THE NO.2 PENCIL
Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of everything in the world. Today I am reviewing the No. 2 pencil.
The most famous of all the pencils is the No. 2. The successor to the No. 1, the No. 2 has it all: graphite; an eraser; and a gripping area. Most notably, it has the innate ability to be recognized by Scantron machines – a popular machine that judges children’s answers on school tests. Without the No. 2, no one would be able to identify the smart children and the dummies.
Too often, No. 2 pencils have been discarded before fulfilling their potential. With more than an inch of the pencil remaining, people often say to themselves, “I want a longer pencil because the stubbiness of this one does not appeal to me.” Then the pencil is callously discarded into a waste bin. Who knows what works of art might have been produced by the remaining inch?
Which is why I went to the landfill to look for No. 2 pencils and see what I could write with them. Maybe I could write someone else’s famous novel! Unfortunately it’s really impossible to find an inch-long pencil at a landfill. I did find a couple of good shirts though. Not my size, unless I lose a few pounds.
For all its virtuous uses, the No. 2 pencil can also be used for some rather dastardly acts, such as stabbing someone. That happened to me a couple of decades ago. I was the stabbee, not the stabber. Here is a recent photo of the man who stabbed me with a pencil. If you see him, stay away.
To this day, a dark spot remains beneath my skin where the lead was dislodged.
For a long time after that I hated No. 2 pencils. Every time I saw one I would snap it in half to show it who was boss. And I would only write using a quill and ink set. This made me look sophisticated. Unfortunately it was easy to see all my mistakes. When I wrote a letter to a mean man and accidentally told him I was going to “lick his ass” (instead of kick his ass), I knew it was time to go back to the No. 2. You could write an entire death threat with a No. 2 pencil and then erase the whole thing. No one will ever know what you did and it’s very cathartic.
Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing peanut butter.