How Not to Send a Pen

Normally I’d be pleased to receive a pen I’d won on eBay, but when I drew this wrinkled envelope – resembling a small lumpy pillow – out of the mailbox and saw the postage label I became annoyed. The seller had charged USD15 for shipping and only sent the pen First Class International from the US – the cheapest possible rate. No insurance either. What a jerk.

But even worse: he was a negligent jerk. The seller hadn’t bothered to protect the pen. See what came out of the bubble envelope:

This joker had simply dropped an expensive decades-old pen in a sandwich bag, loosely folded some bubble wrap around it, and dumped everything into a thin bubble mailer with some crumpled brown paper and a couple of packing peanuts.

Many sensible sellers enclose their pens in a length of PVC piping – cheap and effective. Would it have killed him to at least use some scotch tape and swaddle the pen snugly in layers of bubble wrap?

The pen now has a significant crack running down across all the barrel threads and a hairline crack on the cap lip. Who knows whether the damage was already there or whether this idiot’s negligence is to blame. I’ve already asked for a refund.

Another look at the pen junk box

The most recent Singapore fountain pen meetup on 4 July has given me new impetus to work on a few clunkers in my pen junk box. Often these were ill-considered, impulse buys.

I was a little disturbed to see that a Waterman Crusader had begun to develop fungus around the nib. But unsurprising considering how long it’s been neglected. I don’t think it’s worth the hassle of disinfecting and the worry of contamination, but I can’t bear to throw it away – yet.

The most promising candidate seems to be a green striated Sheaffer Craftsman. Minimal wear and brassing, lever working fine. The reason why I put it in the junk box: the fine nib is missing its iridium. Now I think I can smooth it into something that writes acceptably, but first I need to refit the nib and feed.