Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pencil-Related Issues

One time I read a whole book about the pencil because I am an idiot. It was a book that I was rightfully made fun of while I was reading it, and because it turned out to be a whole lot more than a book about just pencils (it sort of became a history of the process of product development and engineering as told through the pencil book) it was really hard for me to finish. Like, I was about four-fifths of the way through and I remember sitting at the break room table and forcing myself to finish the book because I was almost done and there is only one book in my collection (not counting the textbooks) that I haven't finished. Anyway, I read a book about pencils and was made fun of but I bet that I know more about pencils than you do, and that if we were both on Jeopardy! and there was a category about pencils I would kick your ass in it.
The point here, Company, is not my prowess in reading books about pencils, the point is that the pencil, while something seemingly simple, has been studied at length by more than one person and more than one time. Billions and billions of pencils are used in the world every year, by billions of people for a million billion reasons, and yet they still never give you even close to enough eraser.
I mean, one would think that one of those people would finally get frustrated enough with this situation but no, no one seems to have. I have heard over my life tons of people, literally, if you put them on the scale they would register tons, complain that their erasers run out. I just ordered a SECOND case of five extra erasers for Ice Q the other day; it's nuts. I, as I got ready for the non-award winning Big Dave and Company Podcast, I spent like ten minutes raiding every office supply available to me in the Worldwide Headquarters to find a pencil with an eraser that was usable on it. I ended up finding one hidden among some pens that looks like I found it in the street somewhere along the way. This happens over and over again, all around the world, and no one has done a thing about it.
"Now now now, that's not true" I hear you say. And you know, you are right, Company. Some people have responded to the call. There are those little pink or lurid neon erasers that you can put on top of your used up pencil that work pretty well as long as you get the right kind; there are replacement ones if you have a mechanical pencil like I always do, but only for certain mechanical pencils and not the kind I like to use; there are the standard ancient blocks of rubber that I like to use; and then there are those ones that are pen-shaped and you can sort of click them out more as you use them up...those are cool but it's like carrying another whole writing utensil. They are closest to the best though, and I wish someone would make something like that for on top of the pencil I am already using.
That, to me, seems to be the trick. Like, why can't they make a little clickable eraser that could go on the end of the pencil. Or maybe something spring loaded so the eraser pushes up as it gets used. That seems to me like a good idea, because as I see it there is a lot of wasted eraser down below the metal or plastic rim where you can't get at it. I mean, we have put several men on the moon, and we have machines that squeeze the juice out of fruit on our behalf, but we can't make a perpetual eraser, or at least a longer lasting one? That's bullshit. If we can make a machine under Switzerland that will created black holes, we should be able to make a pencil eraser that doesn't drive me nuts.
It seems so simple to me, and I there is totally a need. We need a better eraser to pencil ratio in this society. Because, I don't know about you, Company, but I use a pencil precisely because I CAN erase what I write. If I want something that can be removed I use a pencil, otherwise I use a pen. So basically what I am saying is that the only reason I use pencils is because I plan to use the eraser. Now I know that I am supposed to be smart and articulate enough to write more that stays than gets erased, but my mind is usually racing way to fast to make that possible, let's be honest. So somewhere out there I hope someone is working on my pencil-related issues, because they could be super rich kabillionaires if they could just figure it out. I would assume though, that they will have to make lots and lots of tries at getting it right. I guess they'd better go out and get some more erasers before they start.

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