Don’t Mind Me As I Slowly Steal This Ballpoint Pen Piece By Piece

10 Feb

penPlease don’t mind me as I slowly steal this ballpoint pen, piece by piece, over the next half hour. You may believe that you and I are having a normal conversation at this inconspicuous coffee shop when, in fact, something devious is happening right under your nose: I am stealing your pen.

That’s right, I’ve had my eye on this beautiful piece of Bic machinery since you casually swiped it out to write something in your Moleskine notebook while you were still talking.

By this point, as you tither on about some article you saw online, your pen has been completely disassembled with the components lying neatly in front of me. Do you notice? No. Why? Because you’re too engrossed in your own conversation, that’s why.

If you were to stop and ask me, “Hey, Matt, why is my pen taken apart on the table in front of you?” I could easily respond with, “Oh, it’s just something I do while I’m focusing on things. I take ballpoint pens apart. It’s a tick. Please don’t mind me.”

But it’s not a tick, nor a tack.

No, my intentions are based in greed and boredom, but mostly boredom. And, as I slowly slip the spring into my jacket pocket, I divert your attention by sipping from my coffee, despite it still being too hot. You see, I too have read an article online. One about pickpockets. And I’ve stolen some of their tricks.

Sleight of hand. Diversions. General creepiness. The ability to sip extremely hot coffee without wincing in pain.

I feel all the parts in my pocket. Smooth and plastic-y. Probably made in a factory off a large industrial road in central Florida. I feel all the pen parts but one – the ink shaft.

I don’t know if that’s what it’s called. That’s just my assumption considering it’s a skinny, cylindrical shaft full of ink and that the engineers at Bic probably aren’t as creative as the Imagineers at Disney, or the Genii at Apple. Therefore, the names of their product’s parts probably aren’t too far away from such inventions like “shoelace” and “meat paddle.” Although the iShaft would probably be an interesting sword/pen combo.

Regardless, the ink shaft is critical because, without it, I would only have a set of peculiarly well-fitting, plastic pieces that don’t actually do anything. The ink shaft is what makes a pen a pen.  All my endeavors are lost if I leave here shaft-less, having only accrued worthless parts that any infant could easily choke on. Unless, of course, it’s the iShaft, in which case all the parts would be seamlessly integrated into one – most likely.

“What happened to my pen?” you say, searching for your instrument of expression. This Bic may be mightier than a sword, but today it is no match for my stealthy fingertips.

“I don’t know,” I tell you.

When, in reality, I do. I know because I’ve been stealing your ballpoint pen, piece by piece, for the past half hour.

But, I’ve been expecting this moment. Your question is not met without preparation.

I quickly reach into my other pocket and pull out a similar Bic ballpoint pen and toss it on the ground and I say coyly, “Is that your pen?

When you look to the ground I grab the ink-shaft, my Ark of the Covenant, and shove it into my pocket.

“Oh, there it is,” you say.

And although you are the fool here, it is I who play the fool as I congratulate you on finding your “pen” knowing that the real treasure lies three inches in my cozy jacket pocket – all the parts to your plastic, Bic, ballpoint, pen.

I pretend to listen as you continue to ramble on about whatever you were talking about, but instead I’m slowly feeling each and every plastic part, rewarding myself for this small victory. And then, when I finally become more present to our conversation, you reach into your coat pocket and find, to both our chagrins, another Bic ballpoint pen…


86 Responses to “Don’t Mind Me As I Slowly Steal This Ballpoint Pen Piece By Piece”

  1. aimster813 March 17, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    What a fantastically random thing to do!

  2. Ricari March 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    We’ll played 😉

  3. mattia900 March 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm #


  4. Cielo March 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

    I often feel attracted to Zebra pens. It’s a lucky day for me when someone forgets one on their desk!

    • lorag72 March 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      Lol…I, too, must admit my pen “fetish”…but I prefer Ink Joys by Papermate. However, the Cello Superglide is my favorite. 🙂

  5. Terry Robinson March 17, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    I love it a story about nothing! I have tried the same, though I dare say not nearly so well as you have here.

  6. SusieWittbrodt March 17, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    wow, that person must have been spectacularly unobservant – that, or you truly are a phenomenal pickpocket. or both. hilarious.

  7. blanketeers March 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    I like this. It’s like a slowly evolving pen thriller.

  8. Amy Reese March 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

    Shaftless…it’s such a curious word.! I think a pen was too easy for you. I think you’re ready for something bigger. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. This was really funny!

  9. allthoughtswork March 17, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

    I don’t know, handling someone else’s shaft in a public place on a weekday? Pervert.

  10. Muskegger March 17, 2014 at 5:24 pm #


  11. awax1217 March 17, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    Diversion is a craft unto itself. While you read this I stole twenty seven of your brain cells that you have never used nor realize that they are gone. But I have them in a jar which is ajar on my desk.

  12. Things I Think. March 17, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    Mesmerising. Pennish and mesmerising.

  13. pnharris March 17, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    I like this so much.

  14. crashdlanding March 17, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    This. I like this. Nice read! And since we’re talking pen love, I’m a Pilot needlepoint kinda gal.

  15. garretc8 March 17, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    Reblogged this on Life On Our Terms and commented:
    This guy is really magic.

  16. asilkfire March 17, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    Disassemble the mind, practice makes perfect. I give it a 99.9 do it again, turn the pen into ???? A bestseller forever.

  17. mafaldamaria30 March 17, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

    Soo nice !

  18. zhulianbin March 17, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    Reblogged this on zhulianbin.

  19. allerbina March 17, 2014 at 11:26 pm #

    You have made my night with this.

  20. lmarks04 March 17, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

    The ink shaft is great but the firmness of the pen also makes pens great. People like the way they feel. And the coldness also feels great. The ink isn’t the only thing to love about a pen.

  21. pratique21 March 18, 2014 at 1:19 am #

    Haha…thats so awesome. 🙂 Very nicely written too :). Thank you

  22. appslotus March 18, 2014 at 1:48 am #

    Reblogged this on Apps Lotus's Blog.

  23. silentdugood March 18, 2014 at 2:38 am #

    So true, it really becomes a habit after while. Your eye catches the innocent pen on someones desk. Poof its gone. By accident of coarse.

  24. purpledivaa March 18, 2014 at 4:00 am #

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this… But what happens next? 😦

  25. ceenoa March 18, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    Fantabarooney story of your pen-stealing exploits. Liked it a lot.

  26. aurora5kycomet March 18, 2014 at 5:54 am #

    You are awesome haha! Surprised by how I got totally engrossed in your pen story 🙂

  27. March 18, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    This is wonderfully random, and oddly captivating.

  28. Risty March 18, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    Simple but so brilliant! Love this much

  29. nasaye March 18, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    I LOVE pens ……its so reassuring and peaceful to know that people also suffer from the pen addictions!

  30. aimalshah March 18, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    Reblogged this on Fashion.

  31. notchhigher March 18, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    Reminds me of when i was in primary school and i almost always had a new pen every morning.

  32. Thewitch March 18, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    Very, very clever!!! Had me totally intrigued!!!

  33. writinglesbian March 18, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Love this!

  34. Randolph Fine March 18, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Devious and entertaining. I have two pen stories:
    1. I love to tease my wife when out to eat. I always check out the server’s pen when signing the bill. If I like it then I will tell my wife I am going to switch it with the one in my pocket or add extra to the tip. She won’t let me, but someday there will be a pen I won’t be able to pass up.
    2. When in the Army, other soldiers for some reason thought I came from a wealthy family. In response, I would say the my grandfather (last name of Fine) and another chap, Pilot, got together and made a killing in the pen business.

    I no longer use the FINE point Pilots, but over the last decade have preferred the Zebra Z-Grip Mediums. Great story, thanks.

  35. mintvalf March 18, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    Reblogged this on mintvalf.

  36. Ethan Yarbrough March 18, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    This is so much like life: you gain one pen as you give away another…the methodical struggle to achieve, one step at a time only to end up exactly where you began. Well done.

  37. amoriesunshine March 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    I’m going to ward off any criticisms with my iShaft!
    Anna Marie, Life Coach at

  38. Kimberly March 18, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    I throughly enjoyed reading this!

  39. lanebeach March 18, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    This is womderful

  40. Midwestern Plant Girl March 18, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    in ter es ting read.

  41. abidmichael March 18, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    it’s funny.

  42. Ted Luoma March 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm #

    Riveting. Seriously. While I was distracted reading this story, I seem to have misplaced my pen.

  43. Jennifer Welch March 18, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    Reblogged this on writing compulsion and commented:
    A blog about stealing pens. Nice…

  44. Say Something March 18, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    Reblogged this on What A Puzzeling World and commented:
    Haha. Oh god

  45. Wagathon March 18, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    Even without the ink shaft you can never have too many repurposed pepper shakers.

  46. Rosalie Parker March 18, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

    Reblogged this on Rosalie Parker ~ Wayshower for the New Earth and commented:
    I actually purchase pens that I like, surprisingly so, since I’ve spent a lifetime stealing corporate supplies. Recently a scoundrel at work was using one of MY Pilot rolling ball pens! I told him it was mine, but the weasel tried saying that other people in the building had the same kind of pen. A lie! It’s a small place and in 5 months, I never saw another Pilot like that. Eventually one day, I saw it lying on his desk and stole it back. Justice, at last!

  47. openbookifyouknowhowtoreadme March 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    Do you guys get pens together or did you know what kind of pen he had in the first place? Otherwise it makes me wonder how you had a similar Bic pen just waiting in your pocket. I mean honestly, I may live in a small town but when it comes to pens I know that many are not the same and it is normally noticed when you have type or brand of pen if you notice those things. to pull that of you had to be paying very close attention to the other person in a way that would personally creep me out. Other than that it is genius.

  48. lydiasilver March 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    I absolutely love this post! I’m someone who takes apart pens too, but I’ve never given it the consideration you have, such a good idea to write about the tiny things of life in such detail

  49. City Girl at the Edge March 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    Hah! This makes me laugh. It’s all too familiar. Some people are poor listeners. No attention to the body language of one’s audience is being given by the speaker. Lest s/he might realize you seem a bit preoccupied, a bit distracted, a bit… well, not attentive to the exciting conversation taking place ;).

    That said, I must pay more attention to the details of pens. I think I’ve missed out on something as a writer I ought to have noticed!

  50. TheStoryteller01 March 18, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Funny and well written with a little weirdness to spice it up.

    In fact it could easily pass as a deleted scene from any Leverage episode.

  51. ichyse March 19, 2014 at 12:39 am #

    sounds like something Mcgyver would do in his spare time

  52. Chris Hartley, Jr. March 19, 2014 at 1:14 am #

    Slick but awesome!

  53. poojithabala01 March 19, 2014 at 1:44 am #

    great post ! funny

  54. ostentationofnothing March 19, 2014 at 3:47 am #

    Reblogged this on Ostentation of 'Nothing' and commented:

  55. homeboundlaine March 19, 2014 at 3:55 am #

    This is so funny! Somehow, I find that my pens’ parts always come loose. I must have bored dozens of people out there withmy prattle!

  56. skylarseas March 19, 2014 at 4:08 am #

    I lost it 😂 so good

  57. skylarseas March 19, 2014 at 4:08 am #

    Reblogged this on skylarmoon and commented:
    This is seriously good.

  58. neohippie March 19, 2014 at 7:05 am #

    This is fantastic! I’m not alone! Haha

  59. Wendy Randall March 19, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    Wow! Very interesting. I am a pen fanatic. I know all of my pens. I know how they write and flow. I know how many of each color I have. I know how many belong in each of my pen bags, or rolls. I know which one to use in which journal. I know which ones smear easily or which ones are water proof and so on …… With that said, IF you ever come to visit, I’ll make sure to tuck all of MY prized writing pens away in a very safe and secure place 😉

  60. sarahpro12 March 19, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    Love it! Well done.

  61. anonymouse42 March 19, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Reblogged this on anonymouse42.

  62. mdulloa80 March 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    So funny

  63. Amanda March 19, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    Reblogged this on The Music Inside My Head and commented:
    I really like the way this story is told. I’d be tempted to try this myself…

  64. The Hubians March 19, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    Take all my money and my Like.
    My reblog will come soon.

  65. bricimino March 19, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    ….. lol you’re a bad person and you should feel bad. Did you ever care to think, that in my self absorbed state, I needed that pen to do many, MANY pen related things. Such as writing in my moleskin notebook, or using it to facilitate my growing crack habit. For shame!

  66. raunchystrippers March 21, 2014 at 1:04 am #

    Brilliant 😉

  67. Little Miss Menopause March 21, 2014 at 1:28 am #

    Well now, I daresay you are public enemy number One for Bank Tellers everywhere. (That’ll be your next post, right? And you’ll title it “Penn and Teller!” ) Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. I’m off to explore the rest of your blog….

  68. itsmayurremember March 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    You have almost pocketed the pen… And then he removes another….
    I laughed so hard when I read that people around me hushed me into silence

  69. umadyet March 21, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Great story. I have never felt the urge to engineer a pen stealing plot, just not my thing. However while reading I could picture myself In that coffee shop and felt the sense of accomplishment you must of felt with each acquired piece. Bravo!

  70. Brooke B. March 22, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Completely captivating . . . as if I were sitting in the table beside you watching the entire event unfold!

  71. Capitalist in Progress March 22, 2014 at 1:57 pm #


  72. Desire March 24, 2014 at 2:27 am #

    LOL this was a delicious read!

  73. stylishlittleme March 24, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    That’s is a fine piece of writing! The techniques you use such as the variation of long and short sentances is spectacularly effective, as is the diversion as you talk about the name of the inc shaft- very interesting vocabulary that held me captivated! A very well done on this brilliant piece of literature!

  74. devinwittig March 24, 2014 at 4:40 pm #

    haha this is brilliant! Random but made me laugh

  75. Robin Duong March 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    My pens are all one-piece Pilot pens. And I don’t believe that you’ll be able to hijack them.

  76. Sarah Jelly March 27, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    Haha this is so random, I love it. Would never be able to keep a straight face though when confronted with the almighty ‘Where’s my pen gone?’ – I applaud you on your stealthiness and your poker face!

  77. Sarah Jelly March 27, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    P.S. You totally need to trademark the iShaft!

  78. jaketodd March 27, 2014 at 11:14 pm #


  79. alonemoments March 28, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    Thank you for the light hearted and fun story. Put a much needed smile on my face!

  80. AMomBlogs April 6, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Great writing, wait great typing. I enjoyed this story. 🙂

    I’m writing AtoZ “Things My Husband Has Broken”

  81. mayor5 April 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    I got to admit… alot of time input in this kind of writting… forge foward with enthusiasm.

  82. Zilknitha April 13, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    It is my tutors at college who are the worst for “accidentally” stealing pens. If they took them apart durring my tutorials I don’t think I would mind…extra inspiration for the sketch books.

  83. teainturbulence April 14, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    Reblogged this on tea in turbulence.

  84. QueenBee4272 April 17, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    Reblogged this on What In The World?!?!?!?!.

  85. sheiskindofamess April 23, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    That was the best thing I have ever read in my entire life

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