At work this past week I overheard a co-worker getting called out for being about to write a correction on some paper without using a proper red pen. “It IS red!”, he exclaimed, and held up a fine classic Bic 4 Color, and indicated to the little clicker showing that the pen was indeed red. I wanted to interject and ask where he got such a thing, but I try to avoid personal contact in the work environment. As it turns out, Bic is still making these pens, and you can buy a fair number of versions even. But when was the last time you saw someone using one?
In the age of ubiquitous word processing programs with infinite text colors as the moment passed for a pen with 4! colors? For that matter, does anyone thing that pens will start becoming a rarity as voice command and recording capable smart phones get better? The last time I can recall having a multi-color pen like this was probably grade school, and to me these were amazing gizmos, such an upgrade over the plain white Bics, or those uncomfortable ‘crystal’ pens. I am relatively sure that more than once some school work was done with ever letter on the page alternating between the four colors, and I am not really sure what drove the teacher more crazy, reading it later or listening to the incessant clicking during work time. Then there was always the one-upper kid, with the pen that was about 2 inches around and had 15 different colors to click select.
Of course, the black would usually run out first, then the blue, and then you are stuck making Christmas papers, because what parents are going to buy you another one? It still works doesn’t it!? Click your clicker and wonder–what ever happened to 4 color pens?