IRVINE, CA—Veteran OfficeMax employee Drew Hillenberg regaled younger staff members on Friday, sharing his stories from a bygone era when gel pens were among the hottest sellers at the big-box business supply store. “Man, I remember back in ’97, gel pens were huge—I’d sell boxes of ’em every day, it was that crazy,” said Hillenberg of the fluorescent water-based gel writing instruments, adding that he “knew gels were going to be big” when customers began regularly asking for them by name in the late ’90s. “I remember blue, green, and purple moved pretty fast, but clear? Damn. We’d have to restock those babies twice a day. It was really something.” Hillenberg went on to inform coworkers that while the current demand among the store’s customers for water-based rollerballs was “impressive,” it was “nothing like what we used to see for gels.”