Biros, bics, ballpoint pens. Whatever you call them they are a big part of my working life which requires me to scribble furious notes on the minutiae of other people's jobs.
This week I noticed the pen I was using bore the legend 'Crufts Dog Show Stewards' . I was a little surprised as I've never been to Crufts and don't know any dog trainers. However, it's not the first time I've had rogue pens. I've found myself in possession of pens from Alcoholics Anonymous, a locksmiths company in Surrey , a wedding dress shop and Hampton Court.
It's as though there is some pen black economy out there where everyone acquires pens from different places which then just circulate randomly in the same parralel universe where all the pegs, coat hangers and teaspoons live.
The other explanation is that common condition Free Pen Acquisitiveness Syndrome. Having run the odd exhibition stand in my life, I've seen this at its worst. Sufferers come past your stand, they clock your free pens and out shoots their hand. By the time you've noticed they're there, they've made off with half your freebies.
I have in the past suffered from a mild dose, finding myself involuntarily taking one pen from each stand along with any free mugs, post-it notes, sticky gonks etc. I see it as doing the stall holder a bit of a favour as it makes them feel the frankly dull time spent staffing the stand was worth it.
None of this however adequately explains my Crufts pen. It's a nice pen mind you - heavy, flows nicely and looks smart - but I won't be sucking it any time soon. Who knows where a Crufts steward puts it?!
ETA: Found out where the Crufts pen came from. Apparently someone at school gave it to Flora. But why did they have it......