The Ink Pen
by George Parler
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Some ink pens can cost more than others, for instance, the one I bought. The salesman said it was rare and was handcrafted in the Orient. It said so right on the pen, “Made in China”. It was a flashlight/FM radio/umbrella/pen combo. However, I don't think he gave me the right one.
One day I came out of the department store and saw that it was pouring down rain. So I said to myself, Self, here's an opportunity to show off your new flashlight/FM radio/umbrella/pen. I turned the rotary dial to umbrella, per the salesman's instructions. (I couldn't read the Chinese owner’s manual.) When the ready light turned green, I pressed the big red activate button. Everything I remember after that is kind of sketchy.
I pointed it toward the ground, and when the darn thing deployed, it knocked me about ten feet into the air. (I forgot the salesman told me to always point it up.)
I would have landed head first on the parking lot if not for the shopping cart (which some shopper had conveniently left because he was too lazy to put it in the designated shopping cart deposit area), breaking my fall.
I would have gotten away with only minor injuries at that point had it not been for the downhill slope of the parking lot. By the time I started to regain consciousness I was moving well in excess of the twenty-five MPH speed limit. Since I was not in a position to stop my momentum, having been folded upside down head first in the cart, all I could do was watch as the now speeding cart aligned itself with back end of a parked pickup truck. This is where I have to depend on the testimony of several eyewitnesses, because the last thing I remember at that point was seeing my reflection in the tailgate of the truck. I didn't realize my eyes could get that big.
After being catapulted fifty-feet across the parking lot, my forward momentum was brought short by the strategically placed light pole.
After receiving medical attention and a citation for leaving the scene of an accident, I remembered my rare flashlight/FM radio/umbrella/pen. Limping, I made my way back across the parking lot to the last place I remembered seeing my combo pen. It was then I realized that the salesman had given me the wrong model. Instead of an umbrella being deployed, it was a 12-foot X 16-foot camping tent.
As I was attempting to repack the tent into my combo pen, a member of the store security and two police officers surrounded me. I remembered one of the officers by the name on his uniform from the bottom of the citation I had just received.
I attempted to explain the whole thing to the doubtful attending officers. I knew this because of the way one of them was swinging the pair of handcuffs in his hand. Luckily for me, I was able to figure out how to repack the tent into the pen. When you are facing jail time for shoplifting, you can become very resourceful. But all of that became null and void because I was so excited about showing off my combo pen to them that I hit the red activation button... while it was pointing towards the ground... again.
When I woke up I was in a jail cell having been charged with assaulting a police officer and leaving the scene of an accident...again. I realized that I had lost my pen, and now I'm out $19.95.... and medical bills.... and fines. I think I'll stick to a number two pencil from now on.
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George, having enjoyed your challenge entry this week, I was browsing through your past work. If laughter is the best medicine, do you know if it is possible to OD?
OK - I am laughing HYSTERICALLY! I know you wrote this forever ago, but it's definitely a HOOT! I was kinda hoping it was an explanation of your board name - but this was BETTER. :) Thanks for the light reading/diversion.