Friday, October 21, 2005

pencil factories erased

Dixon-Ticonderoga, venerable maker of yellow #2 pencils, announced it is closing its plants in the US and Quebec. It’s hard to imagine a world without pencils. Where would all the pencil-necked geeks be without a pencil to put behind their ear? How would we pencil-whip all that paper work without pencils? What would we do when it was time to get serious, sharpen our pencils, put our heads together, and solve that big problem? Imagine never having the singular satisfaction of taking a dull, worn, non-writing pencil, sticking it into a high-powered electric pencil sharpener, and pulling out a brand-new, razor tipped, writing *weapon*. A sharp pencil is a versatile thing of beauty. You can flip it up and stick it in ceiling tiles, stab your friend in the front row in the back of the neck, or Christmas-tree fifty bubbles on a standardized test. The humanistic pencil never made a mark that couldn’t be erased. In the world of pencils, #1 is no good…#2 is the best!