Thursday, 25 March 2010

It's the end of the bic as I know it and I need a new one

Everytime I pass by, I always take a look at it. Number 60 of Corso Re Umberto in Torino is a very elegant building, a big main door and beautiful tall windows that make you imagine how spacious and big the rooms inside must be. It fits very well into the nice, well-off area it's located. In short, the right place for a baron to be born; in 1914 to be exact.
His name was Marcel Bich: in 1950 he bought from László Bíró the patent for the ballpoint pen. The biro as we know it.
Back in elementary school it took me ages to “upgrade” from pencil to pen, because I used to make a complete mess out of anything with ink in it. But once the giant step was taken, there was no way back. I was hooked by the smothness of the ink on every kind of paper and the way they looked like in my chubby hands.

Yep, standard, normal, inexpensive black cristal bic was my favourite pen.
It sounds funny to use the adjective “favourite” to define a disposable item such a bic, I know but they just were and are.
Clumsy as I was, fountain pens wouldn't last long but the bic was faithful and endured anything. They lasted forever and ever, if the ink dried out, just few drops of alcohol were enough to resuscitate it and the black ink was really black. 
Growing up, I've stopped destroying fountain pens after few weeks of usage and started enjoying writing with them, but I never gave up on one type of pen for the other one: everywhere I go, there's always a biro in my bag.

However such a high level of reliability is not something that works well in a more and more consumer-oriented society. In the past few years I noticed that things have started to change for bic too: some of them dry out more easily, they seems to have grown more fragile and the alcohol trick doesn't work 100% of the times I've tried it.

When I find a bic that fits all the qualities of the glorious past, I feel so happy, even though a small part of me is already quite sad, knowing a day like today will eventually come.

When it's over...

Yep, the last bic I had and loved is over; I need to get a new one, hoping it will work as well as the last one.

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