WIDEN YOUR HORIZONS
How to Use Paper Clips
(Recorded off WOR Radio, circa 1976)
(theme music up)
BOB: And welcome again to our public service feature, Widen Your Horizons. Today our subject is How to Use Paper Clips, and here to guide you beginners along the way is Mr. Burton Y. Grepsy of the Tender Care Steel Wire Products Company. (music out) Mr. Grepsy, we are honoured to have you with us, and to tell you the truth, I never dreamed that the majority of our fellow Americans don't know how to use a simple thing like a paper clip.
GREPSY (Ray): Well, I know it seems strange to people like ourselves who are in the over age group. Over 20, that is, over 20 age group. We grew up in an era when paper clips were a low priced item and every home had at least a box or two of them lying around, but of course that's no longer true among the lower and middle classes.
BOB: You mean that paper clips are now a luxury for most people?
GREPSY: Yes, percentage-wise, the cost of paper clips has gone up even more than medical care. The standard 10 cent box of just a few years ago, has almost quadrupled in most locations. Frankly, we look for the price to hit 50 cents by 1980. And our children can expect to see one dollar paper clips by the turn of the century.
BOB: Boy, I can see how many many of our young people are going out into the business world with no previous experience in using your company's product.
GREPSY: Yes, that becomes increasingly common. And of course, it's pretty scary for a kid on his first job to be told to use a paper clip when he's never seen one before.
BOB: Yeah, that certainly would be a traumatic experience. Why don't you just go ahead with your lecture then, sir?
GREPSY: Thank you. Now, the first thing you beginners should do is hold the clip at the top, just as I'm doing here. And then, what you do.....
BOB: Uh, Mr. Grepsy. You're going to have to describe what it is you're doing, because our audience can't see you holding that clip there.
GREPSY: Well, can't you just tell one of your cameramen to zoom in on my thumb and index finger?
BOB: No, no, this isn't television, it's radio.
GREPSY: Oh, golly! Oh boy, I'm not sure I could describe in words what a paper clip looks like even.
BOB: Well, can't you just say it's a length of thin steel wire formed into two loops, one inside the other?
GREPSY: Well now, that is a good way of describing it. I was going to say it looks like two little Indianapolis Motor Speedways, you know? Only one is even littler than the other. However, I think your description is easier for the average person to visualize.
BOB: I think that's true. Especially if the person doesn't know what the Indianapolis Motor Speedway looks like. But go ahead, anyway.
GREPSY: Well, the first thing the beginner has to notice is the place on the outside of the outer loop where the wire comes to an end. Now that's the spot where you can slip the top of your second paper clip through. And of course, that automatically connects the two clips together.
BOB: That's interesting, but why don't you take these sheets of paper and get right to the heart of the subject?
GREPSY: Well, I am getting to the heart of the subject, so please don't chime in.
BOB: All right, I just thought you were getting off onto something else there.
GREPSY: Well, I'm not. Now, once the beginner has linked the first two clips together, he'll immediately notice that the wire also comes to an end on the outer loop of the second one. So, you just follow the same procedure as before to connect the third clip to the second one. And then the fourth to the third, and so on.
BOB: Mr. Grepsy, I know I promised not to interrupt, but would you please tell me what the point is of linking paper clips together like that?
GREPSY: Well, I'd be happy to explain. That's the point I was coming to. When you've made the chain long enough, you link the last clip to the first one. And that makes a nice bracelet, or even a necklace, for the ladies. Men can just leave the two ends of their chains unconnected, and let the thing run from keys in their pocket to a belt loop, or a vest button.
BOB: Well, what about using paper clips to fasten papers together?
GREPSY: Well, I didn't know you could do that with them too!
BOB: Why do you think they're called paper clips?
GREPSY: Gee, I don't know. I don't usually take questions from the audience like this. I think maybe I'm getting in over my head here. I'll try to send one of our vice-presidents over later who knows more about the history and the naming of the product.
(sound of running footsteps)
(theme music up)
BOB: You've been listening to a lecture by Mr. Burton Y. Grepsy, on the subject of How to Use Paper Clips. I hope you'll join us soon when we'll have a chance to learn still another valuable skill on our next edition of Widen Your Horizons.
(theme music up and out)
Click here to return to the "Bob and Ray Overstocked Surplus Warehouse"