Category: Other stuff
Date: 17 March 2003
I just want to say how much I love the Bic biro. In our time products have to be meddled with to the point of design overload. Why can't things just be kept simple?
You could argue that the pen is a product designed to make a profit for the company that produces it and fulfil a basic need. That's true. The Bic is more than that though, much more. Bic was a business man, make no mistake, but principles of availability, affordability and above all quality were paramount in his thinking.
Let me explain. Just think about it. Have you ever actually bought one? When was the last time you went and specifically bought that type of pen? Like me you probably found one squeezed between the buttocks of your sofa or discarded on the street.
They are classless and international. I've seen nervous teenagers chewing on them, Japanese girls sticking them in their hair, and artists scribbling with them.
Does the ink ever run out? Ok you have a point, but what pen doesn't? The only problem you might face is poor flow. Get a grip (excuse the pun) all you have to do is rub the old faithful between the fingers. Pretend your making fire and she'll be as good as new.
In the end even if you buy a fancy Parker or Mont Blanc you'll more than likely lose it and have to revert to the old faithful.
The Bic is a philosophical system, a true Zen product of the modern age. Treat those around you like the pen. You might lust after a beautiful woman, a fast car, but ultimately love the everyday, that which doesn't shout out "look at me".
I don't want to get too sentimental and romantic but all the great rights of passage in my life happened with a Bic Pen from exam halls, to sketching "Iron Maiden" on my school book.
So next time you are struggling to find a refill for your new fountain pen spare a thought for the old faithful. Don't just toss it away casually. Bid it goodbye with a whisper and a prayer.
If the word disposable makes you melancholy then there is only one option: get a refill. Just slide the black stick into the transparent shaft (gently) and away you go.
Bic people, Bic houses? What a world that would be.