Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Biropractor

A half-Bicced idea
  (+21, -2)(+21, -2)
(+21, -2)
  [vote for,
against]

The Biropractor came to see us today. He was a wizened old man, yet his eyes shone brightly when he cast his gaze around the office. "Biros!" he cried, "Anyone need their Biros fixing?"

Naturally, we all had a handful of Biros that had stopped working for one reason or another. When the Biropractor reached my desk, he smiled with anticipation, and took some tools from his belt. A lighter, a small piece of glass, some mechanical pencil lead, some rubber, and a few other bits and bobs. As he worked, he spoke quietly, singing the praises of the humble Biro, telling me of its long and noble history. Entranced by his evocative murmurings, the time passed swiftly. Using one or another of the tools, he soon had almost all of my pens working again.

I began to thank the Biropractor, but he wasn't yet done. He clasped my writing hand between his wrinkled hands, then watched as I scribbled a sentence onto a notepad. Nodding thoughtfully, he took one of my Biros, and ran a lighter along it briefly. When he returned it to me, it looked strange, for it had been subtly curved by the heat. Yet, when I held it, I discovered the realignment meant it fit into my grasp much better than before - snugly, nay, perfectly aligned for my hand size and writing style. (Indeed, in the following weeks, I found my wrist ached far less at the end of a long stint of writing than it had previously.)

"Kind sir! How much do I owe you?" I asked. The Biropractor smiled gently, and took from my desk the single Biro that he'd been unable to fix.

"This is all I ask for as my payment," he replied, and he shuffled off towards the stairs.

None of us know what he does with the broken Biros, or the ones he finds under sofa cushions and in dusty corners which he also claims for himself. Some say he recycles them, some that he studies them to find ever-more-ingenious ways to fix even the most incalcitrant of pens. A few believe that he drinks the remaining ink from them, the ink's slight alcohol content enough to lull him into happy drunkenness.

Whatever he uses them for, it's a price well worth paying, for the benefit of having several Biros brought back into active service and shaped to fit your hand, but even more so, for the pleasure and joy of seeing a master craftsman at work.

imaginality, Jun 29 2007

Ballpoint pens http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Ballpoint_pen
What Wiki says [imaginality, Jun 29 2007]

History of Biros http://news.bbc.co....agazine/6173154.stm
They won us the war [imaginality, Jun 29 2007]

Another history http://www.ideafind...entions/ballpen.htm
[imaginality, Jun 29 2007]

Where he takes the biros http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A47620
[wagster, Jun 29 2007]

The eight phases of the Bic Biro http://www.blinman.com/biro.htm
[skinflaps, Jul 03 2007]

Bic Biro: the full name in the US? http://www.promobas....au/catalogue/c1/p2
[Ling, Jul 03 2007]

[link]






       this is crying out for an arch-enemy (and a side-kick quite possibly)
po, Jun 29 2007
  

       I'm going to interiew for the position - the Bill Gibson reference might be enough.
normzone, Jun 29 2007
  

       beautiful
theNakedApiarist, Jun 29 2007
  

       //and a side-kick quite possibly//   

       Peter Parker Pen? [+]
skinflaps, Jun 29 2007
  

       Only works in G.B. [-]
nuclear hobo, Jun 29 2007
  

       Your boning it for that? There are plenty of Yank-centric ideas that I don't bone just because they benefit another nation more than my own.   

       Out of interest, why does it only work in GB?
theleopard, Jun 29 2007
  

       gravity bong?
po, Jun 29 2007
  

       "...and Crayon Boy!"
hippo, Jun 29 2007
  

       //Only works in G.B.//   

       That's odd, BIC was founded in France, patented in Argentina and after the release of the pens in Europe it was introduced into the USA and is manufactured in Connecticut, if I'm not mistaken.
skinflaps, Jun 29 2007
  

       You are not mistaken. I grew up in Stratford CT and the Bic factory was in the next town called Milford.
xandram, Jun 29 2007
  

       It certainly is evident how I'm hardwired. I saw "after the release of the penis in Europe".
normzone, Jun 29 2007
  

       It doesn't work in the U.S. because on this side of the pond we don't have any idea what Biros are - at first I thought this was a chiropractor for birds or bisexuals.   

       I must admit to a deep dislike of Bic pens and all manner of really crappy disposable stuff (much of which carries the Bic label), which no doubt influenced my vote as well.   

       If you don't like the bone, look at the bright side - I didn't MFD it for magic.
nuclear hobo, Jun 29 2007
  

       //I saw "after the release of the penis in Europe".//   

       Sometimes a penis just a pen.
imaginality, Jun 29 2007
  

       I read //he soon had almost all of my penis working again//.   

       Not sure what that says about me.
wagster, Jun 29 2007
  

       //we don't have any idea what Biros are// who's we?   

       //I must admit to a deep dislike of Bic pens// you've heard of them then? No magic here.
skinflaps, Jun 29 2007
  

       [nuclear hobo], I opted for punny euphony over dull universality in my choice of title (would you really rather I'd called this idea 'The Ballpoint Pen Fixer Man'?); I assumed the subtitle, idea and links would clarify things sufficiently for the Biro-bemused among us.
imaginality, Jun 29 2007
  

       Some of us are more conversant in both-sides-of-the-pond-english than other. I had a fair grasp of it before I got here, but hanging out here has been good for building my vocabuluary.
normzone, Jun 29 2007
  

       Bone rescinded. [ ]
nuclear hobo, Jun 30 2007
  

       ballpoint pen is such a mouthful.
po, Jun 30 2007
  

       You wrote that just to get [normzone] all hot and bothered, didn't you [po]? (and [wagster], and [Ian Tindale])
pertinax, Jun 30 2007
  

       He set up a partnership with a stylopractor and a typopractor in order to have a full-service shop.
RayfordSteele, Jun 30 2007
  

       I thought this was going to be a protractor that goes in 360 degrees
quantum_flux, Jul 01 2007
  

       Those are baked. Had one in college.
RayfordSteele, Jul 02 2007
  

       While it's true that I had no idea what a Biro is/was, after reading the idea, it seemed obvious that it was some kind of pen.
xandram, Jul 02 2007
  

       I read the title is Biroceraptor for some reason. I'm not sure what it would be, but I'm pretty sure we should be afraid of it.
hidden truths, Jul 02 2007
  

       Ian, I think it's the rather simple case that there are no colloquial words for proper (not so proper?) names like Paris Hilton et al, (well, actually, there are, but they're left for the ears of lesser company), whereas objects have their own local language.
RayfordSteele, Jul 02 2007
  

       If by biros you mean the ones in the picture in the BBC article, then I've got a desk full of them. We Americans just call them Bic pens instead. I didn't know what a biro was until I read this, but it's not that big of a stretch to figure out. I wonder though: I've never seen a pen with the word "biro" on it. Are they only sold as biros in GB?   

       By the way, I don't know who Hu Jintao is, but I hear that this Paris Hilton character is in jail, and that some people don't like that fellow named Tony.
discontinuuity, Jul 03 2007
  

       People in the UK don't like the Tony fellow, so we've exported him to the US for a long lecture tour while we fix our country.
wagster, Jul 03 2007
  

       [rrt], strange, there are plenty of US references to "Bic Biros".
Ling, Jul 03 2007
  

       [Ling] I have lived here in the US my entire life, and have never heard the word Biro. (and I've used a lot of pens)
xandram, Jul 03 2007
  

       Perhaps in the US he (or his sidekick) could be called a BICsmith.   

       I was imagining the biro as some sort of croissant...
ye_river_xiv, Jul 03 2007
  
      
[annotate]
  


 

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