WordPress suggests that we write a review of a film that we have recently seen or a product that we have recently used. Unfortunately I have not been to the cinema for about 18 months, so….
The biro is a method of recording words on paper for people too Amish to be able to use a computer. It is essentially word processing at its most basic, in that it faithfully reproduces the words that you want to say, but lacks a backspace or delete button should you suddenly wish to unsay them.
The model that we test-drove was the Blue Bic biro. It lacks the elegance of the Parker fountain pen, the versatility of that one with loads of colours available via a set of buttons on the end, or the fun of the novelty one where the lady’s clothes fall off when you tilt the pen over. It is, however, at least true to its name in that it does write in blue, which is more than can be said for, say, the Mars bar, which as far as we know does not come from Mars.
It is simplicity itself to use. It is activated by removing (and then losing) a blue plastic cap, and then applying the pointy end to a piece of paper or, if you are the kind of person who forgets stuff (like where you left the biro cap) to the back of your hand.
Many people believe that writing is its only function, but in fact it has many uses. The blunt end can help remove ear-wax. Trapping it lengthways between your upper lip and your nose produces a hilarious impression of a moustache. The pointy end can spear a Rolo that has fallen into an awkward place under your desk (yes, of course you can still eat the Rolo, it’s just covered in a bit of fluff and injected with blue ink).
And the biro can issue subtle messages without actually writing anything down. Sucking it whilst staring out the window lets your boss know that you are thinking. Wearing it behind one ear tells your boss that while you are not actually doing any work at this exact moment, work has happened and will shortly re-commence. Wearing a row of them in the lapel pocket of your jacket tells the world that you have no fashion sense.
If we have to find any fault with it, it is worth pointing out that it is indistinguishable from all other biros, so that people who borrow it from your desk will often walk off with it. As against that, it is simple enough to then walk away with a similar one from someone else’s. It is also occasionally susceptible to the bironic equivalent of a nosebleed, and will cover your shirt (or your tongue and lips, if you’re sucking it thoughtfully as described above) with a dense blue ink that is impossible to wash off.
And finally, the only optional extra that we could find for it was a toy troll, and it has to be said that what happens to the troll will make your eyes water.