Zebra Steel F 301
My younger brother is thirteen. He bought me a set of Zebra Steel pens for Christmas. They couldn't have been more then $5 for the three pack--black, blue and red ink.
This is the first year that I can recall when he spent his own money on presents. I didn't get him anything this year because I was strapped, waited too late to buy anything and didn't know what Mom would or wouldn't let him have.
I have memories of this pen. The oldest boy used to write with them all the time and loved to use them. I never did. In fact, long ago I married the Uni·ball vision fine point pens (0.7 mm). I started with the retractable Uni·ball Impact 1.0 mm pen ten years ago. That pen put out a lot of ink. It took me almost a year to realize that while I liked the pen, it just wasn't for me. I switched to the fine Vision and writing has been heaven, so much so that I refuse to write with anything else. I'm so anal about the pens that I use, I cary my pen with me everywhere I go and always use it to sign credit card receipts, etc.
I bought a box of the Uni·ball fine Vision
that lasted me for three plus years. I like these pens because they are waterproof and fade proof. The Vision is a true ball point pen i.e. the ball rolls. You can take these pens on planes and not have to worry about taking the caps off or dealing with explosions. When you start a new pen, it may sometimes skip or leak. Once, however, you break the pen in, it is as good as gold until the ink runs out which you can monitor via various windows on the body. The ink is very bold and has an even flow, but the corollary is that there are certain surfaces on which the pen refuses to write. These tend to be wax and certain glossy cardboards.
The body of the pen is full plastic, even the finger rest. This can be a little uncomfortable from time to time, especially where the tip of the pen meets the finger rest, but all in all, the plastic has a natural silky feel against the middle finger. One may long for a rubber finger rest from time to time, but my experience with rubber finger rests are that they can be just as excruciating unless they are soft rubber, fit on a pencil and are made by Yikes!
I tell everyone that I special order my pens...which is a half-truth. I used to be able to walk into Walmart or Sam's and get a 20 pack for $12. Now, they cost almost as much for a five pack and are difficult to find in a big box store--even if that store happens to be an office supply store such as Office Max, Office Depot, Staples, etc. I haven't had to resort to ordering the pens online just yet, but I fear that I may have to on the next stock-up. Because I always have to hunt for my pens an fear having to order them online one day, I don't consider this to be a non-truth, just a prophecy that hasn't come to pass.
My dilemma is such: I want to use the Zebra pens that my brother gave me but I cannot for several reasons:
• They are uncomfortable. The finger rest is a hard plastic or vinyl that is grooved all around the finger rest. Very uncomfortable.
• They do not roll across the page like the Vision does. The Zebra create too much drag.
• The Zebras are faint on the page at best whereas the Vision puts copious amounts of ink on the page leaving a nice, crisp bold text.
I'm resolved not to use these pens. It's not like I was bought an expensive pen set from a jewelry story, but I think it would be shitty to give them to someone else. I thought about sticking the pens in a community pool at work, but again, that feels dirty. The only solution that allows me to sleep at night besides putting the Zebras in a drawer to collect dust is to find someone that enjoys the pen, but this takes effort, much like finding someone to adopt an unwanted child or pet.
Dear reader, I put the question to you: What is the the most tactful way to deal with this situation?
has come up with the perfect solution: a Xanga contest. The 100th commenter on this post will receive the 3-set Zebra F·301s via First Class United States Mail. Live Journal users need not apply (unless you want to sign up for a Xanga. Anonymous comments will not be considered for the drawing nor will my self-comments.)
Let the comments begin!