DISCLAIMER: DO NOT CONSUME MARKERS. PLEASE CONSULT A DOCTOR IF YOU WERE TO TRY THIS AT HOME. IF YOU WERE TO DO THIS, MAKE SURE THE MARKERS TRIED ARE CERTIFIED AS NON-TOXIC. STARBOARD IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS. THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN IN JEST, DO NOT TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY OR REPLICATE THIS OBSERVATIONAL STUDY.
What Marker Tastes the Best
By Sajni Shah and Natalie Weker
Kent Place Students and Faculty, I’m sure many of you have at least glanced at, maybe even flipped through the Winter 2021 Ballast Issue. And if you have, you might have noticed one, strange yet riveting article about leaves, “What Leaf on the Kent Place Campus Tastes the Best” (Yes, leaves). While it was an amazing article written by my dear friend Jocelyn Arneo, it has many flaws. To start us off, one of the leaves was toxic. I know, I know, it’s terrible. First of all, asking someone to taste a leaf is horrible. But to unknowingly give them a toxic leaf! Well, that’s unthinkable. Don’t you worry Kent Place Students. That is why Starboard was created. We are here to give you interesting content that surpasses Ballast’s tomfoolery. So, it is with great pleasure and not so great grammar, that we present you with this masterpiece: “What Marker Tastes the Best”. And because Starboard cares about the student body, I would like to add a slight disclaimer here that the actions of these students do not reflect the values Kent Place School instills in their students. Further, it is recommended that no other students try this in the future, even if the markers are non-toxic.
When conducting this experiment, I must admit that it was late at night, and our judgment may have been slightly clouded by the exhaustion that comes with studying for history exams. However, one thing is certain: prior to tasting any markers, participants in this experiment were advised to first check to see whether or not their markers were non-toxic. If they were not, participants were strongly advised against tasting their markers and providing us with the results, but the choice was theirs. In fact, we did not pressure anyone into participating in this experiment of the century. We merely asked them over a FaceTime call and accepted their responses. Each participant only tasted their own markers (all of which ended up being non toxic–either for small children or scientifically minded high schoolers) to ensure that they knew everything that was going inside their body. On top of this, the participants were asked solely to lick the markers to prevent any misunderstandings from occurring.
Now I know, you’d rather not hear me going on about how amazing this article is going to be. I know you want to see for yourself, so now, let me get into the actual information. Surprisingly, taste differed more across color than brand. The first brand of markers that we tasted was the BIC Brite Liner Highlighters. Participant A in this experiment decided to rank these markers from least to most flavorful depending on the marker’s color. Participant A’s rankings are as follows:
The next marker that was tasted was the traditional, ol’ reliable Sharpie highlighter. Participant B, who also participated in Jocelyn’s leaf study, requested a shoutout in this article. Kailer Grayson Markley was actually the one who ingested the toxic leaf, and lucky for him, Sharpie highlighters are AP-certified non-toxic. According to our very reliable source, the taste of Sharpie highlighters resembles that of the stalky, green, crunchy vegetable we know as celery. To our dismay, the highlighter in question was yellow and did not match the physical description of its gustatory counterpart. Taste-wise, the Sharpie also resembles another earthy, green substance Participant B knows very well: leaves. In fact, Participant B stated that the taste of our beloved Sharpie highlighter actually plagued his poor brain with resurfaced memories of Jocelyn Arneo’s inhumane experiment. I know, this is extremely tragic, but we must not dwell on this otherwise we would never reach the end of this article. Even now as I am writing this, I have already made great progress on the second page of this google doc. Instead, I would like to ask you that if you ever see Participant B, Kai Markley, in the hallway, please offer him your condolences about the tragic aftereffects of the leaf experiment.
Anyways, it’s time to move on from that to our regular scheduled content, so now we must get back to actually talking about markers. Participant B was not discouraged from the poor results from the first marker tasting, and continued to try more markers, this time the Dry Erase variety. Participant B tested out the tastes of the Quartet Dry Erase Markers, collecting qualitative data instead of ranking them on a scale. Unlike Jocelyn Arneo’s experiment, we decided not to incorporate the scale because that is something that can widely vary between people. Now I believe it is time to present our findings about this marker brand. First off, we have the yellow marker. Participant B’s reactions to this included “very bitter” and “ow” so I guess we know how he feels about this. However, it seems his taste buds got a break with the green marker, to which his response was “more taste, less bitter!”. The next tasted marker received a more inconclusive response from Participant B: “tastes like smoke kinda? Idk”. Judging from his response, the red dry erase marker does not seem bad per say, but it also does not reflect the slight excitement caused by the green marker. And last, and also probably least, we have the purple mark
er. After tasting this marker, Participant B’s reaction was “ewwww
wwwww” with 9 w’s. Participant B’s reaction seems pretty clear, but we’ll still leave it to the readers to interpret.
Moving on from those strange dry erase markers, we reach the final marker that we tested: the classic Expo marker. All 4 of our participants took part in this part of the experiment because we wanted to test as many colors as possible, and no one was able to test all colors. The first marker we tasted was the red Expo Marker. Participant A described this taste as “pretty sweet” and it seems that the rest of the participants were in agreement. In fact, Participant B said it was “oddly okay” and that it “tastes like how Sharpies smell, which for most people, is good. Going along with this, Participant C (another victim of the leaf experiment) said that it was “tingly, but sweet”. All in all, it seems like the red Expo marker did not have a bad taste at all. Just know that despite what I am saying, do not use this article as an excuse to go around licking things. Next, Participant A tasted the blue Expo marker. Blue, the color of the sky, of water. Tranquil, serene, happy, yet sad. That pretty much sums up the taste of the marker as well. Participant A said it was “sweet with a little spice and a bit tingly”. Sadly, no other participants got to test out the masterpiece one would call the blue Expo marker. The next marker is the plain, everyone has it, black Expo marker. For this marker, Participants A, B, and C stated that its taste was bitter. Is bitter good or bad? Who knows, that’s up to you to see… if you accept the challenge. Actually, don’t use these participants as examples and do not, I repeat, do not follow them in their endeavors. Well, getting back on topic, Participant B said that it was “kinda burny”, and Participant A also remarked that the black Expo marker was “similar to a Sharpie”. Did Participant A mean it was similar to a Sharpie’s taste or smell? If it was the taste, then I would say I am offended that the results of that experiment were not shared with me. Anyways, it’s time to move on to the last marker, the green Expo. For this marker, we will be looking at Participant D’s evaluation of it. I know, you may be wondering who Participant D is and why there are no other evaluations by Participant D. Well the truth is this: Participant D suffers from something I like to call a lack of markers. While conducting this experiment, Participant D had no accessible markers except for this one. However, let’s see if the quality of the evaluation makes up for the lack of them. According to Participant D, the green Expo marker was “bitter, chalky” and had a “lingering textured taste like dry sand or salt sticking to skin”. Take that as you will, it is not my job to provide interpretations of the data. I just have to collect and share the information. I think. I was never really given a job description. Or a job.
And now, I guess I have come to the end of my article. It’s tragic I know, but I hope you have learned a lot because this article was purely to spread my love for learning. Now, it would be hard to rank all the markers that were tasted, since not everyone was able to try every marker. But based on all of the qualitative information I have collected, I would like to say that the Sharpie highlighter wins the competition that I never knew existed. So now, I would like to say farewell and thank you for reading this article. Please have a good next 24 hours. I will now be starting a permanent commercial break. Goodbye.