(Curtis Honeycutt is SCL famous. In addition to writing a ton of guest posts, he even won our bulletin bored contest with the best bulletin art I’ve ever seen. Which makes sense given how often he thinks about the writing utensils he brings to church. Here, in a sequel to a previous guest post, is his latest gift. Enjoy!)
Rebelling against pew pencils. By Curtis Honeycutt.
It’s an honor to be able to share this with the SCL community on Friday, of all days. After all, you gotta get down on Friday. Why, you ask? Great question: because everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend.
A few weeks ago, I lost my favorite pen on my way to sitting down in the sanctuary at church. My first reaction was to put the church on lockdown and bring in the pen-sniffing dogs. The greeters at the Info Hub didn’t go for that idea. As a result, I was stuck taking notes with one of those stubby pew pencils with no erasers. By the end of the sermon, I had a wicked sweaty cramp in my hand.
Why do churches use these?
After much discussion with a few other pew aficionados, I discovered there are a handful of writing instruments that all fit in the little hole between the envelope slot and used communion cup hole in the pewback. Here’s the rundown:
Pencil Classic (Sans Eraser)
These are pretty much glorified golf pencils. I think they come pre-dulled out of the box, and they never get sharpened. The last time I experienced something with duller points was my botany professor in college. Zinger! I concluded that the only thing pew pencils are good for is drawing shadows of ghosts on the bulletin. Do erasers really cost that much more?
The Full-On Pencil (aka “The Rogue”)
Someone decided they’d had enough with pencil classic, so they took it upon themselves to bring a full-on pencil from home, complete with eraser, and sneak it into the pencil slot. It’s all well and good until someone in the pew in front sits down and gets stabbed by a pencil whose end is slightly taller than the seatback. My advice: leave the rogue at home, unless you want to create another worship distraction. The only people who get away with going rogue in the sanctuary are the pastor’s kids.
Whoa. How is this possible? I can think in ink, then unthink my ink in a blink. Brilliant! Utilizing eraser pens would save on discarded offering envelopes, whose paper is precisely the ideal weight for a smooth-sailing paper airplane capable of reaching the top row of the choir loft (that is, once you loudly disassemble the envelope during a long-winded deacon prayer).
Clever Marketing Pen
I’ve never actually seen this, but it would be funny if a church stocked their pewbacks with pens that said “This pen was stolen from GracePointeLifeBridgeOverTroubledHolyWater Church.”
…because we don’t make mistakes, right? If we had Sharpees at church, I’d be afraid of kids getting loopy while doodling mustaches and eyepatches on families they don’t like in the church directory.
This is mainly for people like your great aunt who still sends two dollar bills in your birthday card every year. Also for people like Robin Hood (the Kevin Costner version).
Twizzlers are to Skittles as praying mantises are to worship eagles. I’m not sure that made much sense. Either way, Twizzlers would fit in that slot and you know it. I know this one’s a bit out of the box, but sometimes I’ve got a sweet tooth that the head usher’s butterscotches just can’t quench.
So, where were we? Right…if anyone sees a black Uniball Jetstream pen (with clicker, not lid) lying around, let me know. Until then, these are just some ideas, because I think the whole pew pencil system, like many of their lead tips, is broken. What ideas do you have for an alternative to the pew pencil?
(For more great stuff from Curtis, check out his blog “Get Compelled.”)