Chelsea Schreiber

Funism chalk bandit’s phrases erased in Hermosa Beach

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Photo submitted by @kpfunism

Photo submitted by @kpfunism

An anonymous local man, nicknamed “Mr. Sad Backpack” or #windexturd by Funism Instagram followers, has been spotted erasing the feel-good chalk messages written around town by local chalk bandit K.P. with Windex and a sponge.

“Mr Sad Backpack is destroying funism this very minute. Says he is gonna take me to city hall. Hope I may have some friends to stand behind me. Someone get down there with chalk and replace it as he goes!” K.P wrote along with a photograph of the man erasing one of her more recent chalk phrases, “The world is but a canvas to our imagination,” on her Instagram account.

Funism follower @jademoth recently posted a photograph of the man along with the comment, “If you see this man, give him a HUG tell him you LOVE FUNISM and that it cheers you up to see it in the Strand. #itsonlychalk.”

Strand homeowner Rob Kole said he watched the man wash off a phrase with a plethora of cleaning products last Sunday.

“I told him I thought it was a mistake that he was washing it off,” Kole said. “He thinks he’s doing some real righteous, but I just think he’s misguided. I will say in his defense though that he’s trying to do good.”

46-year-old K.P., who asked the Easy Reader to withhold her identity, has been painting downtown Hermosa Beach and the Strand with chalk art featuring whimsical sayings and her trade mark “heart hug” character prolifically for the past year, but has been drawing with chalk since she was a child.

Many local shops like Wicked + and Project Taco encourage her colorful artwork.

“Thank you @kpfunism for brightening up the front of our store with your fun and inspirational art,” the official Project Taco Instagram account said in a post.

Others call her chalk musings a “gateway to graffiti,” K.P. said.

K.P. added that she’s trying to make people smile with her sayings, not angry.

“As long as it’s not permanent, kids write on the sidewalk and places that are viewable by the public all the time,” said a Hermosa Beach police officer who wished to remain anonymous. “It gets washed away by the rain or moisture and we haven’t had any reports like that that I know of. There’s no crime against her writing it and no crime against him taking it off.”ER