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When I was a kid….

Posted by Dirck on 23 February, 2010

I have convinced myself to stick with the experimental single-pen for the week (this is a bit of a lie, as I’ve a desk set I ever use at The Regular Job, but they’ve not counted before this so why start now?).

The last time I was a nonstylistic person was a very long time ago. Way back in grade school, in fact, a year or two before Star Wars was unleashed on the world, and it may even be three years before that; I can’t quite remember whether I started using it between the abominable teachers in my first school, or whether I was already in the grip of the second one.

I will say I had only one pen for about five years, although this is also a bit of obfuscation. It was one pen in the sense that I always replaced the one I invariably lost over the summer, not uncommonly over Christmas and Easter breaks, and sometimes in the course of a weekend, with the very same model, the noble and cheap Sheaffer cartridge pen. I was the same pen so far as the principles of mass production would allow, and I wasn’t sufficiently aware of the properties of pens to notice the subtle differences between them.

The funny thing is, I initially chose that pen because the vanes on the feed made me think it was a newly-minted pen of the exciting future. There were similar motifs in The Jetsons and Rocket Robin Hood, after all, and a kid who sees something for the first time tends to think of it as a new discovery. My interest in space exploration led me to embrace a century-old technology.

Part of the reason I was a one-penner was I didn’t have a clue that other fountain pens existed. When in high school I stumbled upon an Osmiroid, I snapped it up. By 1985 I had several pens, but despite the fact they came from more elevated settings than a hook at the local drug store, none quite matched the performance of the Sheaffer (some were exquisitely disappointing, in fact), and I kept coming back to it.

So, through reflection upon this experiment if not the direct experience of it, I learn a reason for someone clinging to one single pen– it failed to be a crummy as other pens they can afford. This isn’t exactly a positive message, but it’s a valid result.

Today’s ongoing pen: Lamy 2000
Today’s returning ink: Pelikan 4001 blue-black

One Response to “When I was a kid….”

  1. […] previously monkeyed around with the notion of what life with a limited number of pens is like; as I mentioned during the big experiment with that idea that there have been times in my life when “collection” didn’t […]

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