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Anyone Got Tweezers?

Posted by Dirck on 14 May, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I was listing to the non-visual version of FP Television and heard a remarkable thing.  It has become a splinter in my imagination, and I’m having trouble dislodging it, even as it festers.

One of the hosts noted that Eric, the one who doesn’t have to trudge through snow in the winter, is engaged in selling an uncommon number of his pens.  After a bit of chasing around, he declared that he’s decided to knock down the numbers of his collection.

To twelve.


I’ve 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 exist, and reference to “my pens” could be limited to three– the cheap one, the good one, and the Osmiroid which didn’t really get used that much.  However, as also came up during that week of constraint, I’ve since then come to enjoy a very broad range of pens.  Dropping back to a field of twelve is hard to conceive of.  Even… shall I say thirty as a nice arbitrary number… would leave me hard pressed to hang onto a sufficiency of true gems and still retain some lesser pens that have meaning beyond their value (like the Parson’s Essential, which is about the most valuable pen in the house… to me).

But when I look at some of the stuff Eric had up for sale… well, I understand dropping away some duplicates, but there’s some astonishing treats for the senses in that group.  I know from nice things he’s said about reasonable pens that he’s not entirely jaded, but if some of that stuff is in the “dump” pile, what radiant glories must the “keep” heap offer?  That rhetorical question is one I use to keep from coming at the matter from a different angle, of course, because the actual splinter is this; if he can do this in the face of those particular losses, how am I so weak in my clinging to lesser pens?

Have I said it before?  I’ve got a lot of pens.  A figurative ton of ’em (literally, still well under a hundredweight).  Some don’t get used.  Currently up for sale… five.  One of which I slightly regret, although with the current state of the household finances I really should be striving to sell off a bunch of surplus.  One can’t eat pens, and while one can heat a house with them, it’s inefficient and wasteful.

“Heating season’s over anyway,” whispers a voice in my left ear.  That’s not really the issue.  In point of fact, the main reason I’m not flogging more pens is that I forget to do the necessary photography and keyboard poking when I’ve got some free time, because other things are clamoring for my time.  There is a secondary issue in that a lot of the pens I’ve got I have because they were in horrible shape when I got them, and while I’ve restored them to function they’re not collector-grade in the looks department, and I hesistate to put them out into the world; we all know that even if one says in a listing “Item sold as is, note missing thrust-coupler and large scratch on the whey-gate” there’s plenty of people that will start to grouse about being ripped off.  After my little Russian interlude, I find I hesitate to deal with such things.

I’m sure eventually the splinter will work its way clear.  It’s just a matter of bearing down firmly and ignoring the dickens out of it.  I’ll worry about possible infection later.

Today’s pen: Sheaffer Valiant
Today’s ink: Diamine Evergreen


4 Responses to “Anyone Got Tweezers?”

  1. Maja said

    Well, I know he hasn’t been collecting fountain pens for as long as you or I 🙂
    Still, to limit one’s collection to twelve is pretty remarkable…..

    • Shocking, I calls it! Limb removal ain’t in it!

      …oh, wait, I’ve got my Hyperbole Generator running, and someone left the Marginally Accurate Victorian Era Dialogue emulator engaged, too. He is, at least, being semi-realistic, in as much as he doesn’t expect that twelve to necessary be composed entirely of pens he’s already got; he’s still looking.

  2. I thought the exact same thing when I saw what he was SELLING. “What is he KEEPING?!” I’d still love to know. … Do you have a post of all your pens that I’ve missed? (By the way, I LOVE the Parker I won from you!!)

    • I’m sure at some point we’ll see an “Eric’s Final Dozen” post over at FPGeeks.

      As to a post for all my pens… shall I reveal all my secrets? Very well– have a look at my website; almost every pen picture has a code number, like “Waterman_0002.jpg”. Everything with a four-digit code is (or was; I’ve sold a few over time) mine; those with letters in the code are someone else’s.

      I hope Tyco enjoys the rapid spins a short-barreled pen offers 😉

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