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Archive for February 4th, 2013

Self-Gratification

Posted by Dirck on 4 February, 2013

I will admit that I take a certain amount of joy from inventing entry headings that will mislead and disappoint some of the seedier Google-users.  In this instance, it is entirely true without also being a sordid euphemism.   What follows is something that can be shared with children, although they’re apt to fidget and look longingly towards the door.

Some months ago, I set myself up a payroll deduction of sorts.  I hadn’t done the math properly, as it came to sufficient maturity within days of Christmas and the temptations to pay festive bills.  I inverted virtue slightly, and thwarted temptation with greed and selfishness to apply the gathered funds to that which it was intended.  Thus, a few weeks later, I get to gratify myself in this particular:

You can tell it’s classy; it’s wearing pin-stripes.

Isn’t that nice?  The stereotypic Pelikan fountain pen, fresh from the hatchery!  I bought myself an M600, on the grounds that it would take rather fewer months to scrape together the funds and that extra money probably wouldn’t have resulted in any serious improvement in performance and thus enjoyment.

I hope that’s the case, too, because now that I’ve had a weekend to mess around with this pen, I think if enjoyment is in any kind of linear progression with cost, with an M800 I’d waste away to nothing, pausing in my scribbling only to refill the pen and attending not at all to my own health or safety.  With my other expensive moderns, the Sheaffer Legacy and the Waterman Carène, I’ve gotten something of a sense of extra money and effort going into them, some manifestation of increased craftsmanship over less elevated models in the makers’ catalogues.  However, the difference between, let me say, the Carène and the Hémisphère is almost invisible when compared to that between this new treat and a Future.

I also find to my glee that I’m not at all jaded on the topic of really nice writing properties.  This is an astonishingly smooth pen, although it has rather less spring to it than my previous experience with a gold-pointed modern Pelikan.  I’m not alone in this estimation, as I let various (adult) family members try it, to universal gasps of astonishment.  At some point on Saturday, I actually found myself seriously wondering if I hadn’t stumbled across The Pen, a sudden and unexpected capstone to the pyramid of pens I’ve constructed over the years.  Might I cry out, in my pretentious way, “Nimis!  Satis!” and retire from pen purchasing forevermore?  I’ve joked about this at various points in the past, and I’m pretty sure I’ve even seriously mooted the possibility in some past entry I can’t search up in the time available, and I now find that it is a real possibility.  Like a philanderer suddenly finding a mate of such sterling qualities that fidelity suddenly becomes attractive, I have to entertain the possibility that I’m looking at the end of a road I thought went ever onward.

…but another 36 hours has begun to cure me of that notion.  Unlike that philanderer, my relationships have resulted in a harem rather than a series of distinct episodes.  I was just yesterday dallying with a Waterman 52 for its writing qualities.  There is a small unquenched spark of curiosity regarding Pilot’s new Metropolitan.  It is more of a breather, then, rather than a completion.  The retasking of the payroll deduction, from pen to a vacation in the misty future, doesn’t come with the abolition of my wish list.  But it will be a long time, I think, before I entertain the desire for a high(ish) end modern pen.  They’re apt to disappoint in comparison.

There is a down-side to this development, too.  I am now free to mount a page for Pelikan Souveräns on my site, but there’s going to be a certain amount of mental gymnastics required to get that page to fruition.  There’s a ton of variants, and I’m having a little trouble formatting it; eventually, I’ll win, since I got to sufficient grips with some of Sheaffer’s more diverse offspring, but it will be a while before I get there.

Today’s pen: Pelikan Souverän M600 (just scroll up)
Today’s ink: Pelikan 4001 blue-black

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