I do not have an American Express card so in my case, “don’t leave
home without it,” applies to a paperclip, one of the most amazing tools ever invented.
I always have one in my pocket.
Originally intended to clip together papers, it has proven to be a versatile little
implement, capable of being transformed into an impromptu tie clip, hem holder or small slingshot for shooting spit-wads at a cute little gal in a classroom.
(They don’t call me Mr. Debonair for nothing!)
Developed in the 19th century, the paperclip’s machine aesthetic, low cost and
utilitarian nature have made it withstand the test of time. So much so, that May 29th has been coronated National Paperclip Day.
A paperclip can be used for picking locks, picking teeth, opening handcuffs and as an emergency roach clip holder for hippies – not that I have any personal knowledge of such things.
It can keep you from getting lost, too. Straighten one out, magnetize it, stick it through a cork and float on water – it becomes a compass, always pointing north.
Of course, if you are lost, what are the chances you have a cork on hand?
I have found them useful to clip notes to my shirt to remind me of important things such as meeting the deadline for this column or to feed the dog.
In my younger years, I formed them into going-steady, engagement and wedding rings. This is how I knew that my bride married me for me and not for any presumed wealth.
I know too that one day, should I be called upon to perform an emergency tracheotomy, I can quickly save a life and be a hero like MacGyver.
By now, you must be wondering how you can get involved and celebrate National
Paperclip Day. Well, you can festively decorate a tree or your own hair with an assortment of the colorful clips. It’s also a tradition on this day to return all the paperclips you’ve inadvertently stolen from your workplace. You’ll find them in the little piles on your dresser where you’ve emptied your pants pockets or purse of coins, gum wrappers, McDonald’s receipts and other assorted items.
I’m wondering if there is a National Gum Wrapper Day?
If you’ve enjoyed this story, please paperclip a thank you card to an email
and forward it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org It will make my day
and I promise to reuse the paperclip in the future.