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Where did all the pens go?

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Some time back I identified the real reason I became a writer: so I could buy lots of stationery. Notebooks, of course, lots of notebooks. And pens.

Boy I have had a lot of pens in my life. And I’ve lost a lot as well. For a while, frustrated at the amount of pens I was losing, I bought more expensive items, reasoning that, if they cost more, I would take more care of them. Hasn’t worked. Instead I’ve just become someone who has lost a lot of expensive pens.

Anyway, I was thinking about this because of this story, filched from [the Moleskinerie->] – one of the few places obviously more obsessed with stationery than I am:

Oliver Zangiwell, who investigated memory loss in brain-damaged patients, owned a large, distinctive fountain pen. At the start of his first session with one new patient, he showed him the pen. When at the end of the session he showed it again and asked whether the patient recognized it, the reply was negative. Over the next 10 sessions this procedure was repeated, with the patient always denying that he had seen the pen before. In desperation, Zangwill asked whether the patient recognized him, to which the reply was “Of course, you’re the man with all those fountain pens.”