The Goulet Pens Ink Drop theme for July 2011 is called "Flashlight Tag." It consists of four different specialty inks, a Platinum Preppy highlighter, a plastic squeeze pipette for loading it, and a tiny blacklight flashlight. The card accompanying the Drop cites a summertime game that Brian and Rachel enjoyed playing as children, called - you guessed it - Flashlight Tag.
They're in Virginia; I live (and grew up) in the Seattle area. I've never heard of flashlight tag in my life. I've asked friends in this area; no one I asked has heard of it either. I had to look up how to play it.
Playing in the dark is fairly necessary to the game. Just for fun, I looked up sunset times for where the Goulets live in comparison with where I live. On July 4, the sun set at 8:35 at the Goulets' place; it set at 9:11 at our place. Aha. Welcome to Seattle, Latitude 47, where on July 4 the day was 1 hour 13 minutes longer, sunrise to sunset, than it was in Virginia. It doesn't get full dark here until well after 10 pm in the summer.
No wonder we played Kick the Can instead.
So, rather than reminiscing over childhood joys of playing flashlight tag, I looked at this collection of blacklight-reactive inks and the little blacklight, and immediately saw blacklight posters in my minds' eye and heard Jimi Hendrix in the back of my head. Thus revealing my age once again.
- Noodler's Dragon Cat Green
- Noodler's Firefly
- Noodler's Blue Ghost
- Noodler's Dragon Cat Pink
Three are highlighter colors (green, yellow, pink) and the fourth, Blue Ghost, is largely invisible unless under blacklight/UV light.
Here are some color-corrected photos of the four inks, with swabs and "writing" samples, such as they are. This was shot with a blacklight held off to the left; interesting effect in the picture, but it'll give you an idea of the effect under black light.
I also swabbed over a sentence in typical Bic Ballpoint and one in Waterman Florida Blue, written with an Esterbrook J with a 1551 nib. I realized quickly that there's a reason (uh, yeah, probably several) that people don't use Q-tips to highlight. Very wet. For sake of fairness, I also used the Preppy highlighter - three passes over "Jimi Hendrix" and one over "Purple Haze."
Joe was dubious about the Preppy highlighter. He does a fair amount of reading and studying, and has focused a lot in the last couple of years on Bible studies. Many Bibles are printed on very thin paper, which makes highlighter choice more critical than it might seem. He has been using highlighters optimized for use in Bibles: they're rather dry and don't bleed through the relatively delicate paper.
I loaded the Preppy with Noodler's Firefly, and was pleasantly surprised at how well it compared to a typical "store bought" highlighter in use. I handed it to Joe, who tried it in a regular book, then in his Bible. Nearly instantly dry; no bleedthrough in either case. It compares very favorably with the pricey specialty highlighters he's been using. "Santa" immediately received a request for more Preppy Highlighters and a bottle of Firefly.
And then there's the added fun of using the blacklight on it. Oooh! Aaaah! Kewl, man. Colors!
Here is a link to an album of the photos taken for this post, in case you'd like to see more.