Monday, July 27, 2009

A Prick, You Say?

by Ben Small

Shopping for school supplies in the inner city? Why not give L'il Tommy and Susie something useful for school this year, a new kind of pencil: one without lead.

Huh? How does it write?

It doesn't. This isn't an ordinary pencil; in fact, it's not a pencil at all. It's a new form of death-bringer, an inner city defense pencil.

Ads for this defense weapon have been appearing in gun mags for some months, and until now, these ads have escaped my attention. Guess I'm slipping...

But this thing is deadly. Looks like a pencil, feels like a pencil, albeit a steel one, and operates like a ball point, with push button simplicity. It's a spring activated tempered carbon steel rod ground like a syringe needle, operated with one hand, with moving parts silver soldered, made from a high quality steel drafting tool.

And this pencil's got the cool factor nailed down. It's used by many USA agencies, most likely the ones specializing in the black arts. No doubt Dick Cheney wears one in his shirt pocket. Having problems on the school bus or subway? One quick jab to the back of your bully's neck, and he won't be troubling L'il Tommy any more.

And as we all know, puncture wounds don't bleed much. L'il Tommy won't even soil his shirt.

These babies are affordable. Only $34.95 each, with discounts for volume. Just think: Everybody in your club can have one.

I know, I know, hat pins have been used as murder weapons by little old ladies for years. But when they pull them out to deal death, their hair falls down. That means even more time in the bathroom. Now, the blue hairs have a new choice, one that won't interfere with a husband's reading time. Now L'il Mrs. Blue Hair can say, "Here let me get a pencil and write down my number," rumble around in her purse, and when Bluto bends over to see what she's writing, Whamo!

Bye, bye Bluto...

Plus there are other advantages. Coming home from a long day of dispatching bad guys, needing a Bloody Mary but the ice is clumped, a ready solution is at hand. Is there any better ice pick? You don't even have to wipe off the blood. It blends right in.

And for variety and additional fun, you can dip your pencil in a poison dart frog or curare for some extra added enjoyment. Just give your victim a nick and watch him twitch. Oh what fun!

This could be better than watching True Blood.

Every writer should have one of these. We now have a new form of response when an editor pushes too hard. What's better than a prick to a prick?


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Why do I think giving weapons to kids is a bad idea? :)

Mystery Writing is Murder

Chester Campbell said...

Sticky subject, Ben. You're too much.

Jean Henry Mead said...

I worry about my daughter who teaches middle school in Salt Lake City. She tells me unbelievable stories about what today's kids do and carry with them to school. Hopefully not the pencil you featured, Ben.

Unknown said...

I was kidding about giving them to children.

Unknown said...

Just read a review of this product that says the hold mechanism for the needle point won't hold if much force is used. The reviewer tried piercing cardboard boxes with this thing, and found the point would retract after piercing two boxes and did not penetrate the third, so I'd hate to rely on it as a defense weapon, although for story-writing, one would naturally ignore the test reports and exaggerate its effectiveness.

Morgan Mandel said...

Pretty scary looking item in its simplicity.

Morgan Mandel

Mark W. Danielson said...

Too many items like this have been found by TSA airport screeners. On the plus side, they are finding them. On the down side, they're not finding all of them. So perhaps the solution is to arm everyone on board. Weapons are only a problem when only a few people with devious minds have them.

Jaden Terrell said...

Hear hear, Mark.

Ben, your posts on unusual weapons are giving my protagonist all kinds of ideas. I gotta him one of these. (Of course, what he really wants is that mega-crossbow you talked about a few weeks ago.)

Unknown said...

Mark, I'd hate to think of all passengers being armed, especially with the number of drunks on board. Still, even a paper clip could be used as a weapon, although this thing is much more lethal.

Beth, yes, I think the crossbow is pretty neat, too. I may have to drop by that place and take a look at one. Trouble is, I'm afraid I'd shoot the bolts and lose them. I once bought hunting bows for me and my boys and we set up a target out by the river. We were such bad shots, we went through a lot of arrows. We shot them into the river by accident, and some we lost in the lawn. They went horizontal and we couldn't find them. But the lawnmower did... :<)

Anonymous said...


This blows me away. Are you serious about some USA agencies using these pens?

Was this handy little thing designed by a mystery writer? By a Russian? Seriously, it sounds like something out of James Bond.

Pat Browning

Unknown said...

Pat, that's what the ads say, and if untrue, that would be a rather blatant instance of false advertising, I'd guess. Shading would seem hard to do in an instance where either agencies (or any of them) do or do not.

But if the review I read is accurate, that the hold mechanism won't penetrate three cardboard boxes, I question how effective it would be.

But yes, it's a mystery writer's dream, but then, so is the hat pin... :<)

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