by Mike Walsh
Good people, a fiendish plot is lurking beneath the obsequious exterior that is the common, household pencil. It's something I like to call the "Conspiracy of Embarrassment."
Examine a new and used pencil for just a moment, won't you? As you can tell, the eraser on the used one is virtually gone. In fact, the erasers on used pencils are always used up much sooner than the lead. And why is that? Because human beings are imperfect beasts, prone to error, who constantly try to rid themselves of these nasty errors. Hence, the eraser.
But why, we must ask, do the pencil manufacturers make pencils with erasers that don't last as long as the lead? Because, friends, the pencil manufacturers think it's funny that human beings should find themselves without enough eraser to adequately erase their mistakes. They find it humorous to imagine all the pathetic, frustrated, error-ridden humans sitting at their desks wallowing in their ineptitude, with no recourse but to scratch at the mistakes with wornout eraser stubs, making the mistakes even more grotesque.
With their instruments of embarrassment the pencil makers force us to face our inadequacies over and over again, making our mistakes live and grow into monsters ravaging our already guilt-ridden consciences, keeping us from reaching our full potential as human beings while they have themselves a jolly good time in their eraser-filled offices. So what do we do? We purchase another pencil with a usable eraser and those bastards quietly become millionaires off our suffering.
If these pencil manufacturers had even one ounce of compassion, they would rectify this deplorable situation immediately. And do you think they don't have the technology? Of course, they do. But like the automobile industry that won't give us a 100-miles-per-gallon car, these sick, cruel devils have plotted to keep the technology of the long lasting eraser off the marketplace.
So we resort to adding an extra eraser to the top of the pencil, which wears out on the sides or breaks or twists off, another harsh reminder of our lost potential. Or the conspirators provide us with another ludicrous contraption, the eraser stick. Don't fall for this ancient ruse. The eraser stick does nothing more than rub holes in the paper, embarrassing us and our species all the more.
I say that the pencil manufacturers of America have inflicted this humiliation for too long. I will fight with every ounce of blood to expose these pencil manufacturers for what they are -- slimy, smart-ass criminals. I promise to get these pencils, with their hellish erasers, out of our lead-stained fingers. And I'm not doing this just for me, but for our children, and our children's children, and their children too, and for all the children who will ever have to face the fact that they aren't perfect, so that they too don't have to live with the constant embarrassment we've had to endure these long, hard years. If we work together, we can erase these perverts from the tarnished paper that is life itself and make it clean again for us and for generations to come.
Other pieces by Mike Walsh.
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