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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column poetically announcing that we are pen-chewers.

We stand up, and we say to all the world: “We chew pens!”

Short pens, long pens; right pens, wrong pens. Pens with perk and pens you have to lick so that they will work.

We chew pen caps, pen shafts, pen points and pen joints. Skinny pens, fatty pens … even made in Cincinnati pens. We bite on pens that are blue, pens that can write on a shoe, pens that will write out a clue … PENS, THEY ARE TOO FEW!

Some pens will click, others are made by Bic. Some come ready to write, others require a small writing fight.

But we chew them all, none are too small, we’ll buy them at the mall as long as they can scrawl.

The best parts, we’ve found, are the caps that are round, with soft-chewing plastic like feathers of down. And the tail on the cap, that inch of protrusion, it’s built for pockets, but we have other illusions. It’s the first part we run to – on a pen that is brand new – placing it between our incisors to chew, chew and chew.

Some think it uncouth to put in the mouth: “Does it damage the tooth or scrape your mouth’s roof? None of this is the truth, we say without blinking. We see your bad looks and we know what you’re thinking:

“Pens are for writing and checking our choices, they allow us to talk without using our voices. They are useful at work and late-night at bars, when we see a fair beauty whose digits should be ours.”

These uses are noble, we reply to the skeptics, but have you ever chewed a pen then gotten dyspeptic? No is the answer because pens are benign, their casing is solid and the ink’s like fine wine. Their smooth, lengthy body is simply divine, and we can chew them and write AT THE SAME FREAKIN’ TIME!

So no need to choose between gnawing and writing. Both uses are good, if we’re doing the biting. And you can bite too, no reason not to, the chewing is good for both gentile and Jew.

We’d mow pens all day, never asking for pay, we dream someday they’ll be served on a tray. Or served on a platter, it doesn’t really matter, as long as we know that they won’t make us fatter.

But sometimes we grab a pen from a desk, without knowing its history or where it’s been last. And we place it in our mouths, overcome by the habit, and a clear and warm liquid is already on it.

“Ooh, this is gross,” we hear ourselves thinking, “Whose saliva is this we seem to be drinking?”

Some call it a pen-kiss by pen-chewing brethren, which sounds nice and flowery, till you happen to get one. It’s a bad side effect, but it won’t make us stop – chewing our pens is how we got to the top.

So take that pen, as you’re doing the crossword, raise it up to your lips, tilt it slightly forward. Open your mouth, and between your pearly whites, place the pen down and bite that pen right!


It’s Monday, a fine day for poetry. Send your rhymes to summitup@ or start rapping at the beep at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237.

We’re out petting that dog named Scout and eating trout without a pout …

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