Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Monday, 20 February 2012

image for Action Urged Over Propelling Pencil Safety
A pen, a bit like a pencil.

Government and health officials are being urged to take action over safety issues relating to propelling pencils.

The call comes after a weekend when a local man "narrowly escaped death" while trying to replace the lead in his Yard-O-Led pencil.

Mr Piotr Tchaikovsky, of Ladysmith Grove, who is no relation to the celebrated nineteenth-century Russian romantic composer famous for such pieces as the 1812 Overture and Romeo And Juliet, says the pencil was given to him a couple of years ago by his father.

"He always had it when I was a lad, and he suddenly just decided to give it to me. Well, of course I'd never had to maintain a propelling pencil before and when the lead finally ran out, I had to figure things out for myself."

This was where the trouble began, he adds.

"Well I managed to get the innards out of the shaft and found the store of spare leads. But I put one in the wrong place and when I started to try to screw it all back together... snap! The lead broke and a piece flew out and very nearly had my eye out!

"When I regained my composure, I figured out what I had done wrong and added a another lead. This time I tried to screw together two parts that weren't meant to be and scraped all the skin off two of my fingers!"

After another attempt he managed to put the pencil back together successfully. But the experience has made Mr Tchaikovsky determined to see something done about propelling pencil safety.

"Well, I'd hate for anyone else to go through what I did - I only narrowly escaped death while sitting on my own sofa.

"I've written to my MP, the health minister and the people up the local hospital urging them to make Yard-O-Led and Shaeffer and all the other manufacturers put warnings on their packaging."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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