{29/11/2012}   Snaffling pens

I have become a pen thief … well, actually I have been one for quite a few years.  I have loads of them and just can’t stop myself pilfering more.  I am referring to freebie/advertising pens, which I get mainly from hotels and offices, I do not take pens from shops or other people!  There is something strangely satisfying about secreting pens about your person to later fill your bag with and it’s unexpectedly thrilling (I don’t get out much, except to pen-snaffling places, clearly!) to try out the new pens, with an additional bonus if there is also a notepad in the offing!

Yesterday I worked at a solicitors’ office, a very nice building with lots of friendly staff and a ready supply of pens and a variant on beloved millionaire’s shortbread (but more on that would be a confession too far!).  I only discovered the pen supply as I was leaving but I’ll be back tomorrow.  It’s advertising, right; I’m doing them a favour.  The immediacy with which I felt my thieving paws lunging for the pen pot yesterday was rather alarming.  It was then, having secured the goods, I contemplated my pen collection.  In the bag I had with me yesterday, I had a pen from Hilton, another from a random company I don’t remember going to and a Barclays pen.

I know someone who has probably hundreds of pens from hotels, often taken by the handful. I am not that bad but I do feel I’ve missed out if I leave a pen-supplying venue pen-less. What is it about pens? I think it’s in part the fact it’s a freebie that’s worth something to you, after all there are few free things these days.  I don’t ever feel smug for having “stolen” from, particularly, a lawyers’ office as the pens are clearly there for the taking, I just find it incredibly satisfying.

In my younger days I collected erasers and bookmarks, all paid for I hasten to add.  Maybe pen snaffling is my adult collecting habit? Mind you, I do not revere them in the same way I did with my eraser and bookmark collections, I merely look at the name on the side every now and then and give myself a little smile, sometimes remembering a good hotel/job/experience, sometimes just appreciative if it’s a particularly good pen.

In addition to the pen thing, I do also have a good line in post-it notes, notepads, pencils and two-biscuit packets of biscuits, which, incidentally, at my current job are exceptionally posh (lime chocolate organic being one pack – v limey, not too much chocolate … mmm, they were good, though looking forward to trying the lemon melts tomorrow!).  Anyway, I say all this as a bit of a confessional, but I just know I am far from being alone on the pilfering front!


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