You know what I’m talking about here – the one thing a pen cannot do if it is to be a keeper. A minor infraction here or there might be tolerated, but consistently ignoring the rules means banishment.
Of course I’m talking about writing. A pen must write. The first time, every time it’s expected to.
Yeah, if it’s a fountain pen that’s been sitting for a few months I don’t have high expectations, but if it’s been only a week or so that’s no excuse.
For a gel pen it depends. If it’s one that comes with the little blob on the point I take that as a sign that it’s not designed to handle being left unused for very long, but it should behave as well as a quality fountain pen. Otherwise, I expect it to be like a ballpoint.
For ballpoints it’s pretty much zero tolerance for anything that hasn’t been full on abandoned in the glove compartment.
We all have pens that are in jail serving time for this crime. In the drawer, the pencil cup, maybe even back in the original box. My memory fades and something about them calls to me. I revive them, give them some loyal usage, and I’m reminded about why they were banished.
However some pens are trustworthy. Pelikan’s fall into this category for me, with Lamy and Namiki a very close second. Nearly anything else (forget Parker) is probably at least on probation.
Fisher refills may drag like a dog with no legs (although they reward loyal usage) but they will always write in my experience. Most other ballpoints are pretty reliable as well. I do have a Caran d’Ache bold black refill that ALWAYS skips the first letter requiring a do-over. It’s pretty much killed my enthusiasm for the 849.
The Pilot G2 doesn’t give much trouble, but the fancier, finer, and much rarer pens I’ve gotten from Japan are more finicky. They’re fine within a day or so, but not go-to pens for the cup next to the phone.
So how about you? What pens do you have in jail?