“I don’t trust pens.”

I was in the storage area of the department in the university where I work yesterday with another lady in my office.  We were talking about the archival quality of the creepy basement and ink and paper.  When we got back upstairs, I had to check-out certain archived materials with her so that I could take them to my office to peruse them.  She wrote down everything that I took with a pencil bearing our university’s logo.  I noticed a yellow pencil by her keyboard that she had been using earlier.  More in cups.

J: R, do you like pencils?

R: What?  Oh, yes.

J: Me, too (in a whisper).

R: I don’t trust pens.  They never work when you need them to.

J: I’m taking some boys camping this weekend, and I told them to bring a notebook and pencil because it’s likely to be too cold for ink to flow where we’re going…

And I went back to my office glad that I’m not quite the only pencil at work.

12 Responses to ““I don’t trust pens.””

  1. Henrik says:

    “I don’t trust pens. They never work when you need them to.”

  2. JAbbott says:

    Nice story. I think I’m the only pencil geek at my office, unfortunately.

  3. Eric says:

    When the chips are down a pencil will always come thru!

  4. [...] I Don’t Trust Pens – Pencil Revolution [...]

  5. Shane says:

    Sadly, I’ve got a story from the other side of the isle. Happened just yesterday. I was taking notes in church with my trusty compy and a Mirado Black Warrior F 2 1/2. The lead broke off under the wood, leaving me with not even a stump of visible graphite. So now, there I was, sitting in the middle of a chapel with nothing to write with. And even though I had my new Alvin 3-hole sharpener in my pocket, what was I gonna do, drop shavings on the floor?! No way. So I had to sit through the whole meeting letting all these good thoughts and ideas fly away unrecorded. And I was thinking, I wouldn’t be in this situation with a pen. First thing I did when I got home was grab a ballpoint. I lost some faith in the pencil. Ideas? Something more elegant than carrying a shavings bag around with me?

    • John says:

      KUM makes some sharpeners with containers that are barely larger than their wedges. They only hold the shavings from one or two sharpenings, but that usually does the trick. :)

    • Robert M. says:

      I never liked portable bladed sharpeners for pencils. They work in a pinch if it’s all you got, but they’re not very good and never quite put a fantastic point on.

      I keep a small roll of pencils (anywhere from 3 to 10) with me when I want to do woodcased pencil writing for any period of time. That way I’ve always got a backup ready and it will generally last me until I have the chance to resharpen with a knife or rotary sharpener.

      However, If I’m going to put myself in situations where I need to write a lot but can’t conveniently sharpen a pencil, I typically go with a leadholder or a mechanical pencil. A bladed lead pointer like a Mitsubishi or SharPits lasts a long time, is quite silent, and stores a decent amount of graphite dust. A mechanical pencil needs of course no sharpening at all, and a broken point is generally no big deal.

      Or you could, you know, carry both a pen and a pencil. :D

      • John says:

        I’ve never been a fan of rotary sharpeners myself, but we received one for review last week that is just fantastic. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a review.

  6. digit says:

    Tell that to my English teacher and I’ll be honored.

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