I like carrying a shirt pen. It used to be a shirt pocket pen, back in the day when my uniform was jeans and a black Oxford button-down. Now that I respect myself and others considerably less, I’ve downgraded to jeans and a black t-shirt. Don’t take it personally.

I still like being prepared with a fountain pen, so that means I’m clipping one to the crew (or super douchey v-neck) collar of muh tee.

Clearly a heavy pen just won’t do for this application. Any TWSBI is out, and most plastic pens are too heavy as well.

Over the last year the shirt pen has either been a Pilot Prera, (I lost mine! It’s brown. Let me know if you see it) a Prera knockoff, or today’s pen– a Chinese knockoff of a Lamy Al-Star.

This pen is so light and cheap I wouldn’t be able to lose it if I tried. The finish is scraping off in a most unappealing way, so to compensate I put a Nudie Banana sticker on the barrel. He looks great on there, eyebrows askew, looking slightly abaft.

So, the pen. It’s an ebay buy, and cost me maybe $2.00. It writes just fine, with an extra fine line that’s suitable for cheap paper. I keep it inked with something permanent, a Noodlers sometimes, right now I’ve got it filled from an old bottle of Organics Studio Aristotle, which is a grey-blue iron gall ink that’s just about indestructible. We’ll see who survives.

I’m a fan of cheap pens a swell as the fancy/expensive ones. I use these where some less-devoted fountain pen folks might reach for a cheap ballpoint or some such. I hand ‘em off to noobs who show an interest in pens and/or handwriting.

The best use for these pens though, is to keep an anticipation rush going. Here’s what I’m saying– there’s no replacement for the feeling you get knowing there are pens on the way. Obviously the feeling is stronger when it’s a really nice pen. The difference between nice pen and crap pen is far less profound than the difference between crap pen and no pen.

So every now and then I’ll spend $8 on crap pens from China, with slow boat shipping, to keep the old spirit alive. It provides uncertainty when I’m opening the PO box on alternate Thursdays– are there pens here? There could be! Wouldn’t that be fun!

I like:

  • It’s light and shirt-able
  • There’s a naked banana on it.
  • I can LOL while tossing it across the room into a lion’s mouth.

I don’t care for:

  • The finish is as durable as a styrofoam bowl of instant oatmeal
  • Blatant abuse of somebody else’s intellectual property

 

Bang for the buck: to the moooon!

Special out of the box: eff no, bring yer own sticker.

Looks: like a Pripyat pen.

Writes: Good enough!

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