pencils, pencils, PENCILS!!

Man, I bought a lot of pencils this week. There’s nothing quite able to cure that tactile jones than writing with a blade-sharpened wooden pencil on good paper. Let me see:

  • 10 Canadiana Naturals bare wood pencils (which, with irony almost morissettian, are made in the USA).
  • 2 Canadiana red marking pencils
  • 2 Faber Castell 9000 pencils. These are almost worth the 5× premium over Canadianas, as they don’t have those semi-useless erasers on the end that destroy the pencil’s balance.
  • a Staedtler 0.9mm mechanical pencil (which I’m never going to use the Opinel on, never fear).

So all I need now is a couple of non-photo blues and a bible highlighter or two, and I am the king of pencils!

I’m reminded of the “world’s biggest pencils” that were the coolest things an 8-year-old could have in a Scottish primary school. Brought back from exotic holiday locations, they were enough to win playground approval for a few days by letting your friends have a shot. I always wanted one of these 40cm überpencils, but it didn’t happen then.

When I did get one, it was three years later, and the cachet was gone. To compound the disappointment, the pencil I got depicted the staid provincial crests of Belgium on a cream-of-chicken-soup–coloured background. To write with it was to be a hamfisted infant again; it looped and swayed against my will. Its lead was narrow and the wood was tough, resisting all sharpening. There was no “sharkener” (as sharpeners were pronounced in my primary school) that would point the thing. It was soon consigned to the back of the cupboard.

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