Are you haunted by your school days whenever you look down at your hands? A large group of people are, because they’re left with an indelible reminder on their skin of when they were bored in class.
It turns out many people still have lead pencil tips lodged in their hands, arms, or other body parts from their childhood. And, until this week, most of them thought they were alone.
The revelation came thanks to Twitter user @Los_Writer, who wrote, "Hello I’m looking for people who have led from their pencil stuck inside their bodies."
He later revealed that he’s a "right palmer," and showed off the dark lead mark on his hand.
A few people have asked to see mine so here it is. I’m a right Palmer pic.twitter.com/VI6bECJcu9— Los (@Los_Writer) January 8, 2019
The reminder of boring math classes when kids would stick pencils into their skin just for the distraction jogged a lot of memories, and soon people were sharing their own photos of lingering pencil injuries.
One regretful man said he "got frustrated practicing single digit multiplication" in the third grade, and slammed his head against a table. Apparently, a pencil point that was sticking up is still under his skin 11 years later.
Hello. I got frustrated while practicing single digit multiplication in 3rd grade and decided to slam my head on the table. However, I hit my pencil that was sticking point up. It’s still here 11 years later. pic.twitter.com/ZrkKAsI8bS— Samuel Hepola (@HepolaSamuel) January 8, 2019
An unlucky woman shared a pencil mark on her thigh, where she accidentally shoved a pencil through her jeans while moving a desk at age 13.
My left thigh, 13 year old me accidentally rammed a pencil THROUGH MY JEANS into my leg when trying to move a desk idefk how it happened honestly pic.twitter.com/aA3zs0N3K9— Caitlin Cox (@caitcox_) January 9, 2019
And another shared a mark on her toe from when a pencil stuck in the carpet jabbed her foot. "I always figured it would go away by now but no," she said.
happened when i was like 8, had a pencil on the floor that got stuck in the carpet at a weird angle and stabbed my toe!! i always figured it would go away by now but no 🤷♀️ pic.twitter.com/AVbJcJddn9— ♡◡♡ (@thatxgirlxcass) January 8, 2019
In fact, these marks can stick around much longer than you would think. One Twitter user revealed her pencil mark from 44 years ago is still visible.
44 yrs ago! It happened on the school bus. It has faded over time but as you can see 44 years later it’s still there and so is the memory! pic.twitter.com/uYJpSJcpno— Grandmas House (@FunWithGma) January 9, 2019
While plenty of people had stories to share about their pencil mishaps and marks, it seems no one could believe it had happened to anyone else. "Swore I was the only one," someone with a mark on their palm wrote.
One of the most gruesome stories from the thread came from @serff_board, was "an inch away from being blind" when her sister hurled a pencil at her eye in the third grade.
my sister threw a pencil at me when i was in third grade & was just an inch away from being blind pic.twitter.com/BkrYll5sTE— ashley serafin (@serff_board) January 9, 2019
Even she wasn’t alone, as @ChristianMThomp showed off lead mark on one of his eyelids. "Y’all I thought I was the only one," he shared.
So, are you one of the many with a lead pencil tattoo, or part of the boring unmarked group? I’m glad to say I was never jabbed with a pencil, even if it means I’m left out of this new fad.
But in case you’re beginning the fret about your pencil mark, don’t. Pencil "lead" is not actually made from the poisonous metal. It’s just harmless graphite and clay.
It is possible to remove the tip from under the skin, if you want to, and the process is comparable to pulling out a splinter:
- Sterilize a pair of tweezers with alcohol.
- Wash the skin around the lead with soapy water to disinfect it.
- Remove enough skin to grip the graphite tip. Grasp and pull with the tweezers.
- Clean and cover the wound with antibiotic cream and a bandaid.
The interesting question is whether or not these marks are becoming rarer, now that kids spend more time using keyboards and screens than pencils and paper.