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There are a lot of supplies on the desktop. Here is a little guide to help you sort them out.

Angus

Angus is one of the many pencils who make their home on the desktop. He was originally a promotional tool for the “Angus Steak House of Cityville USA”. His wooden shaft is painted plaid and only his name “Angus” remains visible due to having been sharpened over time.

Angus is aware of his continually “shortening” life and is compelled to warn the other pencils about repeated use and the subsequent sharpening which follows. Doodling and tic-tac-toe may be fun pastimes; but these are activities represent squandered and wasted lives.

Angus is an increasing existential struggle with the pencil sharpener, which he does not blame for his circumstance, but recognizes as a tool which creates opportunity for meaning, utilitarianism, and creativity to the pencil population, while conversely facilitating their inevitable demise.

Angus may be older and questionably wiser than other pencils. His reminds us of the importance of living a purposeful life. But, the age old question remains… Is it better to live a short care free life of self-indulgence or a long frugal life of purpose? Or is there a balance between the two that is different for each of us?

Unfortunately most of the younger pencils view him as a depressing dotard. On the other hand, the Blue Pens find his ranting amusing. As a result of a lack of physical evidence to back up his claims that their life spans are just as vulnerable.

Black Ballpoint Pens

The Black Pens are the female pens of the desktop pen universe. They share the buck-teeth and white shafts of their male Blue Pen counterparts. But, that is where the similarities end.

The Black Pens have unique names, personalities, goals, and desires, making them easily identifiable at a glance by everyone else on the desktop community except the Blue Pens.

When seeking out meaningful conversation, Black Pens typically interact with other Black Pens.

Black Pens represent the “every-woman” and are most commonly found in stories containing social commentary that investigate the relationships.

Blue Ballpoint Pens

In contrast to the Black Pens, Blue Pens do not feel unique. This is a result of all Blue Pens being identical in every aspect; So much so that every Blue Pen on the desktop is named “Blue”. The only spark of individuality that a Blue has is the ability to tell each other apart; a feat that is impossible for the other desktop characters. Fortunately, Blue Pens are so exactly alike that they are interchangeable and differentiating between them is fairly meaningless; especially for the Black Pens, who have realized that “men are all the same”.

Blue’s greatest flaw and best quality are one and the same: naivety. Blues are filled with the best of intentions but remain inevitably clueless. Blues often fall victim to their own misguided whims while remaining pathetically endearing.

Blue Pens are social characters that that are completely accepting of their life on the desktop and live from day to day and moment to moment. Blues interact with the entirety of desktop characters, but most frequently with other pens.

Blues represent the “every-man” as a catalyst for social commentary. While Blues are involved in stories that investigate the relationships between men and women, they also represent mankind’s naïveté with the world around them.

Chewey

Chewey is a typical pencil with yellow painted body, pock marked with dents and holes. He's been sharpened and used over time, making him shorter than most other pencils.

Although the Pencils tend to be spiritual, Chewey’s thoughts rarely exceed his concern for his own mortality and attempting to fulfill his selfish desires. These are often in direct contradiction to one another, leading to a never-ending internal conflict. His fears tend to manifest themselves as deceptive and sometimes fatal acts of aggression toward other pencils in a misguided means of self-preservation, believing that by removing the competition decreases the probability of being discarded. In sharp contrast to Angus, Chewey will go out of his way to put other pencils into perilous situations, such as convincing them to toss themselves into the trash, sharpen themselves to the point of uselessness, and rolling off the back of the desk, causing “mysterious” disappearances.

Unfortunately for Chewey, there are lots of pencils and it is unlikely that the seemingly endless influx of replacement pencils will be discontinued. Each day remains the same as the last; another day on the desktop is another good day on the desktop. 

The role of Chewey is twofold; to investigate man’s increasing sense of his own mortality and purpose as he ages and to investigate the pleasure derived from desires which are commonly considered taboo.

Crayon, Orange

Orange, was a crayon that inadvertently left behind during a “bring your child to work day”. He is out of place on the desktop and struggles to be accepted. He overcompensates for his insecurity by lashing out at those around him in an attempt to prove that he has a superior intellect. He usually sees things with a clarity that eludes the other desktop characters and he cannot resist pointing out their mistakes. As a result, he has difficulty making friends.

He regularly socializes with Chewey and other fellow desktop misfits.

Orange is the voice of reason and common sense, while highlighting the importance of humility over self-importance. His relationship with Chewey illustrates the value of friendship and the struggle of finding a place in a diverse society after childhood.

Crayons, The 63

Far away from the desktop and workplace, there are 63 Crayons. They live in a child’s bedroom, without their brother, Orange. The 63 crayons appear in flashbacks and in Orange’s dreams/nightmares. Like the child that they belong to, each adorably and appropriately named crayon (Crimson, Sky, Strawberry, Teal, Sunburst, etc.) has a big imagination, but little “book learning”.

The 63 Crayons represent lost childhood, innocence, and "childish things" to either be left behind or cherished, depending on one’s point of view.

Dr. Fountain Penn MD PhD PDQ

Dr. Penn is a high quality refillable fountain pen with gold trim and a fancy calligraphy point. He is trained in psychology and is a licensed therapist. He is the most grounded desktop inhabitant and is completely aware of his existence and purpose. His goal is to help each of the writing instruments to live up to their potential.

While Dr. Penn tries to help everyone, he often finds himself overwhelmed by the Blues’ problems, which are ultimately shared by all of them at the same time.

Dr. Penn represents the sound psychological truths that so many individuals fail to seek out or heed when observed. 

 
Elmar

The tallest writing instrument on the desktop is known to most of the inhabitants as Elmar.

His full name is blazon across his shaft, “Elmar Company Permanent Marker”. However, after donning a small mask and inverting his base, with his cap moved to the bottom of his barrel, he uses his cape and other desktop objects to hide the majority of the lettering on his body to become the crime fighting superhero “El Marco” (Elmar Co), who is sworn to rid the desktop of “evil”.

Ironically, there is no “evil” on the desktop for him to fight. Misguidedly, he attributes his own vigilance as the reason. He has no concept of the delusional world he has created for himself. While he means well, he leaves large black marks all over the desktop as he “swooshes” around while he is on patrol.

Elmar and El Marco interact with all of the desktop characters. The Blues think he’s a hero. The Blacks think he’s dreamy. Everyone else thinks he’s crazy.

Elmar is the child in all of us, who wraps a towel around his neck and runs thru the house pretending to fly until he’s told by his mother to go play outside before he breaks something.

Frenchie

Frenchie is a standard yellow pencil that has an eraser which has been used so often that it has been worn into a beret.

Frenchie is a political activist who stands on his “staple box”, protesting and pontificating to whoever will listen. He is neither conservative nor liberal, preaching against both equally, in a brutally honest evaluation of all politic views. He is a pure centralist who fights against the ugly underbelly of politics and the extremes aligned with each party affiliation.

He is also vested in targeting el Marco as an unwarranted vigilante, who he views as doing more harm than good. 

Highlighter Sergeant Major Floyd Clegg (Status - Active):

This wide barreled pink highlighter is the leader of the Highlighter Special Corps. He is a drill sergeant, who believes that the “lawless frontier” that is “the desktop” requires martial law as a governance until a more formal government can be established. He feels that it is HIS responsibility to teach new writing instruments the rules of the desktop when they arrive. Those rules are HIS rules, because believing you are right means YOU ARE RIGHT. 

Sgt. Clegg shares Frenchie’s view that el Marco is a lawless vigilante threat. This belief and the desire for an orderly government are the only two values that he shares with Frenchie. Sgt. Clegg knows that Elmar is el Marco, having once offered him a position in the Highlighter Special Corps, which was turned down. It is possible that he doesn’t stop el Marco because he has no authority. It is also possible that secrets of their shared past would be revealed if he acted against him.

Sgt. Clegg’s represents the narrow obedience of those who follow rules and laws without question.
 

  Highlighter Agent Orange (Status - Active)

Classified.

  Highlighter Aqua-Marine (Status - Reserve)

Aqua-Marine is a gentle giant who is generally used as the “muscle” of the Highlighter Special Corps, due to his size. When called upon, Aqua-Marine will follow Clegg's orders to the letter. This frequently involves standing in particular places for extended periods of time.

Highlighter Green Barret:

Private Detective Green, formally Captain Green, is a large, wide barreled green highlighter, who retired from the Highlighter Special Corps and has moved into the private sector as law enforcement. He was manufactured by the Star Marker Company. He has a black star painted on this barrel. Using old timey police skills, Detective Green uses reason, experience and observation as the tools of his trade.

Highlighter Old Yella (Status - Retired): 

Old Yella is a skinny barrel highlighter about the size of a Blue pen. He is the oldest inhabitant on the desktop and remembers how things "used-to-be" before all of the young whippersnappers arrived. 

He is Sgt. Clegg’s great-uncle and “friends” with the stapler, Stanley, who he believes is senile and has developed multiple personalities. The staples that he once knew are long gone and the new staples think he’s an old "kook". To both their credits, they are both mostly correct.

Old Yella doesn’t believe things will be better than they were in the “good old days”. He recognizes that he is old and could be discarded at any time. Driven by the need to pass on his years of wisdom and experience, he often tries to offer advice to anyone that will listen. However, his recollections of days past are fading and his well-intentioned tales tend toward rambling nonsense.

Old Yella represents obsolescence and the knowledge and wisdom which are generally ignored or unappreciated by younger generations.

Invisio

Invisio is the only clear plastic barreled pen on the desktop. He has run out of ink, leaving his barrel transparent and causing him to believe that he can become invisible by removing his cap. Of course, this is impossible. The other desktop inhabitants believe that he is insane and his attempts to use this "power" are typically either humored or ignored.
 

Mechanical Pencil

Mechanical Pencil is an off-screen character who is the most book smart writing instrument on the desktop.

The Blues seek him out for assistance in designing and building devices. While he provides them with very specific plans for building exactly what they ask for, the Blues inevitably miss critical elements, leading to disaster.

Mechanical Pencil represents the much sought after "progress" that makes our lives more complex rather than better.

Miss Red

Miss Red is the only red ballpoint pen on the desktop. The Blues think she is the most beautiful pen on the desktop. She is very distracting to the Blues, regardless of what they’re doing. This, of course, infuriates most of the Black pens, which can be understandably jealous of the attention that she receives.

Miss Red is, as her name implies, is misread. Miss Red does not want, solicit, or encourage the Blues’ affections, the Blacks’ resentment, or any assumptions made by the desktop community in general. If any of the others would take the time to face their own biases and speak to her directly, they would all discover that she is not what any of them imagine.

Miss Red represents society’s unrealistic image of female perfection and the struggle to overcome stereotypes through open dialogue and substantive enlightenment.

The Ones who came before

“The Ones who came before” are standard pencils who were sharpened and thrown into the ceiling tiles, to remain as trapped observers of the desktop for all time. They have the limited amount of wisdom that could be attained as a result of dangling above an office desk for several years. 

Having existed in the office longer than most other office supplies, “The Ones who came before” are considered to be wise. They regularly receive visits from pencils that journey across the desktop looking for sage wisdom. While the advice they dispense often sounds credible it is usually useless and underpinned with sarcasm and “in jokes”. 

“The Ones who came before” have little meaning in their lives and spend most of their time looking for ways to amuse themselves.

The role of “The Ones who came before” is to illustrate the inherent cruelty in man and similar to “The Oracle” to highlight the importance of choosing credible advisers.

The Oracle

The Oracle is a black desk stapler which has no “life” on the desktop. The Oracle’s combined consciousness is made up of the sum of the staples which reside within its protective casing, at any given time. The Oracle serves as a false beacon of truth to the pencils who journey to ask it for guidance and answers to questions of faith.

The Oracle’s biggest flaw is readily apparent in its schizophrenic behavior which has gone unnoticed by the pencils. The various personalities of the staples, who inhabit it, are constantly in conflict with one another; sometimes oblivious to, sometimes apathetic to, and sometimes outright aggressive to one another and their visitors.

Many of the staples, presumably the ones closer to the front of The Oracle, are aware that they are collectively being mistaken for a desktop fortune-telling device, happily playing into the role, while trying to keep the newer staples at the rear from blowing their collective cover. 

Some disagreements over what advice to give to the pencils will bring The Oracle to a complete impasse, while others reach such volumes that they threaten to reveal The Oracle’s secret. And they are rarely able to come to a consensus on any given thought. There are simply “too many cooks in the kitchen”.

Like “The Ones who came before” role of The Oracle is to illustrate the controversies surrounding “blind faith” and highlight the importance of wisely choosing qualified spiritual advisers.

The Pencils

The Pencils that inhabit the desktop community are standard pencils with yellow painted bodies. Most pencils look alike, but may vary in appearance based on characteristics such as sharpness, height, eraser usage, or other physical markings. 

The Pencils are spiritual characters, spending most of their time seeking out the reasons behind existence and investigating their own mortality. Pencils will often make a pilgrimage to ask questions to and seek moral guidance from "The Oracle” and “the Ones who came before”.

Pencils normally interact with other Pencils or with Blues. Pencils represent mankind’s quest to understand the meaning of life. They investigate faith, god, mortality, and purpose. Pencils also investigate social issues that Pens are not capable of understanding.

Phyllis (Phyl)

Phyl is a refillable pencil. Because she is refillable, she has the potential to be the one of the longest living writing instruments on the desktop. While this hard truth is upsetting to Chewey, who is also smitten with her, no other pencil is concerned that she could render all other pencils obsolete.

Phyl is friends with everyone on the desktop; even the Blues, who think she’s a boy because of her name and color.

Phyl represents the wholesome, candid, and confident girl next door, who is completely comfortable with whom she is.

Push Top

Push Top is a promotional push button pen. Push Top is motivated to bully the Blue Pens in an effort to impress Miss Red with his physical strength. Push Top is feared by the Blues, ignored by Miss Red, friendless and lonely, releasing his frustration the only way that he knows, violence.

Push Top represents the insecure bullies who turn to physical violence as their only outlet.

Rainbow

Rainbow is the desktop’s gender fluid inhabitant. Most of the female community love to be around them. Most of the male community admires their fashion sense. Everyone thinks they have great taste in music.  Some desktop inhabitants are accepting of them while others are simply confused.

Rainbow's purpose on the desktop is to examine society’s struggle with the LGBTQ community, as well as their inverse struggle with society. 

Ralph "The Pen Fairy"

Ralph is a green eraser-less miniature golf pencil. “Ralph’s Pitch & Putt” is written on his barrel in white letters. He is about the size of a crayon and the only pencil that appears pencil tip up.

How Ralph became "The Pen Fairy" is a mystery, a topic he will not discuss. He is fated to grant one wish to every pen he encounters, a job he does with great reluctance, as he is required by “Magical Law” to speak the very specific Pen Fairy Poem (PFP) prior to granting any wish. Much like a genie, Ralph will often twist the meaning of words in the wishes he hears or otherwise grant wishes based on the thoughts of the Pen making the wish rather than the words that they say.

His motivation is to enjoy life, while avoiding contact with pens (especially Blues) whenever possible.

Ralph represents wanting what we do not have and the consequences of getting those things. Be careful what you wish for.

Sir Reginald

Sir Reginald is a "handlebar" mustached, monocle wearing permanent black marker with a black cap and gray/white body. This snooty English big game hunter is obsessed with capturing his long-time nemesis, the elusive Pink Eraser.

Reginald takes no time to reflect on himself and his blind obsession. Loud and boisterous, he consistently recruits pencils to assist him in his hunt, convincing them that by capturing the Pink Eraser, they can prevent their work, their very purpose, from being erased. The single-minded Reginald will befriend anyone that might bring about the realization of his dream.

The role of Reginald as a character is to examine the futility of obsessive behaviors.

   
   

 

 

Animal Spotlight 

A-Tacks
"A-Tacks" are bulletin board pushpins which are often used to secure paper, string, and other objects to cubicle walls. They occasionally fall free, toward the desktop, causing the office supplies to think that they are under “A-Tack”.

A-Tacks represent our irrational fears and how we react when faced with things that we do not understand.

Pinky

Pinky is a slightly used, sometimes amorphous, pink eraser, who uses cunning to elude Sir Reginald in an ever-recurring game of cat and mouse. Pinky is an animal whose only wants in life are to eat the pencil trails which are left about by the pencils’ daily activities, finding quiet places to nap, and avoiding being captured by Sir Reginald and his band of eraser hunting pencils, whom he has convinced, is justifiable in order to protect their hard work from being erased.

Pinky represents man’s desire to control nature, rather than finding a way to live in harmony with it.

Sharpener Dog
Sharpener Dog is a small plastic pencil sharpener. Sir Reginald has used him in his quest to capture the Pink Eraser. Unfortunately, Sharpener Dog is an animal whose nature and instinct is to sharpen the very pencils that Sir Reginald recruits.