sabato 5 agosto 2017

Noel the pencil.

Noel is an HB pencil with a core made of graphite mixed with a clay binder. The rest of him is made of wood.

When the author was at primary school, it was quite common to be given the instruction to write a story with the topic My Life as a Pencil.

In reality, a pencil's existence goes much deeper than what some silly little kid would think to write, and probably with bad grammar to boot.

The lifespan of a pencil can be very long. The irony is that an unloved pencil can live at the back of a drawer for just about ever. Fire is a pencil's worst enemy.

You never hear, in a house fire for instance, someone yelling out, "I've got to go back in to save the pencils!"

Pencils like to work, for that is their purpose, and what eventually renders them useless. Who wants to use a two centimetre long pencil? The sad reality is that the best pencils are the first to get too short to use.

Pencils actually like to be sharpened. It makes them feel rejuvenated and it doesn't hurt because they have no nerves. They try not to think about getting shorter.

The fast development of technology has made many things redundant - when was the last time you bought a set of encyclopaedias? The pencil has survived this.

The pencil's chief competition comes from the ball point pen and, in particular, the Biro.

The word Biro is a brand name and Biros come in several different models. Pencils accept fountain pens, even some ball point pens, but look down on Biros because they are too commercial - mass produced and all about money.

While we're on the topic, pencils with a silly little rubber on their head are often laughed at by HB pencils. The world of writing utensils is full of bigotry.

Richard (of RBB): I've invited Noel into the studio at Richard’s Bass Bag* so that we can really find out about the life of a pencil. Welcome Noel, it’s great to have you here.

Noel the pencil:

Richard (of RBB): Okay, you haven’t got a mouth, that could make this a bit tricky. Do you think that the reaction pencils have to Biros could be called racist?

Noel the pencil:

Richard (of RBB): I’ll take that as a ‘no’. Can you elaborate?

Noel the pencil:

Richard (of RBB): I know that HB pencils are happier sketching than just being used to scribble off quick notes. Is this something that pencils talk about a lot?

Noel the pencil:

Richard (of RBB): Okay, this conversation is a little one sided and obviously it’s only caused by the fact that you have no mouth. It has been great having you here and I hope we’ve been successful, in a small way, highlighting concepts that are important to pencils. If I could go back to my childhood, I’m sure that with the information I have now I could make a better fist of that story My Life as a Pencil. Thanks Noel and stay away from fires.

* the original bass bagging site

5 commenti:

THE CURMUDGEON ha detto...

Thanks for that. Very informative.
I do think though that you missed an opportunity to ask Noel what his opinion is on propelling pencils. Ball point and fountain pens are obviously competitors but the more insidious threat surely must be coming from propelling pencils. These hybrids are more damaging to Noel's position particularly as they are more expensive than ordinary pencils and, as a consequence more likely to be rescued in the case of a fire.
Just a thought.

Richard (of RBB) ha detto...

You can rub out a propelled pencil but try rubbong out Biro.

THE CURMUDGEON ha detto...

Sorry I don't speak Cambodian. What are you trying to say?

Richard (of RBB) ha detto...

Propelling pencils are the robots of the pencil world. Fearmongers always bring them up in an attempt to get pencils worried - you know, the whole artificial intelligence thing. Most pencils are too smart for that. Sorry about breaking into Cambodian. I was on my smartphone - obviously not as smart as he thinks he is.

THE CURMUDGEON ha detto...

Thanks Noel.