Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pen Envy

You know what would be a really GREAT invention – a PEN that writes when you need it! Is this task too hard to perfect, or has there been some unspoken terrorist plot to eliminate all hand written and inked communication? Since I was young, I can hardly ever remember a typewriter or computer keyboard failing to perform the meager demands that I place upon them. But evil PENS, regardless of size, shape, creed, or religion – have so often failed me, that it is clear that I’m an UN-marked man.

Recently my wife received a brand new pen from an exercise trainer that had a spring for a barrel. I already knew I was in trouble when I picked this thing up because it moves around on the outside while somehow the real pen parts are supposed to remain stationary and functional inside. Oddly however, that was not the issue, as the pen seemed to engage and disengage perfectly. But it was the MORE CRITICAL pen ink that seemed sluggish to deliver, and then that ball felt ‘scratchy’ as I tried to write. I went to the kitchen catch-all drawer and picked out a nice click pen and gave it shot – NOTHING. Next, I pulled out a cheap stick pen and it WORKED … for about 10 seconds. This is clearly maddening, so how about a pencil?

I do not prefer to write in regular pencil and never have liked it. I remember in First Grade, the teacher brought around giant dirty brown paper with blue dashed lines. You might remember this horrible newsprint stuff with real unprocessed wood chunks and splinters still visible right on the paper’s surface. The teacher further frustrated me and gave me a black pencil about the thickness of a thumb. My Dad was an artist so I was well aware of what REAL pencils and paper were supposed to look and feel like, and this pencil was too portly and the paper was too flaccid. The teacher did not appreciate my giant blocky alphabet, and complained about my lack of precision in penmanship? Uh you think … you gave me a pencil that is the size of a horse’s leg lady?

Eventually by High School, I had better penmanship with mechanical pencils but I still preferred ink whenever possible. Back then the pens seemed to work better but not by much. I even tried to go retro and use those modernized fountain pens with an ink cartridge. Nobody called me a nerd because they didn’t have to – the giant ink blot stains on my pocket easily gave me away. So apparently I am doomed to wander the earth in search of the true holy grail - a breakthrough invention … the DECENT pen. Oh yeah, would it be too much to ask that this super pen write upside down too … and maybe right the write homonyms too? I’m not too picky, I just need this perfect pen to help me with my spelling, punctuation and instant Post Office abbreviations for States? NOW ALL THAT would certainly be a pen worthy of my NV!

1 comment:

  1. I cannot write worth diddly, pen or pencil. I am much too impatient. But oh, how I admire pretty handwriting. I suppose all of us has that "kitchen catch-all" drawer, don't we?