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Annoying Success

Posted by Dirck on 10 July, 2012

There’s some words that don’t often go together.  There’s a story attached to them.

Rather a while ago, I got this pen:

As a reader of Lovecraft, I should expect anything in “marine green” to be brimming with wickedness.

It’s a pretty good example of the Sheaffer Junior from the time of the Balance line, with no serious discolouration of plastic nor loss of plating.  It is, as a Balance, rather old and when came to me in need of having its sac replaced.  Easy!  Simplicity itself!

…except when the section will not be withdrawn from the barrel.  I tried a number of things.  A nice long soak, submerged a little past the joint, which brought in a bonanza of semi-centenarian blue ink, but which did not free the section an iota.  Heating, as is appropriate and to the point of making one nervous about the practical implications of the phrase “flash point”.  Grip enhancers of a various sorts; rubber gloves, shelf liners, elastic bands.  The great trove of tools I mentioned earlier in the year included a pair of section pliers, but not joy in that direction, either.  Last weekend, though, as I had a few moments at hand and my heat source already engaged, I thought I’d give it yet another tug, and while it was a tug using both section pliers, it was a great deal less effort than any previous attempt has spent to no effect.

Yay, a pen ready for instant repair and return to duty!  Where, then, the annoyance?

In the spring, I got a pen from a client– a Lady Sheaffer, in rather good condition, and needing only a sac replacement.  Simplicity itself… except when the section will not be withdrawn from the barrel.  The same assortment of approaches was attempted, the same frustrations, along with emails to the client regretting at first the delay and finally the failure.  The pen ended up going to the same Ron Zorn I mentioned yesterday, postage paid by me as a penance for my incapacity.

The final victory this past weekend thus has a taint of failure.  I had very nearly decided to send my own pen to Main Street, being baffled by its persistent refusal.  I’m still at a loss to explain either the resistance or the relenting; there wasn’t anything on the section to indicate an adhesive and the barrel isn’t shrunken.  If I knew the why of it, I wouldn’t mind so much.  As it is, there is the sense of being made sport of by pens and Dame Fortune.  I might, after all, have found the same result with that client’s pen with only one more attempt.

…or five.  Or sixty.  I can’t really make it policy to suggest that I be allowed to continue working on a pen for up to twenty months, in the vague hope that entropy will join my cause in effecting a repair.  Annoying.  Greenie was in line to come out with me this week, but I found when the moment arrived that I was still somewhat angry with it, and left it to sit and think about what a sullen brute it’s been.  There’s also Dame Fortune’s evident glee in piling insults up, so using the pen immediately after repair would likely court its destruction in some unlikely, Final Destination-esque manner, and that would be more annoyance than I could face.

Today’s pen (probably marked by the last sentence): Sheaffer Valiant
Today’s ink: Herbin’s Lis de Thé

post scriptus: Utterly off topic, but Merry Tesla Day to one and all.  Try not to scorch anything important while celebrating.


2 Responses to “Annoying Success”

  1. […] pen (forgiven at last): Sheaffer Junior Today’s ink: Herbin’s Vert Empire Share […]

  2. […] TM become my biggest disappointment in a year that included pens mailed by careless Frenchmen and taunting repair jobs?  I like the filler, I like the performance of those big two-tone Sheaffer points, I like the size […]

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