The ancient Chinese art of “decorative stapling” suffered a strange turn on Friday when Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Howard Lam said he went into a traditional staple parlor to receive star patterns on his thighs, but left with unsightly, poorly applied “Christian crosses” instead.
“These amateurs from the Chinese mainland knocked me out with chloroform, which is not uncommon during a painful, multiple staple session,” said Mr. Lam, an active member of the Democratic Party, speaking at a news conference,” but when I woke up, they were gone and instead of the beautiful star patterns I requested, my thighs were covered with crosses.”
According to Mr. Lam, the imposter staple artists were speaking Mandarin, rather than Cantonese, the common dialect of semi-autonomous Hong Kong. The Chinese-ruled city was granted permission by Beijing to follow an independent political and economic path after it was handed over by Britain to Communist China in 1997.
“Once they started speaking Mandarin, I knew they probably didn’t have the traditional decorative staple training that the really experienced artists have here in Hong Kong,” said Mr. Lam, while lifting his pants to reveal the crisscrossed staples still embedded in his legs. “But I was eager to have the new star patterns applied to my thighs before the upcoming democracy parade and protests. It’s my fault for not getting a solid reference beforehand.”
Mr. Lam says that if other Hong Kong pro-democracy advocates who are interested in decorative stapling want to avoid having the sharp metal brads carelessly driven into their legs as he did, they should take the time to seek out a credible, certified staple artist. As well as band together for protection.
“I guess it’s like finding a qualified tattoo professional in the States,” added Mr. Lam. “Some ink masters really know what they’re doing, while others just poke a needle into your arm, yelling all the while that you need to just sit still and not cause any trouble. At least that’s what I experienced. But it only makes me want to march in the democracy protests even more. I guess I’ll just use some strong antiseptic for now, then seek out a proven staple master to correct the damage to my legs — and my civil liberties — once these ugly cross patterns heal.”
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