Bag Lady and Shopping Siren have always loved Sharpies.

OK, we sort of enjoyed them.

OK, we knew they existed, even if we didn’t use them much or have particularly strong feelings about them. Like cheesecloth. Or colored toothpicks. Or checks.

But then Sharpie-gate happened last week and the markers were suddenly being talked about everywhere. By comedians. By news outlets. All over social media. (Except for the official Sharpie Twitter account, which hasn’t posted anything since March and seems to have ignored the controversy entirely. Either a good call on their part or a missed opportunity for about a billion dollars in free advertising. History will decide.)

All that got us thinking about Sharpies.

For the first time.


Maybe ever.

So we did what we do best when a new thing grabs out attention: We go shopping for it. Turns out, Sharpies? Not just a permanent black marker anymore. Now there are colors. And ultra fine tips. And pro versions built job-site tough. We don’t know what kind of war zone-like job site needs super tough markers unless it’s an actual war zone, but Sharpie makes them just in case.

And just in case you’re wondering which way we lean on Sharpie-gate, we definitely want to be clear. We are anti-hurricanes all the way.

•  Black Sharpies, fine point, Staples, $9.99

A 12-pack of your basic black marker — classic, refined and not about to go out of style anytime soon. So pretty much your favorite black dress in pen form.

• Metallic Sharpies, fine point, Staples, $8.29


A four-pack with all gold, all silver or two of each. Perfect for school projects (Where did summer go??), craft projects or labeling moving boxes so you look extra fancy in front of your new neighbors. Hi, Buffy!

• Oil paint-based Sharpies, fine point, Staples, $14.49

They’re markers! They’re paint! They’re definitely something you should keep out of the hands of small children! This five-pack comes in black, blue, yellow, white and red. They dry in minutes and, according to Sharpie, “resist water damage, fading and abrasion.” So we would like to reiterate: Don’t leave near your 2-year-old. Not unless you feel like repainting your wall. Or the dog.

• Sharpie Pro Mean Streak white, extra bold, OfficeMax, $7.79

A thick, white marker for dark surfaces. The package shows, for example, someone marking a tire. We assume it’s a parking monitor. And we assume you’re about to get a ticket. And we assume “mean streak” is maybe more literal than Sharpie meant it to be.

• Sharpie Pro King Size, Staples, $10.49


Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s first introduction to the idea that Sharpies come in different girths, having clearly never studied the Sharpie aisle closely before. This pack included two black, a red and a blue. Just don’t let the king stuff go to your head.

• Sharpie pens, fine point, OfficeMax, $13.79

Six-pack of black, blue, teal, red, orange and purple pens — not to be confused with markers — with a different cartoon character decorating each barrel. Need only black? There’s a four-pack of those for $8.99, each with a little cartoon penguin. Sharpie promises these pens won’t bleed through paper. So decorate your class notes/to-do lists with abandon.

• Sharpie Pro XL Chisel, OfficeMax, $3.99

Chunky barrel with a ribbed grip and lanyard loop, this marker is for professionals. Need to write on metal, wood, PVC or concrete? Look no further. Need to scrawl on something wet or oily? This is your marker. Want to intimidate the competition? We suggest honesty, skill and fair pricing, but this Sharpie will probably help, too.

• Sharpie Extreme, fine point, OfficeMax, $8.69


A 12-pack that’s “fade resistant in extreme conditions.” Write all over your chain saw! Your skidder! Your snow shovel! Write “mine” or just lots of hearts, follow your want.

Sharpie Color Burst, fine or ultra fine, at Staples for $16.99. All the colors you could ever want. As long as you want 24.

• Sharpie Color Burst, fine or ultra fine, Staples, $16.99

This 24-pack has so many colors, including “supersonic yellow,” “racey red” and “power pink,” all of which can be used to indicate a rainbow is imminent on a weather map. If you had to. For some reason. Just saying.

• Sharpie Smear Guard Highlighters, Staples, $15.49

Being decades removed from school, we don’t remember a hand/paper smear issue, yet rejoice anyway that school kids today are saved from that smeary fate! Eight school kids are saved with this particular pack, to be precise.

Best find: Sharpie Boldly Mark markers, fine point, Big Lots, $3.25


A colorful five-pack with yellow, green, teal, blue and purple markers, plus a plastic storage stand for all your marker storage-standing needs. A nice deal for nice colors. We wouldn’t recommend this if neon orange were involved. It knows why.

Think twice: Sharpie Magnum, Staples, $9.99

A two-pack of black Sharpies with such a GIGANTIC barrel, we don’t want to say users are overcompensating for something, but if the marker fits …

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are eager for the national conversation to turn to pig ears) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at and

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