Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In praise of pencils



I declare today National Pencil Appreciation Day.

Do you realize how long humanity has struggled to find the perfect writing implement?

For permanent scribbling, chisels and stone, wax tablet and stylus, feather quills and parchment were all we had since the dawn of time. Writers endured the flaws of all these tools until the typewriter, then the computer keyboard, finally liberated them.

But we have long had, and perhaps always shall have, the humble pencil. An elegant sandwich of wood and graphite-clay, it offers its little round head without complaint to scrub out errors.

I love a good, sharp pencil with no mutilation of the eraser. Always have. I never use the eraser -- I buy one of those little rectangular ones and leave the pencil top alone. It's nerdy. So be it.

I don't chew my pencils, either. I cringe when others attack the poor defenseless thing like some kind of overgrown beavers ... but there was that time, back in eighth grade, when beautiful Brandi borrowed my pencil and it spent the rest of history class alternating between Her fingers and Her lovely lips and sharp, pretty teeth, and that once, I didn't mind at all.

Somebody, I have read, sells cleverly fashioned "pre-chewed" pencils these days, to discourage nibblers.

1 comment:

kat said...

http://www.pencilmuseum.co.uk/