Looking around my office I spy the humble paper clip. The standard paper clip. The old metal paperclip. Somewhere I also have some of the fancy paperclips, the triangle paperclips, the tiny little binder paper clips, the paperclips that need a special applicator, but they're not on my desk, simply because they are the pretenders to the paperclip fame. Can you make a bendy shape out of one of the new paper clips? Can you straighten them out and then fold and twist in some disfiguring origami manner and create a swan? Can you use them to clean the crud from your fingernails? Can you spend hours creating wild and dysfunctional abstract sculptures? No. That's why the old faithful bendy paperclip holds this country together.
Over the years I have accumulated a significant number of pens, but at the time that I want one, I won't have one handy, so next time I'm down the local Officeworks, I'll pick up a box of pens. Not the good pens. Oh, no. They get 'lost' too easily. You know I think that pens, once their neglected for a day or two, find the tiny wormholes in space and time and sneak through to live a better life in an alternative reality. I can see cheap blue and green Bic families spending the rest of their days happily and merrily writing away naming their offspring, Smudge and Leaky. Alternatively, when someone finally understand quantum mechanics, they are going to find out that all of the dust that settles behind the computer and on top of the monitor is the remnants of the pens as they break down into their various compounds.
I have two bottles and one 'pen' dispenser of White-Out. Why? I don't know. I use a computer almost exclusively and haven't touched a typewriter that didn't have Lift-Off technology since I left primary school, going on 25 years ago. If I ever make a mistake when I'm writing things down, I just cross them out and start again. Hey, it's not like paper is a million dollars a sheet. Unlike one of my former managers, he would write everything in red pen, then when he changed his mind, he would eradicate whole paragraphs with White-Out and write in ever decreasing sizes so he could fit the additional words back in. I think if you checked some of his pages, there was actually no paper, it was a sheet of pure White-Out.
2-Ring and 3-Ring Binders
Not too long ago, I had a plethora (now there's a word you don't see very often) of binders. I had 2-ring binders and I had 3-ring binders. Why I had two sorts of binders I cannot say, suffice to say that I would invariably not check to see which binder I was using at the time and punch three holes for a 2-ring job. And, if you're not careful with them they will take off a finger quicker than a rogue crocodile will have a go at your leg. When in school, they were all green and you decorated them with black Texta. In the office, they are invariably white with a slip in cover on the front so you could change the cover page at whim. I never changed the cover and after a few years, the toner caused the page to stick to that plastic cover like shit to a blanket, so you threw away a perfectly good binder. Nowadays I prefer unruly piles to the sanitation of the binder.
Another member of the fun-but-not-for-what-it's-meant-for category. If I've used a staple remover to remove staples more than twice in my entire life, then it was only once. I prefer the grab and rip strategy, tearing those children from their families. I'm heartless that way. But I love staple removers anyway, because there is no other piece of office equipment you can posses that becomes an instant working hand puppet. Don't get me wrong; I don't sit and talk out load to my staple remover. No, I just silently pretend it's talking. Or sometimes I use it to threaten the phone.
The arch enemy of the staple remover. I rarely write enough down to warrant a staple holding them together. I prefer to use paper clips (that is when they're not decorating my desk like a pack of disfigured swans). Just as the staple remover can be used as a hand puppet, I prefer to use my stapler like a communicator from the original Star Trek series. Grab it up, flip it out and start chatting into it, making sure I don't name the guy in the red shirt or staple my lobe to my skull. I also like to shoot staples at the bin to see how many I can get in. Number of consecutive staples into the bin from 10 feet? 15.