The School Pencil
Achingly hard edged and dryly H graded when a dash of B would have assisted with colouring in doodles on the bottom of maths notebooks, the school pencil acted as an early introduction to the joys of displacement activity by virtue of the….
Teachers’ desk sharpener
Positioned on Misses desk and accessible to all not as an embodiment of shared ownership but as a demonstration of hierarchy; entry to the larger, sharper opening only bestowed on the favoured, alongside the privilege of autonomous handle turning.
Learner fountain pen, coloured pencils and ink
Leaner fountain pen: perfect for pretending to smoke and shoot with, less effective for writing with a tendency to splash Rorschach patterns all over your tectonic plates essay.
Coloured pencils: the tools with which to become an internationally renowned artist once you’ve worked out how to do perspective and draw hands.
Ink: blue black so rich in the jar you want to dive into it. Classier design than anything anyone could ever write. An object to look and marvel at.
Sticky tape you can write onto
Anything is now possible.
Including expletives on the back of peoples’ blazers.
The Manual typewriter
You are a writer because you have one of these in a case with a handle which makes it PORTABLE.
It makes a proper Virginia Woolf style NOISE when you bash away at it and everything else on the desk jumps into the air. It is imperative to chain smoke when using one. Demands carbon paper as there is no such thing as photocopies yet. Make one mistake on a page of dialogue and you must start again. Encourages thought before pressing keys. Makes hands hurt and heart pound.
A word processor actually, what do you drive?
Welcome to the mid 90’s.
You now have a screen on which you can edit 3.5 lines of dialogue before you then press a button and it rattles out really fast onto the page like a telex machine type thing while you sit back and light a fag. Smoking is still necessary.
A MAJOR INNOVATION is the CORRECTOR ribbon inside. It is now possible to make mistakes and go backwards over the word with white stuff on a reel and it almost looks like no mistake was ever made. Brilliant. It has a handle too and is just as portable at 5 kilos as the manual typewriter.
From treasury tags to Acco clips, or trombones, the means with which to secure pages in a script gently and imperceptibly shifted from the rope to the metal age.