Monday, October 17, 2011

Disappointment & Surprise

For years I used a basic Papermate PhD click pencil for my preliminary sketches. Henceforth to be referred to as Old Faithful. I found the thickness and shape of the pencil made drawing for hours on end far more tolerable. Even more expensive pencils manufactured by other companies in a similar fashion just hadn't gotten it quite right. The Papermate PhD surpassed all others in comfort.

Thus I was understandably distraught when, after ten years, my beloved pencil finally gave way to over-use and broke. Even more distraught when I learned I could not find another like it in stores anywhere. Papermate PhD in its original incarnation was no more. Several newer models had taken its place, none of which were as good as the first.

Not to get side tracked here but ten years is a pretty long life for a click pencil. I just felt obligated to point that out. Not even most cars last that long and you pay thousands of dollars for those. I paid $5.00 for my pencil.

In the interim I've tried dozens of pencils, trying to find a new one to take its place. From cheap Bic pencils to more expensive fancy pants art pencils. None of them could come close to the comfort and accuracy of the Papermate PhD. The closest I was able to achieve was the Papermate ComforteMate Ultra. I'm not sure why it is named in that manner, it is definitely not ultra comfortable. I'm also not too sure what's ultra about it, there doesn't seem to be just a regular ComfortMate out there, so it isn't simply a more ultimate version of another pencil. It served well enough, though.

Once I had settled, I pretty much gave up ever finding another Old Faithful. Until the other day when after drawing for about forty-five minutes my hand felt like it was about to shrivel up and fall off at the wrist. Surely the internet could help me in this dire time of need.

After searching high and low, I actually wasn't having much luck at all. Almost every Papermate PhD I came across was one of the newer varieties. Over-priced and simply not as good. Just as I was about to throw in the towel a second time, I found one site that not only still stocked the old Papermate PhD, but specialized in supplying older office supplies. Neat. Triumphant at last, I ordered myself a shiny new scarlet barrel Papermate PhD. Shipping was free so the total was $4.50, which incidentally is a little less than I had spent on Old Faithful. 

Quantity: 1
This week the package arrived and I happily opened it. I pull out not a scarlet barreled Papermate PhD but an emerald barreled Papermate PhD. At first I'm sorely disappointed. I was so looking forward to having the exact same pencil that I had loved so much before. While this was still the model I was searching for for the last several years, it was the wrong color entirely. But then I reach in and pull out another emerald barreled Papermate PhD. And another... Over and over again for a total of six Papermate PhDs.

Sure, it's six pencils all in the wrong color, but it's also six pencils for the price of one pencil. How can I reasonably complain? That'd be absurd. "Oh, I'm sorry. I hate free stuff, please take it all back and give me what I paid for." Yeah, no.

I do however wish Aaron had not gone to class with the mailbox key this morning. I could have been using these (all of them -- at once!) accomplishing multiple sketches rather than just a single sketch! Instead I used the ComfortMate which has left my whole arm sore to the elbow. Boo.

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