In your everyday office job it’s just another bit of office stationery on your desk, designed to write, tape, staple or just make you look more professional than you are. Honestly, how many times have you actually used that USB paper shredder or mouse holder your colleagues got you for Christmas (what an absolutely dreadful choice!)?
However, when placed in skilled hands (not quite the skills one acquires in a desk job), these gadgets can suddenly turn into the deadliest of weapons, as seen in these TV shows and movies.
The Joker’s Disappearing Pencil -The Dark Knight
Whether you’re a die-hard Batman fan or simply went to see the film pay tribute to one of Ledger’s last (and greatest) roles, you probably found yourselves cringing at the Joker’s disappearing pencil trick (or at least his interpretation of it). Here’s a warning (and a spoiler) for those of you who haven’t seen it – the pencil does indeed vanish from the table... with the help of a thug whose face the Joker slams onto it. How’s your Coulrophobia these days?
The Breathtaking Copier - Supernatural
A classic example of someone who’s missed their fire safety classes at school. After knocking a vase off the shelf to spill its contents onto a copy machine, the poor victim decides that the best way of “fixing” a sparking copy machine is by chaotically pressing its buttons. When, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t seem to work, she decides to bend over the devilish machine to unplug it, but death is already there to claim what’s rightfully his. Her scarf gets caught and in a blink of an eye she’s already history.
Pain in the Chest - Natural Born Killers
Be careful what you testify against or you just might get... a pencil through your chest right there in the courtroom, as per 1994’s cult classic Natural Born Killers – a story about the misadventures of serial killers and lovers, Mickey and Mallory, travelling across the States slaughtering people just for kicks while getting glorified by the media. Although this gruesome scene was left out of the final film, it can still be found in the directors’ cut, and some have labelled it as one of the most powerful scenes in the whole film.
Pen vs. Knife - The Bourne Identity
This is what you get for not letting an amnesiac spy ponder on his identity. When Jason Bourne gets surprised by an assassin braking through his apartment window, he’s got nothing but a Bic pen to defend himself with, but boy what he can do with it! Not only does it suffice to punch several holes in the assassin’s body, but he also plants it through his hand. No wonder some list it among the top 10 fight scenes of the decade.
Losing Your Voice - Red Eye
Rachel McAdams shows off one of the many skills one acquires as a hotel receptionist, but I doubt it’s a widely acknowledged method of dealing with annoying guests. After being kidnapped/ blackmailed by the immensely handsome Cillian Murphy on her flight from Dallas to Miami, she comes up with an escape plan that inevitably involves lodging a pen into his neck soon after the plane touches the ground. Damaged vocal cords don’t seem to be much of a bother to him though as he pursues her until he gets shut off by the glass walls of the airport tram.
Have you seen any more brilliant misuses of office stationery on the screen?
James Duval is an IT specialist who spends an awful lot of time in the office playing around with his stationery, trying to come up with more creative ways of abusing it. In his spare time he blogs for applied workplace.