I have a drawerful of fountain pens and a cupful of other writing implements on my desk. I also have perhaps half a dozen computer keyboards in various boxes around the house — but it’s not the same thing. Not at all. There’s writing, and then there’s writing. And now, in September, when bevies of reluctant happy children are flushed back to school, I still get a hankering after a pencil box with a sliding tongue lid full of brilliantly sharpened 2B pencils. Remember the quiet thrill of breaking the silence of that blank white page with the first stroke? Was it lead or ink? Ballpoint or fountain or rollerball or gel or…?
Yes, things have changed. I think with nine fingers now (we need to invent a keyboard that makes use of the left thumb…). And when I do write, cursively I mean, I see how badly my handwriting has deteriorated. No wonder I make so little use of my big collection of writing implements: no one could use the results, not even I myself.
The decline in cursive writing today is sad, perhaps. But it is certainly likely to make graphology a poor career choice. Which may explain why TUL Pens invented the marvellously funny Dr. Gerard Ackerman, Graphologist. The gag here is that you write on a piece of paper “I need a new pen.” And then, under the guidance of the good doctor, you analyse your own handwriting, in order to discover how it reveals your personality.
The thing is wonderfully done. Using Flash, Ackerman pontificates at you and dead pans some really funny lines. This is the sort of advertising that is a real treat to encounter. Makes me almost want to place an order for some of their pens. I think retractable pencils might make sense… or perhaps the gel ink ones…