One day, in the land of 3rd Floor Inland Revenue Office Slough, there lived a staple, his name was Stan. Stan the staple lived a happy, albeit a rather mundane life. He spent the majority of his little life in a box where he lived quietly with hundreds of other staples. Being afraid of the dark and rather claustrophobic, Stan spent most of his existence frozen still, so scared in fact that he clung tight to his friends. As there was nothing to see in the dark and none of the little staples ever went anywhere, there really was nothing to say and so life inside the little box was unnaturally quiet. Stan spent most of his days wondering about the meaning of his stapley life, where did he come from, why was he here, the usual stapley nonsense.
Stan was unable to remember much about life before the box, except for occasional terrifying flashbacks of a bright orange light and a strong heat that made him feel all woozy and stretched inside. He had a faint but frightening memory of a sort of jaw slamming down which was then softened by the inkling that he was once connected to his other stapley brothers and sisters a lot more than he was now; he often wondered if any of the other staples ever felt the same.
Despite his fears, Stan grew accustomed to this life inside the box, and began to worry that he should ever have to leave it. He’d once heard rumours that thousands of his ancestors had been forced into cold machines which held them pushed against its walls by springs. He was told of how one-by-one they were brutally used as cannon fodder, individually beaten by the machine until their bodies were mangled beyond recognition, their legs left crippled to the point where they relied on paper for support so heavily they never let go. Stan feared this life more than anything and as days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to years, Stan became agoraphobic.
As if agoraphobia, claustrophobia and nyctophobia were not enough, Stan sank into a deep depression. Unable to leave his box he couldn’t seek medical help and although he felt very attached to his brothers and sisters, he just couldn’t open up to them and so his sadness began to destroy him. He so feared the destiny of his ancestors that he gave up the will to live. He spent days on end trying to hatch a plan where he could end it now, save himself from the hell that was ‘The Machine’. Unable to leave, unable to move, unable to see, unable to speak, all there was for Stan to do was lick himself. So Stan licked; he licked himself all day and all night and he continued to lick for days and days until he began to decay. Decay turned to rust and still Stan would not stop; his plan was working. Stan licked himself so much that he rusted right through and on that fateful day, our little Stan crumbled. Stan was gone, lifeless, finally useless to the machine…
And the moral of this story is, if you’d like to save your staples from the slow and painful death that our Stan endured, then make sure you use them before they become depressed!