Monday, August 16, 2010

"The pen is mightier than the...Damn, I'm out of ink"

I spent 7 years of my life working in an office supply store, and I consider myself to be a bit of a "Pen Snob". A Pen Snob is someone who not only has a strong preference for a certain type, style, size of pen...but is also highly disgusted when he has to use anything other than HIS pen.

During my 31 years on this planet, I have determined that traditional "ink" is much better than the newly popular "gel" pens. The gel smears and, to me, writing with them feels unnatural. Give me a good old-fashioned ball-point ink pen any day over a fancy smooth stick gel glide pen. I am particularly fond of Zebra Brand pens, as they are not only ball-point ink, but they are ridiculously reliable and very hard to break. I've often thought that I would get an expensive Cross pen one day, but Cross doesn't make a "click" model, which happens to be yet another crtieria that my pen snobbery requires.

Why am I telling you this?

Since my tastes cater to strong, reliable pens, and the fact that I worked in an office supply store for so long, I've used my share of pens. In fact, I have probably written with thousands of pens in my life. But today, I experienced a first. My pen ran out of ink...while I was writing something. It wasn't just clogged either. I confirmed that I had truly used all of the ink.

It surprised the hell out of me. It actually RAN OUT of ink. I used it all. It's gone. And I was the ONLY one who used this pen. It's not like this pen was publicly available, it was just me. I used this pen every day to jot down the most random of notes. Sometimes it was a name, or a number; other times, it was a to-do or a reminder. It has been the only pen I have used every day at my desk, and now it's empty.

You may be thinking, "Who cares? We've all gone through plenty of pens." Right, but how many of them did YOU, and only YOU, use up completely? I think back at the thousands of pens that I have used throughout my life, and I cannot think of a single one which I emptied, all by myself, from beginning to end. Sure, there have been pens that have run out of ink, but they have always been someone else's pen and I just inherited it or found it in a drawer. I'm talking about a pen that I bought, and used, without anyone else using it. I am solely responsible for "consuming" this product in its entirety. I have pens at home that I have owned for years, and have never gotten even close to using them up.

This is profound in my opinion. It has taken me this long to fully understand how amazing the function of writing can be. Imagine the amount of resources that were spent just to bring the paper, the pen, and its precious ink, all to my desk. Thousands of people, and tons of complex machinery have come together to create the miracle that I am looking at on my desk right now.

Oh, and the last thing I wrote with my pen...

The word "poop".

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