Sunday, June 22, 2008

Don't take this too seriously...

...But am I the only one with a nostalgic affection for the Bic Classic? Humblest of the cheap throwaway ball-points, this pen was introduced in 1950 by Marcel Biche, in France, and remains virtually unchanged since.

The Bic’s runny and uneven ink flow graced many a school notebook of mine in the 1960s. And this is where nostalgia kicks in. As anyone knows, ballpoint tips wear down with use. It’s only in the last stage of the refill’s life that it loses its typical uniform, uninteresting ballpoint line and spreads to a glorious, rich, runny blobbiness.

Call me perverse, but I like that last inch of a Bic the best. So naturally it occurred to me that it should be possible to put a new ink tube on an old tip, and if course it is. It’s easy to pull the Bic refill apart, keep the old worn tip, and slip in just the ink reservoir from a new one. You might have to blow gently down the top of the tube to prevent an air bubble forming as you press the two parts together. Then you have a fresh Bic that will be runny all the way down! It won’t last as long as a new one, but of course Bics are cheap! Only be warned that the tip will break down completely in time, and start to leak horrendously after you’ve used it about five times. Then it’s time to start another one.


Vancouver Pen Club said...

My gosh....from a Namiki Vanishing Point fountain pen, to a Bic ballpoint.... I think you need to go to the upcoming Portland Pen Show, Bill, to clear your head of those cheap ballpoints! Mind you, they did make pretty good pea shooters in elementary school...heh.

Wordsmith said...

How could I have forgotten? Of course, the Bic made a great peashooter too. You could get spitball across the classroom with deadly accuracy through an empty Bic tube. Thanks for reminding me Maja!