Three Designed Objects

BiC Cristal ballpoint

BiC Cristal ballpoint pens
An assortment of BiC Cristal ballpoint pens

The venerable ballpoint pen, how would any of us manage without it? Unlike the previous item though, I find this example peculiar in that it is neither attractive enough to deliberately own, comfortable enough to use for extended periods, nor built well enough to last a lifetime. Yet, I’ve always had one somewhere, whether I knew it or not, and chances are, so have you. It’s the kind of pen I won’t miss if I lend it to someone, or hold a grudge if they forget to give it back. Even more curiously, I’ve found it’s also the best at what it does. It’s cheap enough to be disposable, but reliable enough to be a dependable. The cap is ideally suited to being chewed upon when mental frustration and irritation strike. The clear barrel gives a precise measure of the ink left so I’m prepared in plenty of time to replace it. And like me, I’ve yet to meet someone that hasn’t thought of taking one apart to use as a straw in a drink related emergency!