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The other day, one of my colleagues received a catalog from Staples.  This was weird to me because 1) Staples has paper catalogs??, 2) he is not in charge of purchasing office supplies or anything else, and 3) Staples has paper catalogs??

Anyway, one of the pages in the catalog was a pullout page of a giant question mark. I have no idea why you would need to include a pullout page of a giant question mark in your catalog of office supplies, but whatever.  My colleague thought maybe I would like a giant question mark.  He was right.

But, what does one do with a giant question mark?  Why, you cut it out and hang it over the door of your office, of course.  Kind of like mistletoe, but instead of people wanting to kiss you when you’re standing underneath the question mark, as it is not mistletoe, they run away from you because they believe a) your confusion is contagious and /or b) you’re going to pester them with 364859274 questions.

To make your very own colleague repellant:


  • giant question mark, from a catalog page or whatever
  • tape
  • floss (yes, I do floss at work), or whatever else you have lying around that’s stringy
  • 2 push pins (because I didn’t want the question mark to spin around)


  1. Cut out your question mark, whether you obtained it from a catalog page or if you just printed one out.
  2. Flip your question mark over, so it’s mirror image.  Be sure to arrange the dot where you want it to hang when you’re finished.
  3. Cut two short lengths of floss, or whatever else you’re using as string, and place them so that they overlap sections of both the dot and the body of the question mark.
  4. Tape the floss down.
  5. Make a loop from a longer piece of floss, or whatever, and tie it in a knot.
  6. Tape that toward the top of the question mark.
  7. Push the push pins into the wall above the doorway and hang up your question mark.
  8. Bask under the question mark as your colleagues look at you strangely and walk quickly away.

Actual reactions to my colleague repellant:

  • “QUESTION MARK?!  What’s that?  Questioning why I’m coming in here?  Is that why it’s up there?”
  • “Knock, knock…question mark…?”
  • My boss was concerned that maybe I didn’t put the question mark up and that I didn’t like it.  He offered to take it down for me if I didn’t put it up there.
  • LOTS of strange looks.
  • “[Moose!]  Couldn’t you hang that question mark up higher?!”

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