You're entering a world of pen, son

The glistening nib sweeps lightly across the paper, leaving behind it a silky trail of jet black ink, just as a mallard duck leaves a wake as it gently swims across a calm mill-pond. Its movements represent the transcription of knowledge, a noble task undertaken by great civilisations for many centuries. There is purity in its precision, dignity in its delectation. All seems right with the world. Suddenly, disaster strikes. The stream of ink begins to diminish, the dark black residue becoming lighter by the second. Two fingers clench the base of the pen with renewed vigour, forcing the nib further into the paper in a desperate attempt to sustain the stream. Ink no longer flows: in its place, a dry canyon is etched violently into the parchment and the desk below. The paper tears. The pen is dead. A howl of rage erupts from the author.


Is the knowledge lost forever?

Honestly, how fucking hard is it to make a pen which works? This is a question I would like to pose to 'Papermate', specifically regarding their 'Flexgrip Ultra' brand of writing utensils. I purchased a pack of five from WH Smith a while ago, thinking I was getting a good deal. HOW WRONG I WAS. The pens have all since failed me, all at incredibly inopportune times -- mainly during lectures when I was trying to take notes, and several times when incredibly attractive women have been telling me their telephone numbers and I've found myself unable to write them down. Consequently I will never be happy or sexually satisfied and I'll probably fail my degree and resort to selling crack to keep myself afloat. I hold Papermate entirely responsible for all of these eventualities.

And no, these pens have not just 'run out of ink' (but I'll get to that later). Even if they had, that itself would be cause for complaint: most of the pens stopped working before I even had time to add the pubic hairs to the crude cartoon willy I was drawing on some guy's folder. It baffles me that in the age of mobile phones, the Internet and commercial space travel, Papermate still have trouble sussing out a technique invented by the ancient Egyptians.

You probably think I'm making a big fuss out of nothing, like my mother says I always do (she's been proven wrong, though, as my criminal record shows). And perhaps I am. There are more important things in the world to worry about than pens, after all. The stock market is pretty important, for a start. But then I think to myself, "am I going to let Papermate get away with this?" And I answer my own question: no I am not. If I don't complain about this, no one will be any the wiser, and Papermate will be allowed to continue their shoddy business practice, laughing at us as we all amble around like chickens in a barn, scratching our pens against various surfaces in the vain search for a trickle of ink.

I took a trip to Papermate's website to see if they had anything to say for themselves. I hearkened back to my first psychology lesson, where my teacher posited an element of psychodynamic theory which suggests that for men, a pen is some sort of abstraction of their own penis. I was sceptical, but seeing that website has made me a firm believer. The description of the various pens seems almost fetishistic in its vigour, with their wares held aloof as the ultimate symbols of phallic desire. "The world's smoothest pen!" cries the ad on the front page. "Retractable! Stick! Soft comfort grip!" The Flash animation zooms in on the pen's various anatomical parts. These guys like their pens too much. I mean, seriously. It's just a pen.

According to that website, my pen features the patented "Lubriglide Ink System". The only gliding my pen sees is as it glides through the air into the bin, and the only lubrication its getting is enough KY Jelly so I can stick it comfortably up the arse of whoever's in charge of Papermate. Why would I need anal lube to shove a pen up an arse, the anally na´ve among you are probably wondering. Surely a pen could easily fit snugly into an anus without lubrication? Well, perhaps (I honestly don't know), but this guy has no ordinary arse. He has the tightest arse in the Western world. He is, quite literally, a tight-arse. And with that inappropriate and unnecessary stream of consciousness out of the way, allow me to unveil Papermate's biggest, darkest secret... one which they did not expect to ever surface.

The Papermate Scam

Above is a picture of the ink tube which dwells within the Papermate pen. Note how it is segmented: the lower part contains the "true" ink which actually exits the pen, albeit fleetingly. The vast majority of the ink is, in my opinion, COMPLETLEY FAKE. It does not exit the tube. It remains there ad infinitum, impervious to the forces of gravity and physics. At first I suspected it was merely a black mark inside the tube disguised as ink, so I dissected the tube and found it to contain some form of dark liquid. But ink it is surely not, for if it was, then why does it never leave the tube? My conclusion is that this fake ink, or "fink" as I call it, is actually replica ink, planted by Papermate so they do not have to fork out for the cost of real ink. A shocking and unnerving discovery, I'm sure you'll agree.

This whole state of affairs has left me completely disillusioned with the condition of the modern stationary industry. If Papermate are willing to lie and deceive in order to sell more of their fancy pens to sexually insecure men, then this begs the question: where will they stop? Will Papermate's nefarious plans, whatever they are, come to full fruition?

In a way, I don't really care. I won't be using Papermate's shitty pens ever again. In fact, I'm planning on abandoning the whole passÚ concept of writing on paper. The glorious Internet makes pens completely obsolete. Why note down phone numbers when you can copy and paste World of Warcraft screenames? Why draw fake cocks on folders when I can go online and admire real ones? Why write me a letter telling me how rubbish this website is when you can post a spiteful comment instead?

I'll leave you with that thought.

Permalink || Posted 8/2/2007 by Pete


  1. Mrs Bigley - 8/2/2007 - 11:31pm

    I used to love to grip on Ken's pen. He was more than just my papermate. I was heels over head when it came to him. That is until his head came off.

  2. SARAH - 9/2/2007 - 2:22pm

    pete, your penmenship never fails to amaze me

  3. Pedant - 10/2/2007 - 1:44am

    'Stationery' if you please.

  4. jim - 10/2/2007 - 6:41pm

    yeah FUCKOFF

  5. Papermate - 2/3/2007 - 12:54pm

    You got what you paid for, and you paid for a biro with a comfortable grip, with the gravitational problem of biros

    Try storing your pens nib down, or get a non biro, or even better one of those outer space high pressure biros

  6. Nick - 10/3/2007 - 3:15pm

    I don't like pens. I have to fill out forms every day and then enter the results on my laptop and send a copy to the customer (I can't use the laptop whilst testing the equipment due to radiation)
    BTW that ink at the top of the pen is real. It's just that is used for shirt dye. Bring back crayons, they make me happy.

  7. Alex - 16/3/2011 - 2:16am

    All my friend's ink is like that but they fix it and put it together that proves that you are a lier

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