Pen & Jerry’s

The other day I found a pen in my pencil case. I should not normally be too surprised to find a pen in my pencil case, because although pencil cases are called, er, pencil cases, I am a rebel and keep pens (and a rubber, scissors, a thing for drawing circles, a protractor, a hole punch, and stuff) in my pencil case, as well as pencils. But this was not a pen that I had seen before. I hadn’t put it in my pencil case – someone else had. So on this occasion, I was surprised.

Maybe, I thought, it’s some kind of trap. Maybe it’s loaded with anthrax. Maybe it’s loaded with gunpowder. Maybe it’s loaded with anthrax and gunpowder. I was unable to dismantle the pen to check because it was stuck together so tightly. A more paranoid person might decide that this meant that the naughty assassin had slyly glued together the pen’s components after loading it with anthrax, but not I. Obviously this sturdiness had been in place since the beginning of time, and was a sign that the pen couldn’t possibly be loaded with powdered evil. Maybe a villain had attempted to fill the pen with explosives, in order to injure someone else, and had grown frustrated, and decided to abandon it in my pencil case instead. Thank you very much, Mr Villain.

I thought that it would be a bad pen – few people would give away a good pen – but was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t bad at all. There was plenty of ink in it, and apart from one or two suspicious signs of chewing – by no means sufficiently vicious to be off-putting, I’m sure – it was in good nick. Admittedly it seemed to be one of those cheap, nasty ballpoint pens given away in envelopes by charities – it didn’t have anything written on it, for some reason – but for such a pen it was surprisingly decent.

I decided that it was a present from one of my fans. Thank you very much, Mr Fan. Much appreciated. I might write something with it one day or something.

When I was more littler, pens with black ink in them were something of a rarity. I had dozens of blue pens but very few black ones. Fast-forward to the days just before the recent arrival of this mysterious pen in my pencil case, and things are the other way round. A blue pen is handy for underlining dates and titles, so it’s lucky that there’s a single, slightly broken Norwich and Peterborough Building Society one that I found underneath a municipal computer keyboard. Apart from that, it’s a sea of black.

The pen that sprouted up in my pencil case was blue. Finally, a perfect balance. I had struck a happy medium.

Then two blacks pen both ran out of ink, and I realised that I had left my other one at home. I had nothing but blue pens. Two blue pens. I like to use blue pens for underlining titles and dates, as I think I have already said, but for everything else it’s black. I was stranded. I had struck the happy medium, yes, but I’d gotten a little carried away with striking it and it had toppled over. The poor medium’s not so happy now, eh, is it? Not now there’s a massive boil on its head, the size of one of Susan Boyle’s cat’s furballs. Normally it is a good thing to find a pen, especially a blue one, especially so close to a tragic ink shortage. But not this time. I was forced to grit my teeth and use blue for everything. Although I did use a different blue pen for the underlining and the everything else, in the hope that maybe the inks were slightly different shades of blue.

The person who slipped the pen into my pencil case obviously wanted this to happen. Oh, the shame, the horror, and so on, all so unbearable. Perhaps they sucked all the ink out of the black pens, too – that’s very possible indeed, because those pens’ components are not quite so firmly screwed together.

I visited my dentist on Friday and because my dentist is near a shop that sells pens I went to a shop that sells pens and bought two pens just before going to my dentist. Not just any old pens, you understand, but Pilot V5 pens. That’s nice.

And just now, do you know what I did just now? A wee, but that’s irrelevant. The other thing I did just now is this: I finally managed to snap that mysterious pen open using my powerful brutish naked hands, and found no anthrax or anything like that, and removed the inner… cartridge, and used it to replace the inner cartridge of one of the black pens that ran out. So now I’ve got what looks like a black ballpoint pen but is in fact a blue one. That makes me like very totally insanely cool indeed, of course. Doesn’t it?

And now what I plan to do is this: the next time I encounter a pencil case, I will pretend to consider placing the pretend black pen in the pencil case, just in case the pencil case belongs to the scoundrel who put that pen in my pencil case. And if it’s not the right person’s pencil case, then it will simply be a philanthropic deed guaranteed to book me a place in heaven where I will be able to hobnob with baby Jesus when I am dead. I won’t actually do that thing, because that would be taking this too far, and also pens don’t grow on trees and stuff, but it is great fun to juggle with the idea and to prod it with a rod.

And actually, I won’t rule it out. Maybe it will happen. Because I want to create tension and excitement. Will he, won’t he? It will be thoroughly gripping.

No, I really don’t want to go through the hassle and pen loss of putting the pen into a pencil case. So I will right now categorically state that I firmly will be doing the thing. Because apparently it is more funny if I do a U-turn, and also because a U-turn is likely to make David Cameron angry with me, which is likely to be famous, and of course I want to be famous because I am a young person and every young person yearns for famousnessosity. It would probably be a lot easier if I kept away from pencil cases.