Observing some Yeshiva students lately, I realized that they were teaching me more than I could hope to ever teach them. I refer, of course, to the multifarious uses of the humble pen. I lovingly dedicate this post to them.
I mean, what is a pen for anyway? Certainly not for writing; there are manifold digital gadgets for that. So here are twenty practical uses of this obsolescent object.
- Nudge or poke your Chavrusa, or study partner, when you decide he isn’t paying you enough attention. Be mindful of whichever side you choose to use.
- Mix someone else’s coffee, tea and/or soup. Use blue for Milchigs and red for Fleishigs, or be careful about “Ben yomo”!
- Toy with it, juggle it, flip it between your fingers, roll it over your hand (this demands practice, so get started now), spin it on the table like a Dreidel, etc. Whatever your Rebbe says, it’s great Occupational Therapy.
- Use it as a ruler to create straight lines in your Gemara (assuming you can find a suitable purpose-built handheld ink-dispensing implement to draw those lines in the first place…).
- Use it to weigh down your shirt’s front pocket. Add additional pen and paper if needed. If you leave it open when doing so, you will get a nice and blotchy design to liven up your white shirt (the tint depends on the ink within the pen).
- Throw the pen at someone to get their attention. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you: You may not use a Torah book (Sefer) to protect yourself from Blowback (retaliation).
- Use it to drum on the Lectern (Shtender) / table. This may require two pens for optimal effect. Ignore any protests of so-called “Sound Pollution”.
- Fool around with the enigmatic inner workings, taking matters as far as possible without getting all covered in ink.
- Suck on it (Notice: This use is especially intended for toddlers. Yes, they tend to employ the open tip, but apparently their inscrutable diet demands some nutrient found in the ink). This has many therapeutic and psychological benefits for all ages (similar to nursing, pacifiers, smoking, etc.).
- Use as a temporary bookmark. Cap it first. Does it ruin the book binding?
- On Erev Shabbos, place strategically in a location inconvenient for someone other than yourself. Check the relevant laws of Muktzeh.
- Play with as imaginary superhero figurine.
- Ponder why your beloved soul mate – the pen, is not considered a Tashmish Mitzvah. Refer to #9 for appropriate activity while doing so.
- Attempt to pronounce the pen’s company name. Next pronounce it backwards. This gets boring fast.
- Take a full inventory of the pen’s components, while tackling the “Problem of Classification”, see here.
- Masterfully roll it down the table (not on the ‘Sefer’). The cap may have to be removed first.
- Conceive of brilliantly improved industrial design, and imagine how you receive your first registered patent.
- Carefully open an envelope (that’s right, snail mail) – assuming you even get any.
- Poke around fifty tiny holes in your [dark colored] pants without creating a tattoo on your leg.
- Instead of constantly using your fingers to write words, try to type by using a pen to stab at the computer keys. It definitely improves your motor skills. Or maybe not.
One tiny comment: What about using the pen to write?
You know. Words?
Disclaimer: This post is categorized as “Humor”. Always read the disclaimer first!