The Short Unhappy Life of Doomed Things

I used to own a sweater that was doomed. Now I own a pencil that was doomed. The sweater was a white cotton sweater that actually fit me but which suffered from three different spills, including two with coffee, one of which came right after the first spill had been cleaned and involved me colliding in a doorway with a person carrying the coffee.

Doomed things are not cursed things. Cursed things bring disaster to the owner. Doomed things merely end up getting damaged themselves and being tossed out quickly. Their lives are so miserable you don’t even worry about the sunk costs. The third disaster ruined the sweater and I threw it away (eventually); except for some personal embarrassment, I was unharmed.

I now own a doomed pencil. Actually, I own what’s left of it. Several months ago, taking advantage of sales points on a point card, I acquired a Rotring 600 mechanical pencil. I thought it was a bit slim but it was comfortable enough that I started using it as my regular work pencil.

Within the first month of using it, it fell out of my pocket and the lead tube bent to an impressive 30 degrees. I managed to straighten it out and make the pencil usable again, but it still wasn’t quite straight.

Then, a month after that, the eraser cap flew off when I was using it, sending me scrambling on the floor in the middle of class to find it as if it were a lost nickel or a contact lens. That part was the most annoying as it didn’t really seem attached to the pen and I ended up squeezing it with pliers to make it stay on the pencil.

Finally, about a month after that issue had been resolved, it fell off the podium and the lead tube bent again. This time when I tried to straighten it, it just snapped off leaving me with a pencil that is slightly usable but only if I only click the lead out a little.

There used to be a tube sticking out the end here.

There used to be a tube sticking out the end here.

You can kind of see, if you look closely, the oval shape and the marks from the pliers.

You can kind of see, if you look closely, the cap’s new oval shape and marks from the pliers. I’m amazed I still have it.

Even if it hadn’t been doomed, I was underwhelmed with the Rotring 600. It looks great but is too slender to use for more than taking roll. It also strikes me as a desk pencil and not an every day carry pencil, especially if the cap keeps falling off for no reason. I suspect that if I’d only used it at my desk in my office I might still be using it.

But since it was doomed, it probably would have managed to break itself there too.

 

3 thoughts on “The Short Unhappy Life of Doomed Things

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