The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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It’s Just A Pencil

on September 6, 2012

It became apparent to me today that my lack of ability to sleep well for the past week or so is starting to affect my mood.  I am one of those people who just gets downright cranky after a few days of not getting my normal allotment of sleep every night.  I can do it for a while but eventually “Mom-zilla” begins to emerge.  Ask my family, they’ll testify I am speaking the truth.   I’m fairly sure I scared them all last night.  I am not by nature a cranky person so when I get that way they presume I’m either really tired or getting sick.  Either way they leave me alone.  I wish I were more like my even-keeled needing-little-sleep husband.  He amazes me.  He can live on 4 or 5 hours of sleep each night for a long period of time and still function well.  It isn’t fair really. At any rate I am most definitely NOT like him so the crankiness is beginning to set in. This morning was my sure sign.

I arrived at my office this morning gritty-eyed but caffeine-infused and ready to catch up on everything I’d missed by not working yesterday.  I opened my side drawer, the one in which I keep the personal pens and pencils that I purchase for myself because I am a writing utensil snot, to discover that my mechanical pencil was missing.  The pencil I bought two weeks ago to replace the one that had disappeared . That one had been around about a month before it had been stolen.  The one before it maybe three months.  I pulled out file folders and throughly searched.  Sure enough my new pencil was gone. The only thing left behind was the cover to the eraser.  I instantly became slightly past irritated. Normally these things don’t bother me much. I’m used to people “borrowing” things from my desk and not returning them.  I usually find those items in the most interesting places later: the church kitchen, assorted classrooms…one time I found the staple puller in the bathroom. (I still don’t want to know the story behind that.) My persona; pencils and pens, however, seem to disappear without a trace. From a drawer that no one has any business looking in.  I have a stocked-full pencil/pen cup on my desk. Everyone knows that the top drawer on one side is open to the public for whatever they need.  These poor little pencils are being swiped out of a drawer where no one in their right mind would keep pencils.  That’s why I put them there.  Obviously it isn’t working.  As I expressed my disgust at the lack of respect for my personal desk space I thought to myself. “Geez woman. Get a grip. It’s just a pencil!” 

In my lack of sleep starved brain it became so much more.  I was downright indignant so I “Face Booked” about it.   Best thing I could have done.  I have great friends with great ideas. It was suggested that someone should invent an electrical pencil that you could set when you leave and it would zap anyone who tried to pick it up.  I don’t know.  Maybe that was a bit harsh.  It is, after all, just a pencil. 

One of my friends thought a pencil that said, “Thou shall not steal” in a booming voice might do the trick (I work in a church after all) After thinking about it I decided that probably wouldn’t stop anyone.  It’s never stopped anyone before.  Surely God didn’t mean we couldn’t take the little stuff. It’s just a pencil.

Yet another clever friend suggested I get a pencil that wouldn’t work without first fingerprint, voice and retinal recognition.  I really liked that one.  That would kind of make me feel like 007 or something.  Cool.  Then I wondered what would happen if I got a cold.  Would that mess up the voice recognition.  What if someone stole my fingerprints like they did on the movie “National Treasure” just so they could steal my pencil?  Oh wait. It’s just a pencil.

Somewhere in the conversation someone pointed out that she has a purse full of pens from other places: the bank, the insurance agency, etc.  Of course those people know you are going to take those pens.  I have a cup full of pens with the church logo on my desk. You can take as many of those as you want.  I even have pencils in there.  Help yourself. Just leave my stuff alone! I feel invaded. Like my perimeter has been breached. Yeah. I know.  It’s just a pencil.

Pondering  it further, because, well, that’s what I do. I ponder really ridiculous things that no one else would give a second thought.  (This is magnified by “tired”.)  I think I have finally come up with the perfect solution to my problem and I’ll be heading to the patent office soon.  I’m going to create a pen and/or pencil with a tiny GPS chip in it that you program to the coordinates of your desk.  When the instrument of writing is taken more than 20 yards away from its home base it explodes.  No – not the fire and smoke kind of explode. I’m not tired enough to be THAT mean yet. I mean the “I just got ink all over my shirt” kind of exploding pen.  Yes…I know pencils don’t have ink…I’m still working on that part.  Of course with my luck I’d take off with my own pen down the hall, go  too far and – bang – ink everywhere.  The other downside is that I would have to clean up the ink in the hallway. Perhaps I could set it so that it waited to explode until AFTER you walked out of the building.  That would be better.  No mess for me to clean up that way.  And then maybe it could electrocute you.  That would be WAY better.  I think I’m on to something here.  Oh – wait.  That may be a little overboard. It’s just a pencil.

Laugh if you will but I am will to wager that the reason Ben Franklin discovered electricity was because he was tired of people borrowing his keys and not returning them so he tied them on a kite.   What seems like a little insignificant thing can lead to something so much more.  Necessity is the mother of invention after all.  Ineed people to quit taking my pencils.  I just know that I am going to come up with some revolutionary way to keep my pencils from disappearing and it will become an overnight sensation.  I’ll be on infomercials everywhere just you wait and see. It will all because during a week of my sporatic insomnia someone swiped my .05 lead Pentel pencil with the gripper .  I know that doesn’t sound special or fancy but you see….

When you are tired there is no such thing as “Just A Pencil.”


3 responses to “It’s Just A Pencil

  1. Oh this is so funny! Very well written for how tired you are!!! haha!!

  2. I hear you on so many levels. I’m a chronically sleep-deprived momma. I have so many “just a pencils” in my life!

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