Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I love pens. I always have. I love the act of writing, even if most times I can't stand what my penmanship looks like (a cross between printing and cursive, and way too large!). Even in high school and college, I'd rewrite French vocabulary, or historic dates, or math formulas - not just as reinforcement for my brain but because I simply love to write. Tonight, while waiting at college for my not-yet-driver-licensed son's class to finish, I had four pens to choose from (I always carry multiple writing implements) and so this was written with a lovely silvery-grey PaperMate Flair - black ink, ultra fine point - with a long black cap and silver clip. It's really quite posh-looking for being so utilitarian. Imagine my surprise when I heard the unmistakable voice of Cary Grant (not the fast-paced exasperated Cary Grant of "His Girl Friday" or "Bringing Up Baby," but the mature, debonair Cary Grant of "Charade.")

Ahh. Isn't this a simply wonderful evening? Breathtaking sunset...gentle breeze...perfect Spring-like day, wouldn't you agree?

(I admit I was slightly taken aback by my pen speaking to me, especially since it sounded like Cary Grant. I also had to admit that it was, in fact, very Spring-like considering it was February in New Jersey!) Uh...well...yes, as a matter of fact, it is a lovely day. We're way over 50 degrees, I think.

What a perfect day for a stroll in the park, or a boat ride on the river. Why don't we leave this place and get some fresh air? 

(Now, I'm slightly overweight [okay, a bit more than slightly] and I have a slight heart problem, and despite repeated promises to myself that I will begin exercising tomorrow, well, tomorrow just keeps on being tomorrow and so a walk, even with a pen that sounded just like Cary Grant, held no great appeal.) Couldn't we just stay cozy here in the van? It's only for another hour or so...

Why it's a shame to waste such a fine evening. After all, winter's fury has not yet shown itself and days like these may be few and far between. (He made a sort of "tsk-tsk" sound. With his accent, even the "tsk-tsk" lacked a truly reproachful tone.)

Oh, I know. Really I do. (Darn those tomorrows!) But we could play a game instead. Would that be okay?

A game? Hmmm. You don't say? My dear, I think you've got something!

(So, my pen and I played the game where you see how many words you can make out of another word. We ended up with 119 words from "ARCHIBALDLEACH" and had a simply marvelous time!)

Here are the words: are, arc, arch, arid, acrid, ace, ache, ale, aid, ade, a-ha, acid, air, ail, area, bald, bide, bid, bed, bad, bade, bale, bail, bar, beach, bear, bare, bled, birch, brace, bride, bridle, bard, blade, bill, ball, bleach, belch, bread, car, cad, cab, call, caller, called, care, cadre, clear, child, crab, crib, chair, chalice, cradle, chill, chide, char, chiller, card, dear, dire, dial, die, dice, dab, dale, deal, crab, dill, drill, ear, each, era, hear, heard, hard, herald, hair, hare, hail, held, heal, hill, hide, head, hall, ice, ire, ill, idle, idea, led, lad, lid, lice, lace, lied, lie, lair, lard, ladle, label, lab, liar, libel, liberal, lead, lea, rice, race, raid, rail, real, reach, rich, ribald, read, red and rid. Whew!! 

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