(...and no, sorry to disappoint you, this is not a humorous masterpiece about how men with one testicle have been blessed with psychic powers. Though, I have to admit, that would be an interesting read.)
A frugal friend of mine recently went on some random rant about pen circulation. It went something like this:
Have I ever ranted to you about the purchasing of pens? I will never buy a pen, EVER! Why? There are trillions of pens in circulation right now. If the pen manufacturers stopped making new pens and we used only the existing, it would take 10 years to use up the current supply. My colleague has 50 pens in his desk drawer that have all come free of charge. Pen marketing is huge! Every time you go to a convention or trade show, there is some vendor handing out pens with their logo on them. In the business world, pen giving is as common as hand shaking. Pens are everywhere!!!! Most pens do not get fully used either. Did you know there are companies that sell high-end pens? Seriously, these pens go for thousands of dollars! WHAT?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?! Are you kidding me? Who the heck is paying that much for something you can find on the ground for free? Ridiculous! This makes me mourn for humanity. Hurry up and get here 2012 and end this debacle! PENS!!!
[insert applause here]
This pen rant made me laugh. And while I do believe his theory about pen circulation may be valid (considering I do have a few pens on my desk that are not what I would normally choose and am certain I absent mindedly walked away with them in my hand from another location), I will always purchase my own pens.
I have very specific pens I use. They are what I consider anti-writer’s cramping pens. (I won’t tolerate writer’s cramp. Writing is too precious to me.) I have the secretary special order my pens (no one else in the office uses them – unless they steal them from my desk). But I use pens until they are empty. I am notorious for holding onto the same pen until it is completely dry. In fact, I recently chided myself for not keeping better track of the pens in my pen cup at home – they were all dry, except one. Not a working pen in the mix there. How could I let that go unnoticed??? (mostly because I type more than write in my notebooks anymore. I used to write in notebooks much more often than I do now. I should probably get back to the notebook writing again. I did some good things in those days.)
People like myself go on a quest for the perfect pen. I had an English Major friend in college that carried his ideal pen in a leather case in his backpack. He only used it to write in his notebook or for essay exams. One time he let me write my name with it. The funny thing was, though it wrote really well, it wasn’t for me. The pen was metal and the weight of the pen didn’t feel right in my hand. So here he was trying to impress me with his ideal pen, and I handed it back to him saying, “Huh. It’s okay I guess.” I don’t know how much he paid for that thing. I doubt it was a thousand dollar pen or anything, but it was certainly more than my Uniball Vision Elite.
The Uniball Vision Elite is my ideal pen. The ink flows out of it onto the page with the slightest stroke of my hand, and there are no ink blots or globs from the flow to the page. The writing is smooth and perfect, just like my black belt pen strokes were meant to be. And it's some kind of lightweight plastic, just heavy enough to feel between my fingers but light enough to feel as though it were simply a piece of my hand. I am one with my pen. Yes… the pen and I are one. I and the pen are one!
And seriously… can you beat that name??? Vision Elite… I can’t think of a better name to give a pen, particularly a pen that belongs in the hands of a 21st century visionary that no one will pay attention to until after she’s dead anyway. It’s perfect! The best pen on Earth! I will rue the day this Uniball company decides to stop manufacturing this pen. It has taken me years, YEARS, to find it! Stop making The Uniball Vision Elite?!?!?! MAY IT NEVER BE!!!!!
Now, you can buy a pack of 8 Uniball Vision Elite pens for about $12. That’s a $1.50 a pen or something like that. And my frugal friend is probably sitting there saying something like, “...A DOLLAR FIFTY? FOR A PEN???” But for me… this pen is worth every penny in that $1.50. I would pay a $1.50 for this pen way before I would pay $1.50 for a 24 pack of Bic Ball Point Pens (which, until I found this pen, were my pen of choice because I had given up my search for the Holy Grail of pens). It would be a dream come true for me to find a special little leather case to hold my precious Uniball Vision Elite. Imagine it... I would walk into the writer’s work shop with my crazy hair (after the six inches I accidentally gave permission to be cut off grows back -- a story I will have to tell later) and my Celtic jewelry and my flowing sleeves and they would say, “Here is the bardic queen!” And I would sit down and I would pull from my Kathy Van Zeeland purse that my mom gave me this beautiful black leather pen case, and they would all gasp for air in anticipation for the chance to glimpse THE PEN that I am one with, THE PEN of Pandora, THE PEN of The Notorious Scribe! And I would open the case, and I would look over the rim of my new $150 glasses that my insurance paid for, and I would pull forth... a plastic pen from a $12 dollar pack that I got at the Staples on the corner of Southern and McClintock. “YES! YES, Ladies and Gentleman! THIS! THIS IS THE MIGHTY PEN! MIGHTIER THAN ANY SWORD! THE UNIBALL VISION ELITE!!!!!” And they would stand up in great awe and applause shouting, “ALL HAIL THE UNIBALL! ALL HAIL THE VISION ELITE!!! LONG LIVE PANDORA! LONG LIVE THE DIVISION OF THE RUBBERMAID COMPANY THAT MANUFACTURES THIS PEN! HAIL! HAIL! HAIL!!!!”
So… as long as they still make these pens, I will still buy them. And if they stop making pens for the next ten years, I will gather all of my Uniball Vision Elites and lock them up in a safe and carry one in the cleavage between my breasts so that it will never be stolen by one of these office yahoos, and I will leave nothing but crap pens on my desk for the rest of the world.