Thursday, February 26, 2009


“Anything can be a paperweight.” This was the conclusion I made at the end of a long-ago conversation with friends about the strangeness of paperweights being souvenirs that people would actually pay for. Compared to paperweights, other souvenirs are inherently better. Snow globes, for example. Or postcards. Both serve a function that a “just anything” can’t. I can’t remember if the friends and I reached a unanimous agreement on this or not, but I at least arrived at the belief that paperweights were inherently inferior to other souvenirs because literally anything can be used in place of them. A stapler. A mug. A tape dispenser. A rock. A well-behaved baby. Even a moderately heavy writing implement could successfully prevent a small stack of papers from blowing away. If one was for some reason hung up on the notion of pinning these papers down with a memento from some vacation, there’s enough to pick from on the vacation itself. A seashell. A different kind of mug. A vacation place rock. A well-behaved baby that happened to have been conceived while away. Really, anything can be a paperweight. Why do people have such problems keeping their papers from blowing away? Can’t they just close their windows or, if the problem really is so bad, move to a less drafty house?

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