[Boys’ Life, September 1967.]
I like the idea of a world in which staplers were pitched — to boys no less — as desirable goods. “No bigger than a pack of gum! But staples like it’s super-charged!” And the boy in me replies, unironically: “Man, that is way cool.”
I think that the time has come to revive the contest that this advertisement announced. So I invite you, reader, to submit your best “gag line.” What did the stapler in the photo say? I will choose one winner. The prize: a red Swingline “Tot 50” and 1,000 miniature staples, c. 2003, still in a blister pack. (Newer Tots use regular staples.) This prize is much better than a measly dollar, yes? Your stapler won’t have quotation marks around its name, and it won’t look exactly like the ones pictured here, and it won’t be from Long Island City – but what can I say? It’s 2012, and I’m doing the best that I can.
The deadline for submitting an entry: Saturday, December 8, 6:00 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time. (That’s noon Central Standard Time.) Leave your entry in the form of a comment. No purchase necessary. One entry per person. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, December 10. Play, please.
[Entries are now closed.]
December 10: I have enjoyed reading all these reader-supplied lines. I like the literal-mindedness (plntxt), the puns (Elaine, HairlipDog, Sean), the sense of the stapler as diligent worker (E. and Mark), the one-liners that call out for rim shots (HairlipDog and mwschmeer), the Shakespeare allusion (Sean again), the anatomical detail (Stefan), and the chance to think about what staplers themselves might find funny (Sara). As these entries accumulated, I began to regret creating a contest with only one stapler as a prize.
But one is what I have, and I am sending it to Geo-B. His entry: “You know how to staple, don’t you, Steve? You just put your hand together and click!” For me, the unexpected appearance of Lauren Bacall and the altogether novel suggestion of a do-it-yourself stapler make this entry the winner. Click.
Thanks to everyone who participated.
Staple! (my really old “Tot 50”)
Swingline “Tot 50” (a 1956 advertisement)
Woody Allen’s staplers (including a “Tot 50”)
Monday, December 3, 2012
By Michael Leddy at 6:30 AM