the launch of the iPad, it is time to take stock and remind
ourselves about the pen.
The pen is quick, cheap, portable and has no great learning
curve: once the user has become familiar with which end is
which, the pen is simple to use. Some models feature an on-off
switch, easily accessible by the thumb.
The pen can be used to write on a variety of surfaces, including
the human skin.
Many pens have a handy clip which not only protects the nib,
but allows the pen to be attached firmly to a document or
Used in conjunction with a small notebook, the pen helps you
keep track of events, meetings, contacts, phone numbers and
general aides memoire. Note that if you happen to lose your
pen, a mobile phone is a good (if elaborate) substitute for
The instances of people being mugged for their pen are rare.
And in happy-slapping incidents, no-one as yet has done a
quick illustration, in pen, of the event.
No-one on a train ever got annoyed by a fellow passenger’s
pen going off.
Fun versions of the pen are available – including one
which when turned upside down makes the animated lady inside
the transparent shaft appear to remove her bikini top.
The humble biro can be disassembled and it’s hollow
shaft turned into a handy blowpipe weapon. Indeed, the same
apparatus can be used as a life-saving chest drain or tracheostomy.
Held horizontally against a piece of paper, the pen provides
a ruler-like platform for drawing a straight line with a second
You can put a lightweight pen up each nostril and pretend
to be a walrus. Is there an app for that? I think not.
Oh, and silver pens look really cool.