Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Little Blue and other perilous anachronisms

Anyone else remember the bog-average Brit cartoon of the 70s, “Little Blue”? It featured a small elephant living and going to school in London, who was a bit ... different. Not because he was a pachyderm, but because his skin was bright blue. It was one of those cartoons where most of the “animation” was mostly static pictures with a voice-over. Story-books for TV, or some other great BBC idea.

The title music had a picture of the eponymous little elephant in a bubble bath:

“Little Blue, Little Blue,
bit his mother’s fountain pen and broke it in two,
the ink it squirted in the water ... wow! ...
and mummy’s got a blue boy now – ow – ow ow”, burbled the theme song.

My own recent encounters with the Mad Ex’s fountain pen have brought this childhood relic to mind.

I ran out of pens at work, and rather than go to the stationary cabinet, reached for the fountain pen I was given in, I think, 1998 by a particularly odd woman who I was then dating – more-or-less. She was seriously deluded, but very good at keeping up the pretence of her highly successful life as a uni-student/young businesswoman/parliamentary advisor. Never mind that each of these roles was a complete fiction backed by her father’s credit cards. She was eventually convicted of obtaining a financial advantage by deception (otherwise called “fraud”, boys and girls).

Anyway, I keep the fountain pen she gave me. At some point I was even given fountain-pen ink by a friend. Every now and then I convince myself writing with a fountain pen requires deliberation and will improve my handwriting. Perhaps.

Using a fountain pen, however, reminds me why the ball-point exists. Fountain pens are messy. After just opening an inkbottle that had lain dormant for a year (and glued itself shut with spilt ink) I looked like freakin’ Little Blue.

... Except for being a four-foot tall elephant in a school uniform.

Anyway, refilling the actual pen was another near-disaster. (“Crap, oh crap, oh crap, where are the tissues around here?”)

My writing’s appearance, however, has marginally improved.

We’ll see how I look at the end of the week ...

No comments: