If we can pinpoint a single meteor taking a whizz across outer space–and land an entire outlet mall on it–you’d think we could locate a single pen in our homes and not have to write our grocery lists, our MacArthur Genius Grant applications and our ransom notes with a green crayon.
More than 150 million pens are produced every year. Why? Because last year–as in the year before and the year before that, yada yada yada—as soon as those 150 million pens were dropped by helicopter to the teeming masses, they immediately disappeared into black holes, parallel universes and open-pit davenports faster than you could say What the Bic?
While the National Losers Confederacy estimates that a mind is lost every 13 minutes (slightly less in the torrid zones), someone in this country loses a pen every 8 seconds.
Eight-seven-six-five-four-three-two-one. Kiss your ball-point goodbye.
Look, as responsible citizens who went to school and learned complicated stuff like who is buried under the Jersey Turnpike’s Vince Lombardi Service Area, we must ask ourselves why are pens always missing?
Did you know that the average person possesses and loses 7,853 pens by the time their death certificate is signed with a stolen pen?
BTW some people refer to a pen as an ink pen. Stop it. Stop it right now. Calling it an ink-pen is like talking about a bullet-gun or a striped-mime or an unwelcome-banjo player.
Of course, not all pens are created equal. There are pens and there are good pens. We’re all familiar with the frustrated cry “Who the Frank Furt took my good pen?”
What makes a pen good? Usually, a good pen is the one:
• In your hand right now
• In your hand just a farouking minute ago
• In the dog’s mouth
Where do pens go when lost/kidnapped? Scientists list these as the most likely places:
57%: Slipped into the yawning cleavage between sofa cushions.
23%: Buried in the landfill on top of the resident man-child’s dresser.
14%: Sitting right there in plain sight you blind idiot (If it were a snake it would have bitten you.)
17%: Eaten by vegetarians (with humus)
6%: Filched by communist bastards.
2%: Acquired by pen pals for socialization purposes (sing alongs, book discussions, dressup parties, etc)
115%: Dumped in the kitchen drawer along with the Philips screwdriver, the Allen wrench, the Johnson pump, the needle-nose pliers, flashlight batteries that may or may not work, a needle, 150 feet of twine, a tape measure, a measure of good sense, a gorilla suit, the family bayonet, seven Doritos (Cool ranch), the deed to the house, the guest pillow, a mousetrap with dried peanut butter, a dried mouse, Uncle Bob’s stalled career, a mind that may or may not be yours, the Hope diamond (sans Hope), a hole punch, a rabbit punch, a Kaiser roll, a dried Kaiser, an extra ammo clip and a spare nose.
Oddly, some say lost pens should stay lost because the pen is mightier than the sword and, by inference, the M60 machine gun. Get rid of pens and machine guns, they argue, and we’ll see a dramatic drop in the number of heavily armed zagnuts writing poems that don’t rhyme.
However, the powerful Pen Lobby—powerful enough to get the name Pencilvania changed to Pennsylvania—disagrees. “Pens don’t write bad poetry,” they argue, “people write bad poetry.”
If you outlaw bad poetry, they say, only outlaws will be able to write “There was an old man from Nantucket…”
Who can forget their ultimate sneer: “Sure, you can take my pen–from my cold, dead, ink-stained fingers. Hope you don’t mind, I used it to get the wax out.”
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2015, all rights reserved.