I still have traumatic memories of the heart-stoppingly fraught process of organizing my voluminous (or sometimes all too sparse) school worksheets into some semblance of order for the quarterly inspections my teachers would conduct on our subject binders. Every piece of paper had to be punched just so, in order to keep them all aligned, and neatly accounted for on the table of contents we were required to provide on the first page. You received a stern rebuke in the form of a scandalized red scribble and possibly a lunch-time teacher conference if anything from that term was missing, so of course it was a catastrophe if the holes you punched in your worksheets happened to rip and allow them to fly away like escaping birds.

Whoever the mad genius was who invented hole-punch reinforcement stickers, he must have made a killing out of the pocket money of nervous 11-year-olds. I used to dread using those damned things, because they inevitably stuck to my fingers instead of the paper, closed off the punched holes if not placed perfectly, and forced me to spend much more time than could possibly have been mentally healthy strengthening the structural integrity of tiny holes in pieces of paper I didn’t want to keep in the first place.

All this is to say that today, for the first time, I am able to put aside these painful memories and see the reinforcement sticker for what truly is: a tool in the hands of a visionary artist who clearly knows exactly how to prioritize his time in the office.

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