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Fastidious

Posted by Dirck on 29 May, 2009

I have a bit of ink on my fingers today. It comes from a foolish late-night effort at pen filling.

“Big deal,” says the observer. “Fountain pen people get ink on their fingers all the time.”

Well… no. I hardly ever do, outside of a repair context. This is one of the biggest sources of puzzlement for me in discussions about fountain pens– the objection to their habit of colouring the fingers of their users, and other collateral damage notes (spattered a page, dripped on the floor, need a new couch after filling a pen…).

It’s been some years since I was faced with this sort of thing, and that due to a low-grade and ill-used pen that routinely threw up into its cap. I was when I started writing this about to poo-poo the very concept, but memory of school days exists– in the place where I now have a small, soft callus on my right middle finger from decades of resting a pen against it at one time was a regular location of an ink stain.

So, why doesn’t this happen to me any more? I want to say that it’s the nigh-exclusively vintage pens that I currently use, but this reputation for messiness can be found as formed in the 1950s, the final hour of the ubiquitous fountain pen. It’s not like I use only high-end pens, either. I’ve been known to use a Wearever (not three weeks past!), and even vintage is not a pure armour since I also have in my regular use stable pens made in this very decade from Parker, Sheaffer and, at the low end, Hero.

Am I more careful than many of my fountain-pen using bretheren? I can’t believe I’m substantially less clumsy than the average.

The mystic in me wants to say it’s because I’m attuned to the nature of the pen, and they are not apt to mess up one who they feel is one of their own… but my inner mystic is a bit of a wet git some times, and I frequently ignore his contributions.

In the end, I’m not going to question the phemonenon. I use fountain pens. My fingers are finger-coloured. Good enough.

Today’s pen: Parker 45
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Lis de Thé

4 Responses to “Fastidious”

  1. […] by ravensmarch on March 18, 2010 I commented some time ago about my not at all understanding the frequent complaint against fountain pens being a source of […]

  2. […] by ravensmarch on 8 January, 2010 I was commenting in the earlier days of this enterprise that I am frequently baffled at the connection of fountain pens and ink-stained […]

  3. […] have some time past mentioned that I’m a little baffled by people who complain about the messiness of fountain […]

  4. […] a pen that cost under two dollars?  I am now made to regret once again my bragging about “oh, that never happens to me” as this seems a delayed exercise in the retribution that falls upon the boastful.  I am […]

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