The Mystery of the Biro

I have penned many profound words upon the subject of inanimate objects. A good many of these have been produced with the aid of a Biro.

During the course of a single year I will use upwards of one thousand Biro's, yet I have never actually worn one out. Why should this be?

My studies lead me to the conclusion that the Biro, as with many other forms of inanimate object, hates it's role in life.

The Biro is by nature a celibate creature which resents spilling it's virile essence upon paper. I do not arrive at this conclusion lightly, but through years of painstaking research and at no small cost to my health.

My findings may be summed up thus:

  1. The Biro does not serve man willingly
  2. The Biro is a wily beast, which, if given the least opportunity to make good it's escape, will do so.

Two Simple Experiments with Biro's

  1. Purchase fifteen Biro's. Hold them tightly all the way home to prevent escape. Place five in the pencil pot in the kitchen. Five in the decorative mug next to the telephone in the hall. Five in a jar on your writing desk. Pointedly ignore the Biro's and allow one week to pass. Try and find a Biro.
  2. Bend down and tie your shoelace. Try and find a Biro.

Suicidal Tendencies Amongst Bondage Biro's

Many attempts have been made to tame the Biro, or at least bring it to heel. All have been doomed to failure. One inspired notion was the creation of the biro which was worn on a thong about the neck clipped into a plastic harness.

This unnatural practice is rarely seen today. The severe psychological damage inflicted upon the captive Biro's led them to tear themselves from their shackles and plunge into toilet bowls, becoming suicidally entangled about gear sticks or wrap themselves around handlebars.

It is also understood that these Biro's were capable of telepathically transmitting their cries for freedom to companions of their tormentors, with the result that these would remark, for no logical reason, "You look a right prat with that thing hanging around your neck, throw it away".

Parker? Gorn, M'Lady!

There exists a school of thought, that an expensive Biro, wrought from gold or silver and branded with the potential owners name, will become a cherished possession. Perhaps the principle is that if the owner loves the Biro, the Biro will return the affection and become a loyal companion. Sadly no. In fact, due to the precious metals employed in the manufacture of these items, they are truly a cut above the average when it comes to evasiveness.

These Biro's are most popularly given as Christmas presents. But exalted be the man who can use a such a creation to pen a thank-you note come Boxing Day. Most potential owners will spend the morning emptying dustbins and uncrumpling wrapping paper in the vain hope of unearthing the cherished-possession-to-be.

I contend that such Biro's employ an advanced form of camoflauge. Also that they are capable of dematerialisation. It is to be observed that many such Biro's arrive in hermetically sealed gift boxes which are a right bugger to get open.

These boxes ensure that the Biro's remain safely entrapped whilst at the shop. But caveat emptor, once you're home, you're on your own.

The Irish maintain that there exists, somewhere upon the planet, a treasure trove of Croesusian magnitude, where these gold and silver fellows hobnob with the single earrings beyond number and a million gemstones from engagement rings.

It is situated at the end of the rainbow. Or so I have been led to understand.

Homicidal Biro's

Man has never been slow to mould the world to his whim. But in doing so he has concieved many a dangerous folly. Nuclear Power, CFC's (Chelsea Football Club supporters), toxic chemicals and Bud Abbott. But none more potentially disastrous than the Whimsical Novelty Biro, or W.N.B.

This is, to all intents and purposes, a normal Biro, but affixed to it is the head of some currently marketable character. Snoopy, Garfield, Bart Simpson, Barry the Sprout, or what-have-you.

It is to be noticed that such characters generally emanate from America. Home of the serial killer

The victim-to-be purchases, or is given, the W.N.B. and places it unsuspectingly in the top pocket of his or her jacket, with the humerous head protruding. Then at some time during the day, he or she has cause to turn their head sharply to the left, or attempt to take off the jacket.

Either way the result is inevitably the same. A severed jugular! And does the government insist that health warnings be printed upon W.N.B.'s? Does it 'eck as like! The needless slaughter has been going on for more than a century. But the conspiracy of silence prevails to this day.

Note this: it is a significant fact that all the victims of the so-called Jack the Ripper murders died within walking distance of The East London Patent Pen Works. This factory specialised in the manufacture of dip pens capped with silver facsimilies of Queen Victoria's crowned head.

Only one such pen survives. It is kept under lock and key in Scotland Yard's Black Museum.

It was found at the bedside of Mary Kelly, the last of Jack's victims!

Before concluding this section it is worth drawing the readers attention to the so-called suicide, by hari-kiri, of the Japanese writer, Yukio Mishima.

He wrote with a Biro.

He that liveth by the sword shall perish by the sword.

The pen is mightier than the sword. Nuff said.

The Mystery Biro

I must, before concluding this erudite monogram, dwell upon a curious anomaly. The black sheep of Birodom. The Mystery Biro. This, unlike the rest of the species, craves the company of man.

It will appear suddenly in the pocket of a jacket you haven't worn since it came back from the cleaners. In the glove compartment or boot of the car. At the bottom of a handbag or raffia shopper. In the kitchen drawer or tool chest.

And once it has found you, it is yours for life.

It is, inevitably, a shoddy, plastic, giveaway affair, with a spring arrangement housed within, purportedly to bring down the ballpoint.

It can be instantly recognised by it's bright plumage. Bold primary colours and embossed lines of print which spell out things like: Nicked from the Archduke Ferdinand Aerated Bread Co., or Wandering Bishops World Con '79.

Of course, it doesn't actually work. But's always there when you need it. And just you try and get rid of it. Leave it where you will. Folk will persue you down the street crying, 'You forgot your Biro'. The Mystery Biro has come to stay.

As to it's origins. These remain shrouded in mystery also.

Often a telephone number will be printed on the Biro. But spare yourself a florin. Either the number has been discontinued, or the premises named on it simply do not, and have never, existed.

The employment of a stout stick is recommended. Followed by the incineration of the pieces.

Another Mystery Solved

I am often asked how, with Biro's vanishing as often as the do, is it possible for some writers to get so much down on paper in a single lifetime?

Shakespeare, for example.

Shakespeare wrote 100,000,000 words in twenty years. No small feat. I am happy to reveal here a little known fact about the Immortal Bard.

Shakespeare was, in fact, a retired pirate, who, after losing his right hand to a round of chain shot on the spanish main, gave up the life of brigandry on the high sea's and took up writing as a hobby to pass the time.

Intimates knew him as Stumpy Will and remarked upon the craftsmanship and lifelike nature of his carved elm prosthesis.

The forefinger of this was capped with a golden nib!

It is said that the impossibly prolific Master of Macabrery, Stephen King, has a Biro surgically grafted to his right hand.

The Book of Ultimate Truths
Hugo Rune

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This page was last updated on 7th November 2002