Thursday, May 11, 2006


You know what I HATE? I mean, REALLY REALLY hate?

Mechanical pencils.

They are like the gayest things ever.

First of all, you cannot possibly write with them without snapping off the tip unless you limpwrist and write super light.

Second, I hate how when you push the button to extend the lead, you cannot control how much of it emerges. So either you write with an eensy little stub, or you push the button and it pushes out like an inch of lead which instantly snaps.

Third, I go through a stick of that lead through the course of one crossword puzzle- I can't imagine how many times people must refill them.

And fourth, I can't think of a fussier, more useless thing in the world than a mechanical pencil. Why mechanize it in the first place? Why not just use a perfectly serviceable actual pencil?

Seriously, just thinking about writing with a mechanical pencil puts me into a rage. My blood pressure goes up and I get hot with the memory of trying to take a standardized test with one and snapping the lead over and over while trying to fill in ovals.

GRRRRRRR, mechanical pencils. They just piss me off.


Dave said...

I like mechanical pencils for when I draw. The lead is usually softer, the erasers are usually better and the bodies are fatter.

I always hated sharpening a wood pencil every 15min., or worse, sharpening those weird plasticy-wood pencils with the really bad graphite.

B said...

mechanical pencils = best invention ever.

perfect for keeping in band folder/instrument case--i hate being in band wtih a regular pencil that needs to be sharpened b/c i never have a pencil sharpener and i never remember to take it out of the folder and go sharpen it. plus, the little clippy thing lets me clip it under the stand--so i don't knock it off the stand every time i turn a page like i do with a regular pencil.

also perfect for keeping in purses--led is retractable and doesn't draw all over the inside of your purse or break

also perfect for keeping with all my stuff for piano lessons--again, i hate having a pencil in my lesson supplies bucket that needs to be sharpened b/c i never remember to sharpen it.

also perfect for my house--b/c i don't have a pencil sharpener at home. i've bought some, but they always break. mechanical pencils last forever.

another good point! you don't have to keep buying pencils! you can use a mechanical pencil forever and all you have to buy is like a 10 cent thing of lead.

i have writing with a dull pencil and a mechanical pencil is always perfectly sharpened.

sorry sarah--hate 'em if you want--and you do bring up a few good points about how they break if you put too much lead out--but i have to say...

go mechanical pencils!!!!

B said...

ps--i understand the crossword frustrations, although i can't speak from experience--i do mine with a pen. pencils on newspaper just smudge and get my fingers even dirtier. yea, i end up scratching out sometimes--but it also makes me really think and be certain about my answer b4 i input it into the puzzle!

Sarah Ford said...

okay, the only part of your argument i'm buying is the part about the clip.

i originally listed the clip as its sole advantage in my blog, but later edited it out.

it is nice to be able to clip the pencil onto something.

however- your other three points, i'm not buying.

1. the purse argument: an uncapped pen, yes, will wreak havoc on the inside of your purse, but honestly, does a no. 2 do that much damage? i think i've had those little golf pencils in my purse for years at a time and not one of them even produced a stray mark.

2. the sharpening: what's this about never having a pencil sharpener and never remembering to sharpen them? how hard is it to buy one of those eensy little sharpeners to keep in your purse or someplace? i keep one right near my pen/pencil cup (mainly only for crosswords and sudoku).

3. the cost: it's a pencil! if you haven't noticed, they're pretty much giving them away at Wal-Mart, not to mention banks, grocery stores, fire departments, hotels and expos the world over. also, since the lead is more than a sixteenth of an inch thick, a good, old-fashioned pencil lasts at least five times as long as a tiny little piece of lead.

standing O for the classic pencil! hooray! :)