I’ll give you my stapler when you take it from my cold, dead hands

Staplers must have tiny, hidden feet. Or maybe they sporadically become self-aware. Perhaps both instances are true. It’s the only explanation. How else to account for why a stapler is on your desk one moment…and then, when you have a stapling-related need, has vanished like a thief in the night?

Speaking of thieves in the night—or thieves in the stark light of office halogens—staplers are one of the most frequently absconded with office supplies in the office supply food chain, above pens, paper clips, or rubber bands.

Emotional attachment to our staplers cannot be denied. Just ask Office Space‘s beleaguered Milton how he feels about his. In the valiant fight to retain one’s stapler against the sticky fingers of sneaky colleagues, office workers will go to great and often amusing lengths—a fact that serves as the inspiration behind office furniture distributor OFM‘s quirky “Hands Off My Stapler” contest.

Together with Swingline, producer of the iconic red Swingline stapler, OFM is giving entrants a chance to win a series of prizes, among them an OFM desk, a Swingline hands-free shredder, and, of course, a red Swingline, which the brand refers to on its website as the “Holy Grail of staplers.”

To enter, contestants—fearless defenders of the right to bear staplers—can email OFM with photos depicting the creative lengths to which they’ve gone to ensure their staplers don’t go for a walk, along with a brief explanation. Entrants also need to “like” both OFM and Swingline on Facebook to be eligible to win. Submitted images will appear in a Facebook gallery.

“It really is amazing what people will do to keep their staplers,” says OFM chief operating officer Blake Zalcberg, who estimates he’s seen Office Space at least a dozen times. He currently has an electric stapler that plugs into the wall so, he jokes, “no one can take it.”

“I had a friend tell me a story about someone in their office who put Wite-Out on the  actual staples,” Zalcberg says. “That way, when someone stapled something with that person’s stapler, the staples came out white and he knew right away who’d  been using it!”

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