Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Naming of Snardblott

This incident took place during the Thanksgiving travel season of 2001. Here is some e-mail I sent at the time:

We had a number of airline misadventures this weekend, probably the most entertaining of which was the Incident of the Fountain Pen. As I went through security on Wednesday, they homed in on, of all things, my fountain pen. A fountain pen, you see, is pointy. Never mind that the tip of the nib is rounded, so it'll glide over the paper instead of tearing it. Never mind that it is made of gold instead of something much stronger like, say, paper. Never mind that there was a sharp, 0.5mm mechanical pencil in the same bag. No, the Pointy Fountain Pen was New and Scary.

Much consternation ensued. The Supervisor of the Checkpoint called over the Oversupervisor of All The Checkpoints. The folks with M-16s sauntered by to inspect the Fountain Pen. Finally, the Oversupervisor of All The Checkpoints called her superiors, whose titles were so lofty that she didn't tell me what they are, she just spoke of them in the abstract. Eventually, some duly appointed designee of Norman Mineta made the executive decision that yours truly wasn't going to hijack a 737 with a fountain pen, and I was allowed to carry it through security.

I've since decided that such a fearsome implement, the mere sight of which terrifies airport security and brings forth armed guards, deserves a name. So, I'm asking for suggestions. What name should I give the Fountain Pen of Doom?

Physical description: I bought it from a pen dealer in Columbus, Ohio (The Vintage Fountain Pen for those who visit the area.) It has no brand name or logo, and the woman at the fountain pen store here in California was unable to decipher the strange markings on the nib. It has a wide barrel and is fairly heavy. The barrel itself is blue, with a gold plaited clip, gold accents, and a gold nib. Ornamentation is minimal.

I humbly await your advice.

Creative friends quickly answered: SNARDBLOTT, Fiendish Fang dispensing Inky Venom of Vengeance. Indeed, Mason wrote the following poem:
Three Pens for the editors up on high
Seven for the writers in their cubes of foam
Nine for accountants that multiply
One for the dark lord in his dark home

In the land of order, where paperwork lies
One Pen to draft the forms,
One Pen to write them
One Pen to date the forms, and in the darkness sign them
In the land of order, where paperwork lies
Fear me, for I wield Snardblott, the One Pen.

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