The Duncan Banner

March 17, 2013

National day to praise invaluable sticky notes

Jeff Kaley
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Because we love celebrations, one of these days Americans will adopt a new holiday to honor a great American achievement — the simple, but indispensable, sticky note.

On Sticky Note Eve, an entire nation will get giddy when the famous Sticky Note Ball drops down in Times Square, and parents will nestle their children snug in their beds, with visions of sticky notes dancing in their heads

CNN and FOX News will provide 24-hour coverage of National Sticky Note Day. We’ll all get a paid day off from work. There will be family cookouts, with square-shaped burgers on the grill, and Major League Baseball will have special Sticky Note Day doubleheaders.

“The True Story of Sticky Notes” will become as famous as The Night Before Christmas, and every American will know the story of how the first sticky note was born in a manger beneath a brilliant star at 3M Corporation in 1980.

Art Fry, the engineer who discovered sticky notes, will become a revered figure, right up there with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Carolers will stand on street corners and croon well-known Sticky Note Day tunes, like: “Deck the halls with sticky notes! Fa la la la la...!” Or “Oh, beautiful for spacious skies, and amber waves of notes.”

Sticky note office parties will flourish. Folks will be decked out in their holiday best, fashioned completely from interlocking squares of paper, in colors that span the rainbow.

Revelers will drink toasts to the notes, and as always, Johnson from the accounting department will drink too many tequila shooters and plaster sticky notes all over his noggin. OK. Does this vision of a sticky note holiday sound too extreme?

I think not. Americans declare holidays for all sorts of occasions and occurrences, so why not a festive day to pay homage to a little item that has become essential to life in the Modern Age?

As gentle readers are aware, I’ve been on the cutting edge of sticky note worship for many, many moons. Over the years, I’ve composed columns in which I relay thoughts, factoids, quotes and observations I’ve jotted down on those marvelous pieces of paper with the mysterious adhesive on the back.

I usually introduce these pieces as “the sticky notes that serve as my memory.” And I’m not alone in this faulty memory thing — am I?

Everywhere I look, I see other Americans who have brightly-colored paper squares stuck on anything with a smooth surface — refrigerators, desks and computers; china cabinets, car consoles and CD cases; mirrors, book covers and picture frames.

I even see sticky notes on blackboards and stacks of paper, which seems the height of redundancy.

In the 33 years since sticky notes were invented, Americans have developed a dependency on them. We’re sticky note junkies, because we’ve become a society with a HUGE memory problem.

One of the reasons for this shared memory lag is our hectic, multi-tasking lifestyle. But the main source of our affliction is information overload.

It’s gotten so you can’t turn in any direction without being barraged by some form of information transference. We’re under attack, 24/7, by info and gibberish dispensed through media, books, computers, billboards, fax machines, cell phones, iPods and on and on.

When you try to cram all that info into the small percentage of the brain we actually use, something has to leak out of your cranium. In the case of modern Americans, it’s our memory.

So, thank heaven for Mr. Fry and 3M for the creation of sticky notes. They have become crucial to our survival, and they are certainly worthy of a holiday.

With that, I’d like to wish happy Sticky Note Day to all! And let’s sing one more chorus of a beloved song of the season, which is set to the melody of O, Tannenbaum:

“Oh sticky notes, oh sticky notes,

How lovely are thy pages.

Oh sticky notes, oh sticky notes,

Storing memory for all ages.”

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