Social Question

kneesox's avatar

Have you ever tried to write anything on a napkin?

Asked by kneesox (1518points) 2 weeks ago

Folklore has people jotting notes on a napkin in a restaurant. Sometimes detectives in novels do it. Isaac Asimov wrote one of his limericks on a napkin. A lawyer told me you could write a holographic will on a paper napkin, and if it’s signed and dated it will stand up in court.

Have you ever tried to write anything on a napkin? Fine linen might do, but then you’re in trouble. A paper napkin, though: did you get anything but a blurry mess?

Why don’t these impromptu writers carry a notebook or an index card in case they have the sudden impulse?

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18 Answers

raum's avatar

All the time. It’s better than writing on my hand, because I’ll wash it off and forget. :P

Some napkins take pretty well to ballpoint. Others, not so much.

Rollerball works fine almost all the time. Just write fast—but don’t press too hard. :)

(Hot drink sleeves also do well in a pinch.)

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s happened many times. The impromptu need at a party or other social event. That’s just another reason I always carry 2 pens.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I’m with you, @kneesox. I have yet to get my hand on a napkin that is good for writing. I have never written on a napkin and I can’t understand how people could do that.

But on the other hand, it’s not like anyone could carry a notebook everywhere. Some people just don’t have the space to put a notebook in. And writing on a notebook spontaneously isn’t something a regular person would do regularly either.

longgone's avatar

I’ve done that many times. There’s an art to it. The napkin has to be stretched out, but not too tight. And the pen needs to be very good.

Brian1946's avatar

Different makes of napkins have different tensile strengths.

Even if I print slowly and gently on a napkin with low tensile strength, there will still be a barely noticeable degree of tearing. However, the printing is legible.
So I’m reasonably sure that I could write on a napkin with higher tensile strength.

jca2's avatar

Maybe, but I don’t remember trying. I usually have a handbag with me, which always has a treasure trove of random scraps of paper, receipts, etc. which all can be used to write on instead of a napkin.

Zaku's avatar

I have written on napkins, but unless you want your medium to bleed and/or fall apart in interesting ways, I wouldn’t recommend it. Results depend on the pen and the napkin used of course. A notebook tends to work much better, but doesn’t have the same ad hoc style.

zenvelo's avatar

I wrote a girl’s phone number on a napkin in 1984. We came close to marrying, but alas it did not work out. I still have the napkin.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Paper or cloth napkin?

At this point why not just type (whatever) on your cell phone and email it to yourself?

ucancallme_Al's avatar

Yes
“You’re fired!”

JLoon's avatar

“Help me” notes to the waiter when those first dates don’t work out.

But it can be hard to read when you use your own blood…

lastexit's avatar

Several times. The only real problem I’ve had was sometimes the pen would poke a hole in the napkin. Quentin Tarantino autographed a paper bar napkin for me at the Riverside Inn. He did a decent job considering he was a tad more than buzzed.

TJFKAJ's avatar

I have an autograph from LeBron James on a napkin

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Nope. Why would I want to? Seldom ever have a pen on me anyway.

Strauss's avatar

I used to do so often, especially in the pre-digital era.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Occasionally I roll the side of the ball tip, which removes minute fiber accumulation, enabling smoother writing. I do the same when dotting “i“s.

Moisture is disaster.

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