Saturday, March 4

The Birth of The Phantom Staple Remover...

One evening, three undergraduate students were working together on a project. They had completed a survey of over one hundred of their fellow students. They had bundles of completed questionnaires, each six or seven pages long. All of the results had to be analysed for each of the many questions on the forms. A long night was in prospect.

Until, that is, a lone voice piped up.
“I know, why don’t we UNSTAPLE the sheets, then we can all work on a few questions each?”
The other two students agreed, and much staple removing took place.

Followed by yet more staple removing.

The floor was, by now, awash with separate sheets of paper. So were the tables, with only an occasional wine glass or bottle peeping above the paper-slide.

Until, that is, a lone voice piped up.
“Oh Shit!”
We hadn’t numbered the individual sheets. Only the first pages…

We had nearly a thousand, randomly organised, totally un-connected sheets of “data”. And we were trying to find correlations between opinions and attitudes expressed in this info-heap.

There was only one way to save our Academic Necks. We had to try and match the individual sheets up again….

Blue ink with blue, black with black. We compared handwriting styles, whether the script looked male or female. Coffee stains and smudging provided useful clues. I started sniffing… (perfume traces)…We even tried to re-join the sheets by matching-up the staple holes.

The net result was total, random, non-significant, chaos.
The Phantom Staple Remover was born…..


The Fat Git said...

ROFL... never ever is that to be forgotten... what a disaster... and yet 'valid' results were obtained... utterly useless but valid :D

Sky said...

Even now I still look back on that episode with amazement. After a cumulative total in excess of 50 years of schooling none of us had the slightest clue we were doing anything wrong... :)