(or, why I’ll be going to the Fifth Circle of Hell for my perpetual anger at things)
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a terrible human being: I am angered by encouragement that is either unexpected or not up to my standards, I once sacrificed countless hours and friendships trying to complete an undefeated season in Master League of PES 4 (and succeeded, although didn’t win the League as I drew every other game), and even tore the tag off a mattress. However, my most recent crime against all that is good and just in the World is this – I mercilessly bend the clips on the lids of pens (specifically these ones).
I have my reasons for this callous crime; at school I wear a blazer, equipped with the claret-tinted inner pockets of capitalist excess (which give plus five to the oppression of the workers). These pockets, and the fact that my A-levels of English Lit, Geography and History require only pens, have removed the need for carrying a pencil case, and so I do not – instead, I carry my pens in my inner pocket, and so I bend the lids of my pens to hook them to the top of the pocket for easy access. Although these pockets are seemingly practical, to the point of such bending being unnecessary, they possess surprising depth, and many a time I have lost my pens in the mess of spare buttons and ‘do not put in the washing machine’ tags that line such pockets. Furthermore, I carry a total of five pens in one of these pockets: three black for writing, and a red and green one for highlighting, circling and Satanic doodling, to be done in the correct colours. As the black pens are the most commonly used, as I write much more often than I circle, it is important to have the black pens to hand and more easily accessible than the other pens, and so I hook them above the rest of the stationary in my pockets. Thirdly, I am a pen-Nazi, in that I use one black writing pen at a time, until it has died a slow, painful death, before I even open another pen for the first time. I think this bizarre obsession stems from a need to use up all of the ink in every pen, to reduce the frequency of having to go and buy new pens, which costs both money and time, and so now I refuse to use my second or third black pen until the first has died for good; if I forget the first pen, but bring the other two with me, I will actively borrow another person’s pen to avoid breaking my pen-usage rules. Therefore, it is very important that I do not mix up my pens, and so bending the lid out of my current writing pen, while leaving the clippy bits parallel to the lids of the other pens, helps me to avoid such a confusion.
However, despite the clearly important practicality of these schemes, there are disadvantages for penkind. Firstly, the life of a pen is miserable as it is: you bash their head against a piece of shaved tree to generate scratches that represent a means of communication barely more sophisticated than apes farting at each other and grinning, and whenever the pen has the audacity to not work to your high standards, you curse, swear, bang it on the end of the table and throw it away. Then you presumably cut your index finger off and write in your own blood, yes? (Just me? Oookay, then.) I guess that if the purpose in life of a pen is so dismal anyway, the least we can do is treat our pens with respect and help them achieve that goal. Also, pens are often hated by the very people that use them: professional workers use those crappy biros their boss buys for them in boxes of forty-seven thousand each because there’s a price break if you buy enough to build a 1:1 scale model of the Taj Mahal out of the lids and inner springy bits alone; messy kids are forced to use those demeaning, plastic-coated playmobil-knock-off-looking things, not because it actually helps their handwriting, but because it allows their parents to claim to at least have tried to stop their offspring being so damn disgusting; and the remainder of the child population would probably rather write with either crayons or either own faeces, rather than these narrow, black cylinders which are frankly boring. Add all of this to the fact that I’m doing to my pens the human equivalent of disclosing a person’s rotator cuff, and you’ll agree that pens have a pretty miserable existence in this World.
Despite this, I still torture these pens; I know that they suffer, but I’ve done this for so long now that I’m totally desensitised to this kind of sadistic penmanship. The fact that I do this for purely practical reasons, however, at the clear expense of hurting these defenceless pens, could reflect the growing immorality of society, that we will do anything for our own convenience, regardless of the cost to others. Either that or I’m looking into this too much.
– The pen I torment on a daily basis (I’m going to Hell now)