#440 – Ticonderoga

Back in my high school I got pretty good at sticking pencils into the ceiling. I was an artist on the school newspaper. We got to spend a lot of time in that room unsupervised.

Book #2 pre-order has begun! I had some very generous readers donate to the pre-order project for book #1 without getting anything extra in return. So this time I have added a few extra options that will only be available during the pre-order period. Check them out in the store.


0 thoughts on “#440 – Ticonderoga”

  1. Warcrime says:

    Will biff become swiss cheese if they all ever fall at the same time?

  2. A Captain says:

    I somehow got the impression that Biff was in his late-twenties. He just doesn’t give off student vibes to me. Even graduate student vibes.


    Wait, with all the gizmos he makes and the things he blows up and the projects he does, maybe he fits that bill quite well.

    Okay, never mind! There is no mischaracterisation here! Carry on! As you were!

  3. PsychoDuck says:

    Dammit, I never did get the chance to try that out. My teachers will always watching me like a hawk…

    The Duck Has Spoken.

  4. I was always bored or lovesick or upset in high school. But I usually stuck gum in strange places. Since a lot of students chew gum and I was allowed to due to my anger issues, they never suspected a good kid like me to create a web out of ABC gum.

  5. Nikuru says:

    I gotta say, sticking pencils in ceilings like that is actually much tougher than it seems. I’ve always had better luck throwing pennies into obscure places like info fire exit signs and whatnot.

    I do remember a time in one of my science classes where I got a few pencils stuck, and a couple fell out and hit my classmate. He didn’t mind though, and actually saw it as a challenge!

  6. Jake says:

    ahh yeah school can be very very boring.

    Good thing biff isnt blocked at school, like everything else.

    Loved this comic! it reminded me so much of today, because I had 2 frees which were incredibly boring.

  7. RFPT says:

    I just try and spin pencils around my finger. I’m not good at it. one time, I flicked it too hard and it flew out a conveniently placed window. I was on the 2nd floor, so getting it back wasn’t worth it. good thing it wasn’t test conditions or a good pencil.

  8. MaskedMan says:

    Despite the inverted forest of No.2s, that’s still only a few dollars. Now, if he were flipping *fountain pens* into the overhead…

    I was on the school newspaper, too. As a photographer, the darkroom was my little hideaway. Man, the naughty things we did in there! But Biff never has girls, nor ‘herbal’ refreshment, in his pannels, so we’ll never get to explore those concepts here.

  9. cyber95 says:

    Young Biff soon learns exactly how indestructible he really is.

  10. FriskyF says:

    Ya’know…It never really works as well as that…I started to do that once ((Cept with stollen mechanical pencils)) And hit the wrong spot or something and…They all came down on top of me…THANK GOD FOR PROTECTIVE EYE WEAR….My glasses make me se well and see period now.

  11. tbowl says:

    I couldn’t ever do that, but some of the other kids were good at it. They never fall out by themself cuz of the way plenum works… but if they didn’t stick on the first try they came down sharpy end first sometimes. 🙁 🙁 🙁

  12. Blop says:

    at high school in some of the buildings the roof had perfectly shaped pencil holes in them, like 48×48 per tile/thing.

    It was hard to get them in, but they stayed for weeks.

  13. Kree says:

    I bet Biff knows a great bulk office supply outlet store. Maybe it’s one of those all-in-one places that has bulk home DIY stuff too, since he seems to do a lot of large-scale home improvement projects at his house.

  14. Bullet Fiend says:

    ……I thought Biff had graduated and had an office job…

    I always thought he was in his late twenties as well.

  15. Clyde says:

    perhaps it is a flashback?

  16. Chris says:

    Yes, the comics are not necessarily presented in chronological order. 🙂

  17. Plankster says:

    Maybe it’s a training class for his work. It doesn’t say school, it says “class.”

  18. Fred says:

    Yeah, it does seem like a flashback 🙂

  19. Mithras says:

    Hahaha, I love how Biff looks a lot smaller in this comic than he does in the other ones, when you compare him to his surroundings. That’s great!

    Keep up the fantastic work, Chris! There’s no way I’d miss out on Biff #2!

  20. Seraphine says:

    I spend a lot of time sharpening pencils.
    What’s the point? I hate dull points.

  21. Eternal Darkness says:

    Wow! I wish I was that talented… Ceiling pencils are always amusing to stare at and add…

  22. Thomas says:

    I used to do that with an elastic band and pencils, I got one in the unreachable part of the stairwell ceiling once, It’s probably still there. I also once shot a pencil into an apple my friend had on his desk. But then mechanical pencils came into style and then it really was too expensive, but not long after wedges of paper became the projectile of choice.

    At my jr.high we had “T.A.” we basically went to a 15 minute class with no lecture. Too long to sit through, too short to do anything productive, so we all became REALLY good at making wedges, and elaborate paper airplanes.

  23. nikie says:

    ohh, i knew so many kids who did that. now, i used to be in the theatre class and that class was once upon a time, i think, the band class or something, so it had a very high ceiling. while ms carlisle or ms rogers (whichever year it was, i don’t remember) was off gallivanting, not teaching, some of the kids would try and put pencils in the very tall ceiling. we knew who the skilled kids were. it was pretty awesome. 😀

  24. josh says:



  25. Devi says:

    i was kind of an AV nerd, so i’d be working in the back room of the auditorium for the plays and musicals. mostly we’d just set up the projector and invite our friends in the afternoon to watch movies, but there were quite a few “interesting” things that happened back there, to say the least…

  26. R.A. says:

    The only class that I really remember anybody doing that in was my jr. high Latin class. We had this teacher that had some really weird methods of teaching, and nobody was really all that fond of her. There was this one kid, though, and he would make spitballs a lot when he wasn’t busy throwing pencils into the ceiling. He even got one (spitball) into the teacher’s hair once, but mostly he shot them at the ceiling, as well as the pencils. Then, he also had a lot of fun writing “666” everyplace he could to freak out the teacher. The best thing about that class was seeing what kind of trouble he could get into each day.

  27. speearr says:

    Wow, are those floor to ceiling windows? Where does he go to school?!

  28. roy_vf1s says:

    Chris, absolutely brilliant as always! Biff’s bringing back my earlier classes, with an oblivious professor!

    Ticonderoga is a brand of pencil.

  29. Silicon Giraffe says:

    Oh wow… this made my day. In my English class, in the little corner of the ceiling nobody looks at… there’s quite a small forest of pencils, gum, and the like. I mean, I’m sure the teacher knows, she’s one of the more observant ones, but it’s got some good memories.

    Oh, and Thomas, people still do paper wedges (Hornets, as we call them) at my school. Back when my brother was in school, they made more elaborate ones called Wasps… these had staples and paperclips, and if shot correctly, could spin and actually imaple themselves in your arm. Quite painful, but fun!

  30. Reg says:

    speearr, he goes to school right above his house!
    And I’m a part of my school newspaper too!… except it’s kind of lonely with not many people joining…

  31. Either that is one low ceiling, or he has thrown a lot more pencils than we can see.

  32. dragonbrad says:

    my friend used a small homemade rubber band gun to shoot the pencil

  33. Super Llama says:

    Ticonderogas are the absolute best brand of #2 pencils, mainly because their erasers aren’t useless pieces of crap that smudge more than they erase (I’m looking at you, Papermate!)

  34. Draq says:

    I almost got expelled for sticking pencils into the ceiling. I had a loooong disciplinary history by that point and the faculty just picked that time to put the pressure on. It all turned out ok though.

  35. Garrett says:

    Due to peer pressure, I threw ONE pencil at the ceiling. Just once, and I got sent to the principal’s office for it. Considering I probably got sent to the principal’s office a total of 2-5 times my entire school life, I’m quite surprised.
    Also, Google ads can be a great help in understanding the titles sometimes, I see. “Ticonderoga Pencils” is the first ad under this comment box.

  36. Garrett says:

    Also, that’s a huge desk. He must be at the back of the classroom to not have somebody else bumping his chair from behind. Classrooms can be packed.
    I suppose being at the back of the classroom could be how he’s gotten away with putting so many pencils in the ceiling.

  37. the Scarf says:

    I didn’t even know you COULD throw pencils and make them stick in a ceiling until just a few moments ago!
    I’m never any good at that sort of thing anyways….

  38. MOD says:

    @ nikuru

    i used to be able to do strange things with pennies…. i once managed to bounce a penny from my table, it bounced across to my friends table and ended up inside the next guys ear…..i think thats the day i beat the school record of ‘most times punched by school bully’

  39. Opalin says:

    Heh… That happened in two classes of mine at high school. The one where it got really exotic was my tenth grade english class. He’d teach us the lesson and then he would read the paper. He didn’t care what else went on, even when someone shot him in the face with water, all he did was look up, say “Point it somewhere else” and went back to reading. He didn’t even bother to wipe his face off! Anyway, we had quite the forest in our ceiling, as well as the pencil throwing olympics planned out by the end of the year. The hardest event was hitting the top shelf while using a curled over lip to hold the pencil. Crazy-crazy-crazy times.

  40. trevor says:

    So there ARE other people in biff world.

  41. Kat says:

    people used to do stuff like that in my 8th grade history class. mr kulka was a chain smoker and would frequently go outside to ‘feed the squirrels’ and leave us alone in the class room. i usually spend the time writing, drawing or sleeping though. it was first period.

  42. MoX says:

    In my high school there were a few thousand pencils, pens and ink cartridges stuck ino the soft gym ceiling. the best one was someone threw a swiss army knife and got it stuck _>. i wonder if it has ever fallen down during a game and someone got a free pocket knife.
    I never understood why they are called Ticonderoga pencils. Fort ti from the War for American Independence, Ticonderoga the town, and ti paper mill are all familiar places to me and i have never seen a pencil place. There used to be a soldier on the boxes, maybe just a random name someone picked.

  43. Andy Tuba says:

    @Thomas, MoX
    My junior high had a standard two-story cafetorium with the requisite acoustic tiling. We learned how to use rubber bands by mounting them sling-shot style on a standard white Bic pen after you take the ink out. Load the ink front-loading-cannon-style and it was perfect for embedding those suckers in the ceiling.

    I used to be the AV nerd — now I get relatively well-paid to work the theatres around campus. While we’re waiting for the cast to show up, Red vs Blue gets played on a 35′ projection screen. to a 500-seat auditorium … for three techs.

  44. Not Mike says:

    Wow this 4wesome but…

    Biff blew up teh barklebaomber wile ross played sg rock music solo thingy dammit palm mute tremo thunderstruck

  45. biggo says:

    @Seraphine: well, *I* got the pun. 😀

  46. Ani says:

    I learned that if you throw them like spears you have a better chance of sticking. One time back when I was in middle school I was walking to the library(my school was sort rectangular and the middle was empty and the library and computer lab were in the middle) and a pencil fell off of the ceiling(which was a floor above me so I dunno how the pencil got all the way up there) and nicked my nose on the way down. That was the day I discovered that you could stick pencils to ceilings. My science teacher never suspected a thing. :]

  47. Zach Light says:

    aw man that reminds me of my class mates during gym class, they had some spare pencils and would throw them at the ceiling as hard as they could, the reason was, is that the cieling was 3 stories up, it eventully stopped when someone threw one of those really big pencils up theres and brouth a ceiling tile crashing down.

  48. jmkool says:

    There’s a school near me where, in the atrium, there’s a pencil that’s been in the ceiling for years.

  49. Dorten says:

    We used to throw wet used teabags to stick them to the ceiling. Too wet or too dry, and they won’t stick. Too slow, and they won’t stick. Too fast, and they would burst and shower you with their contents.

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