[Click for a larger view.]
I realized some time earlier this year that I’ve been using this .05 mm Pentel Quicker Clicker, on and off, for something like thirty years. There are mechanical pencils with more pizzazz — Alvin’s Draf/Tec retractable for one, the Kuru Toga for another — but there can be few mechanical pencils as durable as the Quicker Clicker. Or as durable at least as this Quicker Clicker. The pencil’s claim to distinction is its “convenient side lead advance,” visible in the photograph. No need to press down on a cap to advance the lead. I like the way this Quicker Clicker has aged: the translucent barrel shows ring upon ring from extra leads knocking around inside.
Traveling to Rachel and Seth’s wedding in April, I dropped this pencil’s eraser cap on a plane. Notice: I did not say that the cap “slipped” from my hand. I dropped it while erasing. The guy sitting next to me understood how much was at stake: he and I took apart our seats to search. No luck. He got down on the floor and searched under his seat using his iPhone as a flashlight. No luck. The people one row back looked around too. No luck. I drew a picture and gave it to a flight attendant with my info. “It’s a thirty-year-old pencil!” No luck. Perhaps the cap is still on board, living out its days as a newfangled Flying Dutchman.
The cap now on the pencil comes from a Quicker Clicker of recent manufacture (made with a textured grip). What distinguishes the new cap from the old: darker plastic and small slits for safety. They lessen the danger of suffocation if the cap is inhaled or swallowed. There’s nothing though to keep me from dropping it.
[This post is the sixteenth in an occasional series, “From the Museum of Supplies.” Supplies is my word, and has become my family’s word, for all manner of stationery items. The museum is imaginary. The supplies are real.]
Other Museum of Supplies exhibits
Dennison’s Gummed Labels No. 27 : Dr. Scat : Eagle Turquoise display case : Eagle Verithin display case : Faber-Castell Type Cleaner : Fineline erasers : Illinois Central Railroad Pencil : A Mad Men sort of man, sort of : Mongol No. 2 3/8 : Moore Metalhed Tacks : National’s “Fuse-Tex” Skytint : Pedigree Pencil : Real Thin Leads : Rite-Rite Long Leads : Stanley carpenter’s rule
[Note to self: Use a ballpoint next time.]
Monday, July 28, 2014
By Michael Leddy at 7:48 AM