I’ll only touch briefly upon what happened to pre-empt me on Friday, as the details are no fun. The night before, I had picked up a meal at a painfully understaffed fast-food establishment. My wife declined to finish her burger after the second bite, on the grounds that it “tastes funny.” I said that my chicken had not shared that attribute, although it was less firm than usual upon reflection. Friday saw me leave the house feeling what I took to be only slightly stiff, as one will after an awkward sleep, but I became more unwell as the day went on. I was able to leave a couple of comments about the interwebz in which I mistook “snark” for “clever” before the sudden realization that the best phrase to describe myself was a cylinder of highly-compressed… well, we’ll leave it at that.
This made the next day a bit of a trial, as while I was no longer directly affected by Salmonella enterica or its affiliated organisms I was pretty tired out. My wife had one of her craft sales in a nearby town, and I was faced with lad-wrangling in an unfamiliar setting. The town lies on the face of a vast glacial runnel that constitutes one of the few serious land-forms in the region, a valley without benefit of mountains. Much going up and down while my son sought enjoyment and diversion.
As any parent of a young child will relate, part of the wrangling duty on a long excursion will inevitably include a stop in at a washroom. In the course of helping my son dealing with the mysteries of trouser-elevation, my pen leapt from my pocket. I’d taken the faithful Lamy Vista with an eye towards the perils of flouncing about an unfamiliar town, so it was up to the stresses of a small plummet, and it didn’t produce much in the way of stress in me… except for the way in which its tumble launched the pen proper from its cap. The cap hardly moved from where it had fallen, but the pen shot along the floor, going into the next stall.
And stopping just a little to the far side of the foot of the fellow occupying that stall.
“Oh, blast,” said I, hoping to prompt that chap to nudge the pen towards me, as in this context a questing hand often brings offence.
“Hang on,” the chap said, in the tone of one who recognizes the conundrum and wished to reassure that he’s not going to make the event even more uncomfortable. Presently, a hand descended into view. It very nearly made contact before it stopped, hesitated, and withdrew with fingers curled in a bit, almost as if the pen had suddenly hissed at its approach.
The delay was only a few moments, and then the hand took up the pen and moved it to where I could get it without seriously groping about under the partition. The hand was holding the pen way down by the tail, though, as far from the point as was possible.
I have a notion that the chap has no idea what sort of thing he was handling, and was at pains to avoid the dangerous-looking bit. Oh, dear.
I don’t blame him. While I make much of the current renaissance the fountain pen is enjoying, clearly it’s still not a commonplace object which everyone is familiar with. The Vista is a pretty aggressive-looking object too; if one doesn’t have “writing instrument” in their head when regarding it, being concerned about where the trigger might be is only sensible.
Clearly an advertising campaign is it order, reassuring the general public. We don’t want people going lame in the face of a Lamy.
Today’s pen: Parker 65 (which was with me on Friday as well, but didn’t get much of a run)
Today’s ink: Quink Black