As these things often do, it started with a minor act of rebellion. A person pushed by circumstance into an act they never thought they’d be capable of. One morning, driven over the edge by one label too many, they grabbed the fourth floor stapler and took it to the second floor. The world would never be the same again.
It gave them an adrenaline rush. The kind they hadn’t had since they went scrumping for apples as a teenager, clearing the fences at Old Man McCarthy’s farm with a single vault. They quickly put the stapler back, panting for breath. The week went on, they couldn’t get it out of their mind. Nothing else compared. Everyone in fruit towers was talking about it. Who was the daring renegade who’d taken the fourth floor stapler to the second floor?
So they did it again but it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t new. It wasn’t exciting. There was only one thing for it. They took the stapler to Cambridge.
Then they too it to see a donkey. They were out of control.
And then, in a day of madness which will go down in history, they took it to The Ritz.
Meanwhile, the fourth floor was slowly falling apart. Their stapler was missing, nobody knew what to do. Vital documents that needed to be kept together were drifting apart. Desks were filling up with loose documents. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
But the stapler stealer didn’t care. They barely even noticed. But the UK wasn’t enough for them anymore. Oh no. They needed to go further. They needed to go European. And then one day, while thinking about some of their favourite things, inspiration hit them. The answer was obvious. The Sound of Music museum in Salzburg.
But then even Europe wasn’t enough. Almost as if the stapler was being passed from colleague to colleague, America came calling. What better place for someone on the run with a stapler than the land of freedom, opportunity, baseball, tall buildings and Disney World?
Back in England, a hole punch tried to get involved. It didn’t work out. Nobody paid much attention.
Back on the fourth floor, paper was everywhere. With no way of properly filing their work, the staff had descended into chaos. They lost track of time, they forgot to go home, they broke off into two warring factions. One defending the photocopier, the other prized the nice big corner window overlooking the canal.
It was hard for the stapler thief to care about all this from their sauna in Helsinki.
And One Direction helped them remain oblivious to the trouble they’d caused back in the office.
They even took the stapler scuba-diving. Their constant need for adrenaline making them risk the life of the stapler itself* by exposing it to elements that could rust it so easily.
By this point the two tribes of the fourth floor had started to invade the other level of the building. Some say they’re searching for the stapler, others claim they’ve simply gone delirious and would take any stationery in the hope that it would restore order.
As for the stapler? It’s still out there somewhere. Seeing the world in ways many of us can only dream of. We hope it comes back soon, if only for the sake of the fourth floor.
*of course, being a stapler it has no life to put at risk. But still.