Pencil Pusher

I have not used a pencil in over 15 years.

This may seem like a shocking statement to some, after all, pencils are a normal part of a person's life, right? Well, not mine. I use pens and/or type on a keyboard like I'm doing now. Haven't bought or used a pencil in years. I think I've used crayons more than I've used pencils since the early 90s.

Around 1990 I was working for a top music magazine. The offices were across the street from a various factories, including a fish plant and an ice factory. While walking back from a chicken and beer lunch one day with another guy who worked at the publication (rock 'n roll mag, drinking at lunch was normal), a bunch of guys from the plant across the street yelled at us "PENCIL PUSHERS!!" My friend and I just laughed and went back upstairs to make some money and not smell like fish at the end of the day. I don't say this in a pretentious way. I worked for many, many years in the restaurant business and would often come home smelling like a mixture of potatoes, dirty dishwasher, and sweat, so I know that world well. But hey, it was nice to actually get to wear nice clothes and talk to people on the phone at a desk.

Anyway, I thought of that as I walked around Staples over the weekend (really, it's too early for another planner – they didn't even have any that started earlier than January, so I'll just keep using the one I have now). I was tempted to buy some pencils…so many cool devices and colors now. I even had a package in my hand but decided not to get them. I think I would get them for nostalgia reasons. And I would use them for nostalgia reasons, because when you work with a pencil it's a whole different mindset. I'm a guy who crosses things out, I don't erase.

Besides, I'm not a pencil pusher anymore. More like a pixel pusher.

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