I’m sure you’ve seen the banner before. And I’m sure you know what it means. So, could you tell me? Because I have no idea…
Anyway, this week it was my lovely opportunity to ask the Alliance a question and present their answers to the kingdom and the rest of the blogosphere. My question was simple: What is your “stapler?” In other words, what is the one item that if it were ever taken from you you’d burn down the world.
Let’s get to the answers:
Stuck on you –
It had the perfect heft. I loved feeling its solidness whenever I held it in my hand. Yet, it didn’t weigh so much that I was distracted by fantasies of using it to clock my micromanaging boss in the head.
I inherited the tape dispenser when I was hired to work in the events office at a conservatory. Technically, it wasn’t mine; it belonged to the office. Yet, I got anxious every time someone asked, “Can I use this?” and picked it up without waiting for my permission. That’s why I was emboldened to mar its sleek, black beauty by writing my initials on it with Wite-Out.
Tattooing the tape dispenser was a necessity, especially in the winter. On Sundays throughout January and February, our team assisted with the conservatory’s audition days. Since there were many first-time visitors to the building during these events, a plethora of signs had to be posted directing guests to the various rooms. Our student workers were in charge of hanging up the signs. And they needed tape to complete this task. With great reluctance, I would leave my tape dispenser with the audition day supplies when I left work on Friday evening.
Every Monday morning after an audition day, I would make sure that my tape dispenser had made it safely back to my desk. Sometimes it was carelessly put into the general supply closet. Each time, it took many calming breaths to fight back my rage.
One Monday, I thought all was well when I saw the tape dispenser returned to the office. That was before I realized that my beloved tool was not intact. The students had run out of tape that weekend. That was a problem easily remedied. However, not only did they remove and discard the empty roll, the thoughtless turds also threw away the small plastic piece that holds the roll of tape in place. The tape dispenser could no longer function. My beautiful, beautiful friend was incapacitated.
Empress of Earnestness (Cyn K)
My “stapler” is my lucky pineapple.
Last year when I came to college, I brought this pineapple candle with me. From the size to the colors, it looks exactly like a real pineapple. I thought it would be a pretty hip thing to have in my dorm.
But, as I should have known, candles are a no-no in college dorms. They’re what The Man calls “fire hazards.” So, I had to hide it in a super-secret hiding spot; under my bed.
No one ever discovered the potentially life-threatening candle, and I had a pretty great freshman year. Of course, I had to attribute the quality of my first year to something other than the work I put in or the fun I had. “Gasp! It must be the pineapple” I said to myself, pondering the issue.
So, ever since, I keep the wax pineapple underneath my bed. It brings me luck and keeps all the bad juju away. I’ve had my ups and downs, but overall, its kept me relatively safe and happy.
If I were to lose my pineapple, I would promptly accuse everyone I saw of stealing it, then I would lock myself in my room, smoke disgusting amounts of cigarettes, sob, and listen to the song “What is Love?” on repeat. Then I would go buy a real pineapple to attempt to replace it.
Duppy Conqueror (End Kwote)
For someone with a bit of a hoarder mentality, I have a conspicuously low amount of emotional attachment to the items I own. I think I like to keep things more due to a reluctance to waste things and because I have a “You never know when I might need it again” attitude.
Now obviously, if someone took my wife or child, I’d go all Liam Neeson on them, but as for material objects? I don’t know if there’s anything that I’m “burn down the building” attached to.
Sure, I use my iPhone a lot, but considering it’s gotten old and slow, I’d probably thank someone for taking it and giving me an excuse to get a new one. I am fond of the scarf that my wife knitted for me, but if something happened to it, I’m sure she would knit me another one. And while I have a few favorite articles of clothing, I don’t think there’s anything that I couldn’t ultimately replace.
I think the most precious item I have is my stuffed zebra Ziggy. I sleep with him at night (Yes, I sleep with a stuffed zebra. DON’T JUDGE) and he’s been there in both good times and bad. So don’t anyone dare take my zebra! Everything else, I suppose you can have.
Master of Analogies (Cutter)
There are many objects I hold near and dear to my heart. My mom has made me numerous scrapbooks over the years that document my life to date (and no, I will not show them to you). Also, though not an object, if someone took my precious pup away from me, I would hunt them down Liam Neeson style.
But alas, even my adorable pup doesn’t hold a candle to my real stapler. I wouldn’t hesitate to forkstab anyone that even looked at these beloved treasures of mine.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Really, Arden? Walking Dead mini-figurines. THAT is your stapler?”
Yes. Yes, it is.
Confession: I may have a slight obsession with zombies. I watch zombie movies, zombie TV shows, read zombie graphic novels, write zombie short stories (and maybe even a novel one day), etc. So when I saw these awesomesauce Rick Grimes & Michonne figurines, it was love at first sight.
They keep my desk safe. They can also make any stabby feelings toward co-workers disappear just by looking at them. I’d say that makes them pretty important. They keep me out of jail.
So please don’t judge me. At the very least, don’t get any ideas about stealing them.
I’d hate to have to forkstab you.
Crazy Cat Lady (Arden)
I believe you have my journal
To the lucky couple who found my journal in the glove compartment of your white Kia Sedona rental minivan, I want it back.
I’m asking nicely.
Maybe you’re joyriding the perimeter of your tropical island, beach hopping, and my writing is just the thing that will turn your little vacation into a life-changing adventure.
Maybe you’re stuck chauffeuring your three kids and your decrepit Aunt Elaine on a scenic tour of taco shacks, and my writing is all that’s keeping you from gouging your eyes out from boredom.
I know you opened that glove compartment and found that leather-bound journal laying there, a secret tome waiting for you to tear open. You probably took turns reading aloud to each other, trying to decipher my writing. You probably cried and laughed a little too. You probably thought you were reading my diary, but you were wrong. I made it all up.
Maybe the rough beginnings of my story offered you a vacation within your vacation. Maybe you escaped your vibrantly colored but boring reality for my darker version. Maybe you reached the end of my writing and wished desperately for more. Maybe you continued your drive in silence, imagining what could fill the rest of the blank pages. Maybe you spent the rest of your trip laughing together, making up the middle and end of my story.
To the couple who found my journal in the glove compartment of your rental car, please tell me how my story ends. I’ll forgive you if you do.
The Axe-wielding Editor (EditMoi)
For my “stapler” I was going to go with paperclips. I love my paperclips. I need my paperclips. I don’t like people taking my paper clips. They’re quite versatile; they’re great for keeping papers together that can’t be stapled, you can hook them all together during times of boredom, or, even better, flick them at coworkers (or family now that I’m a stay-home ha!). But then I was going through my purse and freaked out because I couldn’t find the glow stick I keep in there. After dumping the whole thing out on the floor I discovered it had been tucked away in one of the side pockets.
As someone who suffers from a debilitating fear of the dark of course I carry glow sticks. Why are you looking at me like that? It’s completely normal. I keep them in the nightstand as well in the car (yeah whatever, I have one in my coat pocket too). If I was stuck somewhere without a flashlight or candles and someone had taken my glow sticks I wouldn’t have a choice but to set the world on fire. I’d need light so the shadows couldn’t get me now wouldn’t I? I can’t say I’d have to do that if someone took my paper clips.
I don’t really have a “stapler” – that one item I’d burn down the world to get back.
I don’t get attached to objects.
I either lose them. Or they get lost. Or stolen. Someone is always trying to take your stuff.
It doesn’t pay to get attached to anything, because If I don’t lose it, then the bank is trying to repossess it.
So I figured out the True Meaning Of Life.
Stuff doesn’t matter.
Objects don’t matter.
I don’t have any one item I would burn down the world to get back.
But I would walk through fire to keep MUSIC a part of my life forever.
I can remember the defining moments of my life by the beats.
I remember the music that was playing when I had my first kiss
When I went to my first dance
When I first got high
When I lost my virginity
When I fell in love with my husband
When I conceived my child (Valentines Day 2003)
When I celebrated his first birthday
I grew up surrounded by music, and it’s a constant presence in my home now.
This past weekend, my son and I took a little road trip. A 4 hour drive translated into songs and play lists.
That’s how we defined the our time together.
Towards the end, Little Dude started to get sleepy in the back seat.
Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was playing. Loud.
I went to turn it down, and he said, “Leave it, Mama. It’s an Extreme Lullaby.”
Music is ubiquitous. It spans across every culture, across the globe.
Music is like air. It’s a fundamental part of human life.
I might be able to live without music, but it would be a drab, colorless existence.
And I prefer living in technicolor, with the accompaniment of a lush, profound soundtrack
Queen of Snark (Samara)
After sending out the question to the rest of the Alliance, I promptly forgot all about it and, so, rather than spending the last two weeks thinking of the perfect answer and wowing you with my wit and humor, I was scrambling this morning to figure out how to reply at all.
Should I go with the Queen and Prince? I’d certainly burn down the world if they were taken from me. But, is that fitting with the intent of the prompt?
Should I go with music? I’d lose my mind if music were taken from me, but the Queen of Snark went that route, and if I copied her I’d have to face her snarky wrath. And I’m guessing copying an answer for one of these responses is kind of like showing up to a party in the same outfit. In other words, it would be unforgivable.
Should I pick an object at random from my work desk? I actually have a stapler that sits next to my keyboard. And a tape dispenser too. And some assorted nick-knacks and doodads. I don’t really have a burn down the world attachment to any of them, though. While I could fake it, write some bit of fiction, I’m sure you would all see right through that.
I could try to play the same game with something from my house too. Something of my grandparents. Some memory from my childhood. Some memento of the journey I’ve taken to get to this moment. But, yeah, boring. Nobody wants to hear about any of that, right? Right.
What does that leave?
This is hard. Do I get a pass because it is my question? No? Dang. You don’t have to be rude about it.
Okay, stay with me, here we go.
One of the places I visited yearly growing up is the Eureka Sand Dunes near Death Valley. I got to experience moments of pure magic while lost in the dunes. From harrowing near death escapades to the sheer joy of freedom, and youth, and shenanigans. I lived it all out there and thought I would get to return to them for the rest of my life. I thought I would one day get to take my children out to enjoy their magic, too. Until they were re-branded as a National Monument and became against the law to walk on them…
I will never again get to sled down their slopes, or climb to the highest peaks, or cross them at midnight by the moonlight. More importantly, more tragically, my son will never get to do any of those things for the first time.
Okay. My stapler is the Kings River.
If, somehow, it is taken from me, if a law is passed that forbids swimming in it, fishing it, crossing it, hiking to it, camping next to it, then the Little Prince would never get to do any of those things that our family has been doing for 60+ years. And, I would snap.
If it were just me, I might be able to sustain myself on my memories. But, now that the Little Prince is here, I need the river to be there for him, as it has always been there for me. If that option was taken away, I would burn down the world. I wouldn’t hesitate. I wouldn’t second guess. I would burn it all…
The Jester (hey, that’s me!)
And you, dear kingdomites? What is your “stapler?” What would you see red and rage the world into ashes for?