‘Pencil In’ These Quotations

One day I took a spanking-new pencil, sharpened it and put it by the telephone. Three days later, the same pencil showed up in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator. I put it back by the phone. It popped up in the medicine chest. I put it on a string and attached it to the telephone. It broke it’s lead…
As I studied this strange little creature, other things became apparent. It enjoyed no sex life whatsoever. Other household items, like coat hangers, straight pins and paper clips, propagated themselves. Not pencils.
– Erma Bombeck, No Pencil in the House, February 17, 1969 –

Did you ever tie the pencil to the phone? We didn’t, but the rest of what Erma said rings true. Even though The Car Guy buys his Nixon Ticonderogas in bulk and has dispersed them throughout the house and his shop, we invariably have to look for the pencil when we want one. The yellow rascal might be close by, but it will have rolled under some papers or onto the floor or into an open drawer. Its mates might be corralled in that cup on the desk in the office, but they won’t be as sharp and writing ready as the one that should be next to our appointment calendar or the measuring tape.

Do you know what breakfast cereal is made of? It’s made of all those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners!
– Roald Dahl –

The first pencils date back to ancient Rome. These were a metal stylus that left a readable mark on papyrus. Some styluses were made with lead, but in 1564 graphite was found in England. It left a darker mark but had to be encased in something (eventually wood) because graphite is soft and brittle.

The first mass produced pencils were made in Germany in 1662. In the Americas, the German pencil manufacturers were soon joined by several companies, including the one that now makes the Dixon Ticonderoga pencils.

Pencil Quotations:

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower –

History written in pencil is easily erased, but crayon is forever.
– Emilie Autumn –

I do not believe in guilt, moderation or dull pencils.
– Nancy Lam –

If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why is it still #2?
– George Carlin –

I’m going to stop calling them “pencil sharpeners”
And start calling them “pencil shorteners”.

I was trying to draw a rectangle but my pencil broke.
Now it’s a wrecked angle.

– Authors Unknown –

Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling.
– Gilbert K. Chesterton –

Said Hamlet to Ophelia, I’ll draw a sketch of thee. What kind of pencil shall I use? 2B or not 2B?
– Spike Milligan –

The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead
– Robert Brault –

The best design tool is a long eraser with a pencil at one end.
– Marty Neumeier –

The Pencil is indeed Meme-worthy!

I have a metal pencil sharpener like the one seen here. My plastic pencil sharpeners have come and gone, but the metal sharpener has withstood the test of time.
Can you really use a pencil to remove the slack in a cassette tape? Not really. Yes, you can slant the pencil in the hole and turn the tape a bit, but not easily. Yet the manuals for many cassette players say to use a pencil. Turns out that the machines were mostly made in Japan and Japanese pencils are thicker than American and European ones. (You can use a BIC pen…)
These pencils were distributed by the Bureau for At-Risk Youth, based in Plainview, N.Y. Apparently the student was 10-year-old Kodi Mosier of Ticonderoga Elementary School.
I guess that explains why most of our pencils are dull…

21 thoughts on “‘Pencil In’ These Quotations

  1. Thanks for another entertaining post. A friend claims that the pencil is one of the greatest inventions. I agree with her


    1. What an absolutely delightful focus on pencils! Awesome quotes, fantastic memes!

      As I was reading Erma Bombeck’s tale of pencil-propagation, a cartoon came to mind where a child who misplaced her phone came up with an invention of having a phone connected to the wall so it can never be lost again 😀 Full circle?


  2. I’m glad I pencil in time to read your posts. Agree that “The best design tool is a long eraser with a pencil at one end.” Words to live by.


      1. I saw it when I was really little in a Laurel and Hardy movie and I never forgot it. He could also wiggle his ears which got me working on that as well.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the Chesterton quote about lying in bed, and “my first computer”. The Bombeck quote made me think of my first pair of reading glasses. After months of looking where I thought they’d be and not always finding them, I bought a half-dozen pairs and stashed them all over the house. Over time I’ve realized most people take the same approach.


    1. Yes, my husband did the same as you – multiple reading glasses. I would do it too but my reading glasses have to be prescription – so I am always looking for them. I should just park them on top of my head or wear one of those strings…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This makes me think of how seldom I use pencils. Since the kids got through school our house is almost pencil-free.

    You didn’t mention that the biggest pencil in the world is right here in the US – Pencilvania.


    1. Between my artsy-craftsy stuff and The Car Guys woodworking, pencils are still common tools at our house.
      I suppose I will have to do another pencil post – there are quite a few ‘largest’ pencils in the record books, but none are as large as Pencilvania, of course.

      Liked by 1 person

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