First of all, I didn't know that the most popular (read: best-selling) pen in the world actually has a name: The Bic "Cristal".

Why "Cristal" instead of "Crystal"? Because France, that's why.

In 2006, according to Wiki, Bic sold their 100 billionth Crystal pen. First introduced in 1950, the pen is shaped to mimic the standard #2 pencil. It comes in 18 colors with 6 different points.

When the Bic Cristal was first sold in the US in the 1950s, it sold for $0.29, which is about $2.50 in today's dollars.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the Bic Cristal's writing tip and ergonomic design helped shift the worldwide market for pens from fountain pens to ballpoints. - Wikipedia

TIL that the hole in the barrel of the pen is so that the air pressure inside the pen matches the ambient air pressure, and the hole that is now drilled through the tip of the cap is "to reduce the risk of suffocation if the cap is inhaled". I don't know about you, but I think my body may need just a little more air than what that little hole will allow.

Townsquare Media Photo by John Falcon

Bic pens have been used for many things outside of writing: digging dirt out of the end of a garden hose, as an aid to tracheostomy/tracheotomy (at least in the movies), as an aid to breathing underwater (again, in the movies), as a spit-ball cannon (in high school), as a finger splint, as a stylus, as chop sticks - the list goes on.

The best use, and maybe most dangerous (at least we get warned about it all the time): using the cap to get to that hard-to-reach itch in the ear that is oh-so-satisfying! (Really, don't stick anything into your ear canal. I mean, it feels really good, but don't do it. Unless you are a professional medical/ear person.)

Townsquare Media Photo by John Falcon

So, now you know more about the Bic "Cristal".

(Ben's Blog, Wiki, Staples)