The Overwrappers And The Underwrappers.

I get pens in the mail just about every day. Despite the fact that it works out about twenty a week, each pen is still as exciting to unwrap as the first one I ever bought. There often is a fly in the ointment, though, and it centres around that word “unwrap”.

There are, it seems to me, three kinds of packers. There are those who use good materials to wrap a pen securely and still leave it easy to unwrap at the other end. They are very, very rare. Then there are the ones who throw the precious pen that I spent £50 on in an ordinary envelope and let it take its chances. Not even a padded bag – an ordinary envelope! They are all too common. Last, there’s the third kind. He knows you have to protect the pen but he doesn’t have any postal tubes or cardboard boxes, so he takes whatever may be to hand, in the knowledge that an abundance of bubble wrap and parcel tape will make up for any other shortcomings. I hate this one SO BAAAAD!!

This morning I got a splendid Macniven & Cameron Waverley (of which more another day). First, it had been wrapped in six layers of bubble wrap, secured by half a pound of parcel tape. This mess was placed in a small plastic tupperware-style box, and that was wrapped with many layers of that white-and-red “Fragile” tape which is made of the toughest substance in the known universe.

I broke a nail on it. I repair twenty pens a week and I never break a nail. Never.

No fate is too horrible for people who pack a pen in this way.

6 thoughts on “The Overwrappers And The Underwrappers.

  1. Whoops !! I do belong in the third category, receiving many a pens a week and returning to senders after repair, I do use the packaging in which they were sent though. I would image the McNiven and Cameron pen to come up, is the bulb like filler recently sold, I have the same pen, with a McN&C nib, but not in the distinctive thistle shape.

    1. I must have missed that one, Eric. Macniven & Cameron made pens in so many different styles that I have yet to catch up with them all. No, the one I’m going to write about today is a late Waverley, probably the last, in fact.

    1. Hi strangeknight,

      As the song says, “It ain’t necessarily so.” Some pens arrive so ridiculously over-wrapped that it’s hard to extract them from the packaging without causing damage.

  2. I once got a smashed pen in the mail, and I mean smashed to bits like someone really stepped on it 😦

    And I get pens in the most weird containers (drill bits boxes, cheap reading glasses cases, even a vitamin tube from Tesco!) so at least I get a laugh out of it!

    1. I’ve had the spectacles cases, lengths of plastic pipe (which make good packing for pens) and a suitcase-shaped plastic box which once held wall plugs. These are all better than the cardboard boxes that toothpaste tubes come in (I kid you not!).

      I had a nice Conway Stewart 36 snapped across the barrel. It had been posted in an ordinary envelope.

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