Some things are too ridiculous to ignore.
Allow me to be the first to wish you Happy Paper Clip Day!
For it is, in fact, National Paper Clip Day.
I decided to celebrate by pulling out one lucky paper clip and wearing it around my finger. Only it turns out that some at some point a child (who shall remain nameless) was sufficiently creative to occupy the time by stringing all my paperclips together.
There are many well-known facts about paper clips that you don’t know.
For example, the paper clip was a Norwegian invention. Unless it wasn’t. Don’t get into an argument with a Norwegian about it because they will beat you bloody. With a paper clip.
During World War II, Norwegians were prohibited from wearing any buttons with the likeness or initials of their king on them. In protest they started wearing paperclips, because paperclips were a Norwegian invention whose original function was to bind together. This was a protest against the Nazi occupation and wearing a paperclip could have gotten you arrested.
The real invention of the paper clip came when Stanley (last name lost in history) was standing in his office one day holding a stack of sloppy papers. His “secretary” (and by secretary I mean the lady that ran the office while Stanley stood around being useless) took the papers and realized that she needed a paper clip to hold them together so she invented one. In Stanley’s version of the story, he yelled, “A clip! A clip! My stack of papers for a paper clip!” and one fell from the ceiling.
Back in the olden days (and by “olden days” in this case I mean Microsoft Office 97), there was an animated paper clip (cleverly named “Clippy”) who would pop up to help you write letters and things.
Even earlier (and by “even earlier” I mean after WWII) Project Paper Clip was an American operation to fly German scientists including Wernher von Braun (who became famous as a rocket scientist in Tom Lehrer’s tribute) out of Germany and over to the US (the better to keep the scientists away from the Germans and the Russians).
Perhaps the best use of a paper clip was Kyle MacDonald who managed (over a series of only 14 trades) to trade one red paper clip for a house. Yep, a house. A two-story farmhouse in Saskatchewan. You can read about it here.
I have never managed to trade a paper clip for anything of value, although in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never tried.
Maybe I’d better go lock up the paper clips.