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Off Its Leash

Posted by Dirck on 14 November, 2012

Sometimes, my imagination gets right out of hand.  Usually, this is late at night when I’m coming up from the basement; the lights go off, and the hind-brain whispers, low but very convincing, “Run.”  Just at the moment, however, it’s composed a terrible little daylight tableau for me, and because blogs need feeding, I’m going to share.

This phantasm was already gestating before I nipped over to the post office to mail away some pens purchased by a person in Australia.  For those who have yet to mail a parcel internationally, there is always a little form which wants filling out, telling the customs folks at receiving nation what’s inside.  They may or may not believe this, of course, but in theory it helps to speed things along.  The usual course of the transaction is I pay for the postage, then step to one side and fill in the form, using a slightly inelegant but entirely legible block print.  Today, though, the person behind the counter insisted upon filling it in for me.  Insisted.  And so instead of the CONTENTS box listing

3 old fountain pens

1 old mechanical pencil

1 pen refilling kit

in the dark ink of today’s pen and itemized for value, it tells HM Customs Australia this

REfll GiT

in rather light blue ballpoint with a simple lump valuation at the bottom.

My terrible imagining is not that the chaps at the customs shed Down Under are going to open the box, wreck things, and cause unnecessary delay.  I’m fairly certain that this will happen, especially since “pen refilling kit” is an empty cartridge and an insulin syringe with the needle blunted on a whetstone; an x-ray of the whole affair is bound to look suspicious.  No, it’s the writing of the clerk that gave the final nudge to the brooding egg of worry.

I have several times, here and on my site, and occasionally with supporting citations, described the current moment as a renaissance of fountain pens.  I have also, though, offered citations concerning the end of handwriting, usually to deny them but also to wring my hands over them, crying out, “Won’t someone think of the children?”  My phantasm, then, is this: what if the evident renaissance is a mere entrenchment of the few remaining very active practitioners of decent handwriting?  What if the practice is indeed on an inescapable exit chute, and the points suggesting the contrary are merely those who can still be bothered deciding (and generally, subconsciously) that the end will be elegant, decorative, and as multi-hued as we can manage?

Phantasm.  Were I currently in drink, I might even hang “gin-goblin” on it.  To be no more attended to than the idea that at this precise moment my son is about to be bitten by a radioactive spider and gain the power of eight eyes and eating his parents.  But, like so many extravagant productions of the imagination, it will not roll up banners and go away when bidden.  Very distracting.  So much so, in fact, I probably won’t see the webby snare waiting for me at home.

Today’s pen, used with care: Lamy 2000
Today’s ink, legibly arranged: Diamine Evergreen


7 Responses to “Off Its Leash”

  1. Random comment not really pertaining to the post though I enjoyed the post. Saw this thought of you and some of my other pen pals 🙂 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVFVaWCV1TE&feature=g-u-u

  2. And because this seems to be the place for unrelated links, I give you this:


    • The routine to uninstall is even worse…

      …and another ex post facto reading of a link that applies to the next day’s entry. One begins to think Jung had it all sorted out.

  3. […] special thanks appended to she from whom I recycle the link.  Also, if you’re interested, here’s the site of she whom you just (one assumes) […]

  4. […] the past on this very enterprise, I’ve had little contemplations of the future of the skill, sometimes dark, sometimes tinted with optimism.  Recently I ran across another article on which repeats the […]

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