Ah oui, chère Madame! La Sainte Bic — Patronne of all ballpointwriters — is well known for Her three miracles. You experienced the first one. Thanks for sharing the dying seconds of the pen. ‘Feather’ is a very fitting last word. You must have marvellous dreams.

The figure below illustrates two more miracles. What you see is my drawing of the ballpoint of the teacher of the 4th-6th grade of my Primary School (mr Veldhuizen). It smells of tobacco and the white part has turned yellow from his nicotine stained fingers. He smokes incessantly (‘Three Castles’. Finest Virginia blend. Lung cancer guaranteed).

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The Bic of my Primary school teacher, mr Veldhuizen, 1956–58

The second Bic miracle is the light that is conducted by the transparent button (‘lichtknopje’) of this type. When you put your thumb on and off the button in broad daylight, the other end flickers.

The third miracle is the launcher on top of the filling. Cannibalize the pen after it is finished. Put the cap (‘projectiel’) carefully on the filling — it has to resist too easy launching. Take the cap between your fingers. Push the spiral spring (‘veer’) against the cap as far as possible and let go. Nice projectile to disturb the peace in the classroom. When launched correctly, it can reach 30 feet (for instance the blackboard).

Freeware. Patents not pending.

Friend of life and beauty and foe of spoilers of life and beauty. Golden marriage. Grandfather. Pianist and micro poet. Dutch, European.

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