Saturday, December 29, 2012
The Pen Guy
So tonight I (quite inadvertently, I promise!) stole a pen from one of my favorite bars. Hey, that'll happen! But that sort of thing happens a lot, which is where the Pen Guy stepped in. Back in the day, the Pen Guy was an East Village dive bar's best bet to stem the constant tide of pen depletion. An honest-to-god traveling salesman, this goggle-eyed, gnomish fellow would hoof it from bar to bar in the dark of night with one purpose: to sell pens. As often as not, he would be greeted with gratitude and money by a mixologist desperate for a handful of writing instruments. With the closing of that transaction, he would set his salesman's sights on those of us on the other side of the bar. He was not a verbose salesman; he simply opened his bulky plastic case of pens and let us gape at them. He knew his stock and the quality thereof intimately, and he let his inventory speak for itself. I only had one verbal interaction with the man: I took an interest in a newly-released Uniball, and he said: "Oh, that's a VERY good pen.". A few bucks changed hands, and I had that pen plus a couple of Sharpies as well (I think most of his sales were of Sharpies to drunks, actually). He's been long gone from the scene, but I can't help but wonder how the dive bars of the East Village can fend for themselves against pen thieves like myself. So Pen Guy, whether you be on this plane or the next, Salutations! I need a fresh Sharpie or two, and you are sorely missed.