To: Silverthorne-Gillott

Pencil Sharpener Division,
Silverthorne-Gillott Ltd.,
Birmingham Road,
West Midlands. DY1 4RL.

8th July, 1990.

Dear Sir,

Now here's a thing: I have the pleasure of using one of your Gillott 300 pencil sharpeners (with desk clamp) almost every day at work, and, quite simply, it ranks amongst the best pencil sharpeners I have ever used (and you have my permission to quote me there).

This, however, is not the real reason why I write...

What I really wanted to point out was that I was somewhat confused by the inscription atop my pencil sharpener, viz: PLEASE CLEAN REGULARLY. It took me some weeks before I realised that this is not just a good piece of general hygienic advice and that it is, in fact, referring to the cleaning of the shavings tray. I think you can see where my confusion arose.

It then occurred to me that there is money to be made in this: why not introduce a range of desk-top pencil sharpeners with sensible inscriptions on top (e.g. LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP, DON'T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET, AN APPLE A DAY KEEPS THE DOCTOR AT BAY, etc.)? Better still, why not have a range of witty sayings (STAY SHARP, KEEP TO THE POINT, DON'T BE EASILY LEAD, MY OTHER PENCIL SHARPENER IS A REXEL, etc.)? Let's face it, they should sell like hot cakes. If people are prepared to fork-out a fiver for a dancing plastic flower or a rude man who drops his pants when you squeeze a bulb, what wouldn't they give for a funny pencil sharpener?

As you seem to be a British company (although Gillott sounds a bit too French for my liking), feel free to use any of my suggested inscriptions free of charge - though I'm sure your concept men will be able to come up with some equally good ones.

Stay sharp!