A trickle down theory

Of pens, of course: over at Bitch PhD, Sybil Vane:

I find this hard to comprehend. “Where,” he eventually asks, “do you think pens come from?”

This question (which was not but should’ve been followed by “Do you think they grow on trees?”) was fascinating to me because I realized I’ve not really any idea where pens come from. I don’t think I’ve ever purchased pens. Ever. And yet I have more or less always had one when I needed it.

So I thought for a few seconds and realized that I’ve never considered individuals to be in ownership of pens (fancy engraved pens excepted). Basically, what I assume happens is that offices (of companies, doctors, university departments, whatever) buy a big quantity of pens every year and that they serve as the source for the distribution of pens throughout society. I need a pen, I go to the main office in my department. I assume Mr. Vane does something similar. Its the trickle-down theory of pens, especially in the sense that one never really owns the pen, it just stops with you for a spell before re-entering circulation.

So lately I’ve been thinking about how it doesn’t really work this way, but should. I’ll probably continue to operate as though it does. Thank god I personally have never had to think about actually buying pens. Worse than batteries almost.

While you are at it, this teaspoon research might also be of interest to some of you!

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