It's better for you than half the stuff you THINK is good for you.

A Story: “This Pen” – 14 April 2014

This is a story of what happened to me when I landed in London nearly a month ago, the first of of many I found there.


This Pen


I got this pen at Heathrow,

trying to get through the

humidly uncomfortable line

that always seems to exist at

crowded Customs counters.


I was to fill out the entry form

the stewardesses—

sorry, flight attendants

give you when you’re

“ten minutes out” from your destination

but still jostling through

the lingering effects of

low-altitude turbulence

in a holding pattern

high above

the runway, down which

we were to taxi.

I brought that rumpled form with me,

still blank,

into Terminal 4.


This guy—

an American, white… Mid-forties, maybe?—

gave me this one, and said

(not in these exact words but

pretty close)


“Keep it. It’s just a forty ‘p’ pen.”


Yeah. He actually said forty ‘p’.

I remember that part.

I also remember thinking

he was a tool.


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