An Apology

Apologies can be kind of hard.  This one was a long time in coming.

Since the 1960s, when I discovered Sheaffer school pens (fountain pens that took a 2″ or so cylindrical liquid ink cartridge), I have loved fountain pens.  They just feel like a direct connection between my brain and ink on the page.

In the ’80s, I would visit the FLACS Company in Chicago and drool over Mont Blanc pens, the ne plus ultra of the day  (T finally gave me one as an engagement present–probably just to shut me up).

But there was one modern pen I loved.  But that I hated more than I loved.

I have bought several copies of this pen over the years, all equipped with my preferred extra-fine nib.  And none of them has worked worth a damn.  The pen in question is the LAMY Safari:


Originally sold in a “Safari Green” color (not the color shown here, but more olive drab, with, as I recall, rust-colored trim–but I could be wrong) the Safari was supposed to be this fantastic pen, but for some reason I could never get them to work.

In fact, I made it sort of an article of faith that these were “designed to fail” pens–purely ornamental.

I was wrong.

A week or so ago, I was seduced by the a photo of a yellow Safari.  I had an Amazon gift card that would make it free, so…  I ordered it.  My memory is that the original came in a wood or wood-look box, like a rifle.  This one came in a plastic tube.  It looked good, but would it work?  This was my fourth, and probably final, attempt.

You know what?


It works perfectly well.

I suspect that that’s so because I ordered this one with a fine, rather than extra-fine, nib, but I don’t know.  What I do know is that it’s a fine pen and comfortable writer.  The line is a little wider than I normally like, but it’s acceptable.

And hard to lose.

So, sorry, LAMY, for all the kvetching over the years.  This is a hell of a nice pen, and it cost me about $20.

So.  Revised guidance:  If you want to try a fountain pen, I strongly endorse the LAMY Safari in the fine nib size.

I was wrong.   ‘Scuse me, now–I need to go write something.



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