Thursday, September 13, 2012

any words is pale

This morning, Steve announced that he was going to our favorite office supply store, and asked whether I'd like to go along. I would've loved to go, but was bogged down in e-mail and volunteer work. He offered to bring me something, and so I asked for "one of everything!" He interpreted this appropriately, by bringing back one item for which he'd paid $3.98.

Before I describe the item, I must describe the store. It's NOT part of a chain, but it's packed to the rafters (possibly above) with all kinds of office supplies, stationery, school supplies, craft supplies, and gift items. Moreover, the staff is knowledgeable and helpful. I love to shop there, and have been known to take friends on their birthdays.

When Steve got home, I asked what he'd brought me. He replied that it was a stapler, and handed me a plain white box about the size of a video cassette. I often borrow a stapler from Steve, so I strongly suspect that this was his motivation for buying one for me. Steve may not know that I think I already HAVE a stapler, but of course I can never find it.*

"It's a stand-up stapler," he said. I opened the box and stood the stapler up (on the wrong end, I'm afraid), and while he was correcting me I read the label on the box: "LED Stapler." Indeed, the instructions started with how to activate the batteries, which he accordingly did.  Upon loading the device with staples, we discovered that it twinkles  brightly for about ten seconds AFTER it inserts a staple in a piece of paper.

This took me back to our older son's years in graduate school. Studying linguistics and computer science, he was assigned to help write the voice-recognition interface for an office robot. I thought an office robot would be a great thing; it should collect trash and help folks find the stapler. Unfortunately, all the robot did was keep track of whether the staff members were in the office or not. This was at least ten years ago, however. Perhaps now there are robots that can find staplers -- with the aid of blinking LED lights or little bells and whistles.

I had to know more, so I googled 'LED stapler,' and (among 18 pages of images) I found the exact thing, except that mine is silvertone, not blue. The device is made by a company that describes itself thus: "China Ningbo Gift Leader Manufactory Co.,Ltd. was founded in 2000 . . . At present, our products include cinema clock, tide clock, cd clock radio, gift pens, keychain, led light, mini tool set, office set, aluminium flashlight, strength ball, and so on . . . So we believe, we will be a good partner if you believe us to do a business with us after beginning. Any words is pale . . ."

How I'd love to click on the tide clock! But right now I'm too busy playing with my new stapler.
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*I can't find my timer either, but the folks at Ningbo may have the perfect solution.
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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License