a special message from Kyle

Man was that ever a rad video of Fonzie on Happy Days or what? The best part is how at the end he hits the shore and walks away from the stunt. Fonzie is so cool. If you didn't see the original "Jump the Shark" video that spawned the term, check it out here.

Switching gears now. A lot:

If you look through the current offers for one KISS snow globe, and comments on the offers for the KISS snow globe, and think about it for a second, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to figure out who I'm going to trade with next. I actually received the next trade item as an offer about a month ago, but I simply didn't have anything this person could use at the time. Because of this, I never guaranteed I'd trade with him or her. (yes - I'm trying to keep you guessing who it is...) I never sought out a snow globe and actually never thought of the snow globe up-trade angle until I found out Mark Herrman had one when he called ten days ago. The fact that it was a KISS snow globe was just icing on the cake. The cake of ridiculousness. Until Mark called I literally had no idea who I was going to trade with for one afternoon with Alice Cooper. By doing this move, I also wanted to see what would happen if I made a trade "down" for something - to see how people would react. The response (read the comments after the entry on this page) made it clear that not quite everybody understands that this project is about people, and not the saleable value of objects.

Mark Herrmann was the ONLY person who called me up and said why an afternoon with Alice Cooper was important to him and how it could potentially change his life for the better. He explained how he was an aspiring concert photographer and that if he could hang out with Alice Cooper it'd be a bit of a break for him in the pursuit of his dream. He got lucky because he was in the right place at the right time with (surprisingly, in this case) the right trade item. But he didn't just sit there on the couch and wait for his luck to happen - he made the call. He got involved. Sure, there was a massive case of "right place, right time, right trade object" going on, but in order for that to happen, you have to put yourself in the right place with something and just hope it's the right time. I could get really deep and introspective and talk about how that's kinda a great metaphor for life itself, but I'll use this somehow appropriate anecdote that features Darryl Strawberry instead.

When I was a kid I collected baseball cards and read Beckett Monthly. It's what we did. I'd always flip directly to the back and check the current value of my 1986 Darryl Strawberry Topps card to see what it was worth. But did I ever sell it? Nope. Did I ever trade it with somebody for a pen and fill out a potentially sweepstakes-winning entry form? Nope - I didn't even take a shot at the sweepstakes - and I love entering sweepstakes. I just chewed my stick of rock-hard gum and dreamed about what I could buy with the $5.00 the card was "worth". (MINT COND) - So it was only worth what I thought it was in my mind's eye. I've so totally lost that card since then, and still haven’t won the sweepstakes. Any sweepstakes.

So that's my message with this project I guess: something is only ever worth whatever somebody is willing to give you for it. But if you don't step up and trade away your "one red paperclip", then there ain't nuthin' that's never gonna happen to that silly little "red paperclip" sitting on your desk - except that maybe it'll get the honor and dignity of holding together your prized stack of baseball cards, including Dan Gladden, Oil Can Boyd, Atlee Hammaker and Rance Mulliniks

It didn’t take long with this project to realize I can trade up to a house and help people out – so that's exactly what I'm going to do.

I’m more than blown away by the sheer number of people around the world who follow one red paperclip every day. I think there's a lot of people out there that check the site more than I do. The experiences have been awesome, but the most important thing is everyone around here has been awesome. Early on I introduced a self-made word called funtential. ORP has met and exceeded its potential for funtential, but I still think the best is yet to come.

Back in the days of one instant party, I came up with another word: "furiousity". Maybe we can say that furiousity is a rare combination of anger/shock/curiousity/inexplicable mindblowingness, and that it really only truly ever occurred for the first time in the history of the world, ever, when I traded the afternoon with Alice Cooper for a KISS snow globe. Yeah, I think that'll probably work just fine as far as the definition of furiousity goes.

Anyhow, I'm doing nothing short of trading up to the house in the fastest and bestest way that I feel sticks to my principle of funtential, and I will not stop making trades until I own a house outright.

one red paperclip is about the journey and experiences of trading from one red paperclip to a house, and above all else, it's about meeting people along the way. one red paperclip is not a preconceived idea, it has unfolded over the past 10 months and taken on a life of its own. There are no rules. I'm literally flying by the seat of my pants on this. This project is 100% legit and happens in real time. I got the call from Yahk after I randomly said their town's name on the air, and I never could have guessed that I'd ever be on stage with Alice Cooper. Those two serendipitous events totally blew me away by their awesomeness. I have literally no idea what will be offered for my next item or who it will come from. There is no plan, and that's the only plan I've got.

I'll announce who I'm trading the snow globe with on Friday June 2nd at 8:18 AM EST.

If you want to trade something for whatever my next trade item happens to be, well, you know what to do.

Have fun - Kyle

PS - I've found collecting snowglobes to be a delightfully wonderful hobby. If you're interested in taking up the pastime, I suggest that you read this.


Anonymous said...

Not only is this a great project but I am ever impressed by your honesty and foresight. I've been following you for a few months and you truly are living the 'global dream', aspiring for something greater than most people believe is possible.

I get it. Its not about the paperclip, its about showing the world that a revolution can happen on the internet, with pure information.


Anonymous said...

This project is a great one. Not only are you making a trade, you're showing others the importance of acting, and helping them on their ways too.

The trade down was worth it, maybe not for you in your quest, but for the journey of if definitally. And hearing, well seeing you explain yourself is definitally a good thing.

I think beyond anything you can get, is the amount you are helping others by this, in multiple ways. Yes you have given a aspiring rock and roll photographer an amazing oppertunity, but at the same time you're giving everyone more. You're showing people what they can do if they follow through with themselves. And the publicity of it all is working for you and for the common good.

Thank you for making all the decisions connected to oneredpaperclip so far, as a member of the world and a fan of this endevor.

And good luck on your quest for a house.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you explained because I didn't quite get it at first. Now I really get it. I like that you are helping people and not just yourself. I really enjoy seeing what you are going to do next. I hope you get your house!

Anonymous said...

how cool is that?
how cool are you!

Peggy said...


You rock! How many other Red Paperclip wannabees are now out there? I thought you'd have something in mind for the Kiss snowglobe. We actually collect them here, but only holiday snowglobes. It is hard to find snowglobes on Greek islands.

Anonymous said...

Can't you just tell us already?
I can't wait!! :)

My friends and I have been following your site out here in Vancouver. I hope you'll get your house!

- Cathy

Anonymous said...

Looks you are going to score again... I'm guessing your next trade will be the start off for some young talented person in the motion picture industry and that will bring in some great trade offers. Long life to ORP.
- Dal

Anonymous said...

"this project is about people, and not the saleable value of objects."

Well done Kyle :)

It's always fascinated me that any kind of value we ascribe to anything is ultimately subjective.

I've been reading since the generator. Keep it going :)

Anonymous said...

After re-reading the offers and seeing what I think you will trade for, all I can say is brilliant. Great job Kyle, I'll never think of doubting you again.

Anonymous said...

Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.

Albert Szent-Gyorgi

Who cares what people think really. Most people think I am kinda crazy. Some people thought guys like Edison or Einstein were insane. I like to think this is a good story. In a good story the author and the reader sometimes have different views about what is good and bad as the story progresses. It is really up to the author if the hero succeeds at the climax of the story.

Oh. By the way Lordi. This cool band in Finland. www.lordi.org/ is a huge KISS fan and would possibly trade a KISS snowglobe for some much needed exposure across North America. I am not sure if this is any help but........

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your "special message", Kyle. I've been following the ORP saga for a few months and, like many others, was stumped by the KISS snowglobe. (I wasn't filled with furiosity, as you might suspect, because I understand that you are at the helm of this ship and I have no right to judge your decisions. But I digress...)

Your message completely un-stumped me. It explains *everything* and makes the whole point of ORP crystal-clear -- to me at least.

I love that you're flying by the seat of your pants but still have a vision of where you want to land -- with a house (obviously, or the General Lee, whichever comes right) -- and how you want to land there: with dignity and pride, having made a difference in people's lives and having had one hell of a time making that happen.

You may have "jumped the shark" but, like Fonzie, you walked away, uninjured and ready for more.

Well done!

Anonymous said...

Clever boy.

Anonymous said...

Bro'...way to keep shit real! Come and hang out in Copenhagen, Denmark. I have been following your paper clip bit for a while and as much as I have been amazed and baffled by your last trade I must admit you are pretty well grounded and it is a breath of fresh air.

Shaking my head and smiling because I had a strawberry rookie card also which even if I kept it wouldn't be worth jack today.

Come say hello


Mood Indigo said...

All I got to say to all those doubters on the previous post is look how much cooler the current trade offers are than those the last go round (some of which were just bizarre). Great explanation, great technique, great entertainment - great drama. Thanks for letting us all be a part of something BIGGER than just getting BETTER stuff. Kudos!

Dani B. said...

I'm dissapointed. I was wishing that your "special message from Kyle" would be like a those "very special episodes" of tv shows where someone does drugs or dies or gets pregnant or something.

Sally Heap said...

I knew you were awesome, but I honestly never saw the potential for strategizing in this. You are god-like in your cleverness. You could trade up to a church and convert it into a home. Think of all the things to trade for just for the construction! And on the steeple, replace the cross with a red paperclip, like the one Alice had, but sturdier.