Monday, December 3, 2012

“Tot 50” “gag line” contest

[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.

Related posts
Staple! (my really old “Tot 50”)
Swingline “Tot 50” (a 1956 advertisement)
Woody Allen’s staplers (including a “Tot 50”)

comments: 11

Elaine Fine said...

A large caption above would read, "Tots Learn About the World." In the speech balloon, ". . . now bread and milk, those are your main staples . . ."

[Since I already have--and use--a vintage 2003 "Tot 50" stapler, I am only entering this contest for fun, and not for the prize. ]

Matthew Schmeer said...

And then the guy said "Staples? Lady, this ain't no grocery store!"

HairlipDog said...

"...Stapler? I barely knew her!"

plntxt said...


Unknown said...

"Pardon me, Ma'am, but I'm afraid your pivot spring is showing."

E. said...

"Sorry, can't talk -- I've got a mountain of paperwork to do."

Geo-B said...

You know how to staple, don't you, Steve? You just put your hand together and click!

Anonymous said...

"...we few, we happy few, wee band of fasteners."

Anonymous said...

"Come on boys, let's win one for the Clipper."

Mark said...

Stapling is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies

Sara said...

"Have you seen my car keys?"

(They both laugh hysterically at this.)