Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Open Wide!

This is not on the Purge List.

This is my pencil sharpener. Domhan gave it to me years ago, and it has been a constant desk companion ever since.

I do not use pencils very often. In fact, almost never. I use fine point purple felt-tipped pens that I purchase by the dozen. However, there are 2 seasons during the year when I need a sharp pencil. They are called "The End of the Semester."

The only way you can fill out the final grade rosters is with a #2 pencil. It has always been this way, except for the last 2 or 3 years I was at the Big Giant University, and they snazzed everything up and had us turn in our grades online. The High School Pretending to Be a College, where I work now, barely has bathrooms, so we're lucky to have a grading system at all.

For me, the bubble forms are more satisfying than the online process. I like to take my pencil, sharpened to the point of a straight-pin, and color in the little vacant grade-bubbles. I relish punishing the students for their astonishing displays of meatheadedness during the semester. The ramping up to this is the best part. This is the moment when I ram my dull pencil into the gorilla's mouth and listen to the delicious grind of the motor as the wood is chewed away from the lead. I can pretend I'm stabbing that student who asked me what a "font" was. Or I'm rapidly swiss-cheesing the forearms of the guy who said "Old people are too patriotic. Because they're just old and dumb."

Ah, the delicious insight and wisdom that pours out of them. Just like the curly pencil shavings from poor Mr. Gorilla's neck.


  • At 7:33 AM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Oh! I used to have a dog-shaped pencil sharpener! How cool!

  • At 8:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ah, the end of the semester! A.k.a. "Time to feed Kong." I cannot think of a more appropriate pencil sharpener for the task. And for what it's worth, I have a "normal" pencil sharpener. My second "normal" pencil sharpener. Neither it, nor its predecessor, have done a decent job of sharpening pencils. One-half of the point is the lead and the other half is wood. Maddening. Hang on to the gorilla. A good pencil sharpener is hard to find.

    Congratulations! You made it through the semester!

  • At 8:48 AM, Blogger Domhan said…

    Wow, I had forgotten him! And what a perfect time to use his wood-chewing services. How I love totally absurd things like this...BUT they have to be fully functional. Like my pencil sharpener. It's a nose. Yes, you shove the pencil up the nostril and twist. Very satisfying. But what truly I love is when one of the unsuspecting "oh I take myself so seriously" grad students happens to ask if I have a pencil sharpener. I whip that baby out and the grad student looks at me like I've grown a third head. I live for those moments.

    The undergrads, however, love it. Geez, what happens when a person fills out that grad school application? Do humor cells suddenly vanish?

    Back to the gorilla: we need to write catalog copy for this item ala Archie McPhee.
    (I tried to use link tags on the URL, but I can't get it to work.)

  • At 9:18 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Thanks, Futuresis...One more day at school. Then I can pretend I don't exist and hide in my house for a week with Doritos and chocolate and soap operas. The perfect trifecta.

    Mel, what ever became of the poor doggie?

    Domhan, HE hasn't forgotten YOU.

  • At 9:23 AM, Blogger Domhan said…

    I feel like a monkey's uncle.

  • At 10:16 AM, Blogger Tony from the Bronx said…

    Yes, pencil sharpeners do have symbolic and psychological dimensions, as well as a utilitarian function. But don't I detect a weensy bit of an anger management problem here? One way to relax and be at peace with oneself is to meditate--but screw that! No real satisfaction that way. A better way is to see that %#@!) meathead of a student trapped in a Yugo just to about to go into the car compactor and you're at the go/no-go lever. See? Don't you feel better already?"

  • At 12:30 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    The dog sharpener was something I had in gradeschool It made 'nom nom nom' movements when it was sharpening, like it was really chewing.

    ...or maybe I dreamed that part...

    Anyway, cool! There's a lot of goofiness in this world, but not nearly enough whimsy, and the gorilla is whimsical indeed.

  • At 2:41 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    The Yugo was the perfect touch, Tony. And yes, I DO feel better.

  • At 2:42 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    It chewed. The dog pencil sharpener chewed.

  • At 7:34 PM, Blogger Steve B said…

    I'm thinking you get to hear the word, "like" quite a bit.

    "You know, okay, so, like, say I wanted to, um, like, get a good grade on this. Do I have to, like, you know, spell ALL the words right?"

  • At 8:07 PM, Blogger Unknown said… what I meant to say was "just as if it were really chewing", heh.

  • At 8:09 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 9:30 AM, Blogger prairie biker said…

    The only way I can think to improve that thing is if you could stab him in the ear to sharpen your pencil.

    Now I have a ton of ideas floating around in my melon for some pornographic ones.

  • At 10:47 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    MEL! You took down the link to the cool sharpener! Toying with my emotions. That's what you're doing.

    PB, don't you think I had second thoughts about the title "Open Wide!"?


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