In French, the paperclip is referred to as a trombone. You can probably guess why. Curiously, though, the trombone-like shape of what is in North America a standard (i.e., Gem-style) paperclip is unusual in France—there, most paperclips are kind of pointy on one end and squarish on the other. Go figure. Anyway, paperclips are right up there with towels as essential multipurpose objects that are handy to have about one’s person pretty much all the time. And today is National Paperclip Day, when we remember all those times we needed to keep our keys together, prevent a tie from flapping in the wind, or replace a missing zipper pull, and this humble object came to our rescue. If you want to be really retro, you can even use one to keep multiple pieces of paper together.