crayons.

When he finally realized the stereotype he was fulfilling, his next thought was, “Is there something to this?”…

…“I know I’ve eaten crayons before when I was a kid, and now Marines are being called crayon eaters,” Manteau told Military Times, “I started researching and figured out that if we’re going to make them truly edible, they’ve got to be made out of chocolate.”

Military Times

Manteau had one team member, Cassandra Gordon, at the shop where he worked who is a pastry chef. So they started working on his concept of edible crayons. “Crayons Ready To Eat” (aka “CREs”) was born and launched in 2018. They come packaged in a bag that resembles an MRE, and the crayons are made out of vanilla flavored chocolate.

Of course they didn’t stop at just the Marine Corps stereotype – they named a few of their crayons for other branches: “Space cadet White, Squid Blue, Flyboy Yellow, Jarhead Red, Dawg Face Green, and Puddle Pirate Orange.”

Crayon eaters

“Crayon eaters” is a slightly derogatory nickname, and mostly a form of (sometimes) friendly banter between branches of the service. The name assumes incorrectly that Marines are so dumb they’ll eat crayons like a 2 year old left alone with a pack of the waxy, colored sticks.

There’s little doubt among those who have worn the uniform that the military as a whole has a culture of ball-busting. I don’t know a Marine who would take one iota of offense from being called a “crayon eater.” 

Connecting Vets,

Surviving the Marine Corps is not for the faint of heart, so as usual, the reference is not correct. They don’t have a storied history and the name “The Few, The Proud” for nothin’.


Featured photo: Via Frank Manteau in The Military Times

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