One of the people I follow on Twitter is actor Nathan Fillion. Currently starring in the TV show “Castle”, I first became aware of him in the Joss Wheedon series “Firefly” which remains my favorite television show of all time. If you are unfamiliar with his work, please check him out. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0277213/
Anyway, yesterday he tweeted:
“I like a good pen. Fine point, wet, black ink like the Pilot Varsity. Your writing utensil preference?”
This is a particular issue for me as well. Pens are important. Whether you are trying to write down the telephone number of your future exwife, get driving directions, or capture a song lyric before it flies away, a good pen is an essential tool that should be in everyone’s toolbox. And they can be surprisingly unreliable and troubling. All this hullaballoo about a pen? Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for the 1980’s. (erie music plays, the screen begins to shimmer and a much younger Alan appears)
I had been in Las Vegas for a computer convention and the guy sitting next to me on the plane appeared to be somewhat of a blowhard. I had already finished the book I brought on the trip and was a captive audience. Have you ever met a guy who had been abducted by aliens? This was that kind of guy. Anyway he started rattling on about how he was a millionaire developer from Reno (sitting next to the hippie flying coach) and he was on his way to DC for a private meeting with then President George H.W. Bush, to share with the Commander in Chief some of his valuable insights on how to fix and grow the American Economy. He started to share some of those insights with me as well, and then I explained that the economy was really “outside” my personal purview.
So he moved on to tell me how he had registered the trademark “Consider…” to use promoting his development projects in Reno. (“Consider… Reno”) Then he showed me this little tiny pen that he had custom ordered a box of that had printed on the side “Consider… Me”
Apparently he was using these to pickup women in bars. He swore they worked like a charm. I remained dubious. In passing, he mentioned proudly that this was no ordinary pen. It was a “Fisher Space Pen” The “greatest pen in the world.” I mumbled something condescending and tried to get him to move on to a more interesting topic. He said, “No, really. Here. Take one” and he handed me a “Consider… Reno” pen. (I guess I wasn’t cute enough to warrant the “Consider… Me” model.)
I nodded, stuck the pen in my pocket, and promptly forgot about it. After a few more minutes of his self important prattling, I lost interest in the encounter and feigned sleep for the rest of the flight. I thought no more about Mr. Millions for some time.
Then one day, I needed to transcribe some crucial information and the normal pen I was carrying malfunctioned. In a panic I searched my belongings and found the magical Fisher Space Pen. It was tiny and singularly unimpressive to look at. (This was the Fisher “Stick” pen, not nearly as sexy as the Fisher “Bullet” which I later discovered.) Still, it was a pen and that was really all I needed. I pulled off the cap and started to write. It worked exactly like a pen and I got the girl’s number. (No, we never married.)
There was no orgasm. My life didn’t change the first time I touched the pen. I still didn’t think much about it. It was a pen. But it worked and it became my “go to” pen. As the weeks began to pass, I noticed that the pen never failed. I never had to scribble it frantically on something to wake it up. The heat of my pocket never cooked the ink solid as it did with the Bic pens that didn’t leak all over my pants first. It wrote upside down and in any other position I tried. (Yes, I am that adventurous…) I could write on greasy cookbook pages and glossy photographs. It gently changed my world.
Finally, one day the epiphany came. Darn it, the Fisher Space Pen was, in fact, The Greatest Pen In the World. I wanted to write Mr. Millions and thank him, but I had forgotten his name before the plane landed. Since that time, I try to always have a Fisher Space Pen on my person. I have given dozens as gifts to friends, family, and some of my favorite song writers. I am not sure that they ever converted anyone as powerfully as I was converted, but these are great great pens. My single favorite feature is that they never dry out, cook, or skip. The only way to kill one is to empty it. I lose or give mine away before I have ever run one down to nothing.
If you haven’t tried one, I suggest you buy one and live with it for a while. It doesn’t hit you all of a sudden, but one day you’ll realize this is no ordinary pen. Fisher is the Apple of pen companies. http://www.fisherspacepen.com/ If you are already “married” to another pen, Fisher makes refills that fit most fine writing instruments. The brilliance of the Fisher is really all in the refill.
For you tech heads, here is why it’s the best pen in the world:
“The ballpoint is made from tungsten carbide and is precisely fitted in order to avoid leaks. A sliding float separates the ink from the pressurized gas. The thixotropic ink in the hermetically sealed and pressurized reservoir is claimed to write for three times longer than a standard ballpoint pen. The pen can write at altitudes up to 12,500 feet (3810 m). The ink is forced out by compressed nitrogen at a pressure of nearly 35 pounds per square inch (240 kPa). Operating temperatures range from -30 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (-35 to 120 degrees Celsius). The pen has an estimated shelf life of 100 years.”