Saturday, December 06, 2008

Goodbye Commerce Bank Pens

Have you ever had the feeling that you feel so strongly and have complained so much about an incredibly minor and meaningless thing that it seems like it's possible that you may have been, or at least contended for the person who complained the most about it anywhere? Well, that's how I feel about a constant source of my ire, the Commerce Bank pen. While friend of the blog Utz has already scribed about it, and random dude Brent Goffin has apparently commented on how strange it is that is impossible to find a picture of it online (which is both true and can there not be one image of it? I turned up nothing, with a solid three minutes of creative google searching), I would feel remiss not at least briefly discussing a topic about which I complained so much.

As anyone in New York City, and probably the general tri-state area knows, there was at least a six-month or so period, in which you couldn't sign a credit card reciept without having to use a Commerce Bank pen. You know the type - blue, incredibly cheap plastic, which you could kind of see through (actually, that was the second variety - the first was thinner and had opaque rather than translucent plastic (dammit, why are there no pictures)) and a clicker that if you was so poorly constructed that it seemed to have a set number of clicks ahead of time before it fell apart. Trying to go a day using a credit card and not using a Commerce Bank pen was like trying to write a novel without using the letter 'E' - sure, it's possible, but it means you'd have to go far out of your way, and it probably wouldn't be a very good novel.

My problem was said pens was not of course that they were free - I am generally a big fan of free things, and I have stolen many a mediocre pen from hotel desks or job fairs. Commerce Bank simply had the cheapest possible pen that one could make with it still working. Taking a cue from The Joker, I think New York City deserves a better class of pens. I'm not walking around using a Mount Blanc or anything, but seriously, we can have some standards. We can aspire to use a pen that is not a total piece of crap. Alas, the day has come when there is no more, and perhaps I could shed a tear if it were not to be replaced by an equally poorly constructed TD Bank green pen (which of course it's impossible to find a picture of). We have yet to see if it will catch on like the original, the Regis and Kelly seem to want to assure me that TD is exactly the same as Commerce, but better. At least they still have the Penny Arcade (machine that counts change for free, people who don't use Commerce (now TD)).

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