Saturday, August 13, 2005

Obsessions With Duct Tape

No, this isn't kinky. It could be. But, no.

I've always wondered why it is that so many men seem to have such an obsession with duct tape. From family members to friends, from romantic interests to neighbors, it seems that many men that I personally know feel that not only are most of life's problems solved through suitable applications of duct tape, but they they pray that any given problem might give them an excuse to break out that roll of duct tape.

No matter if the problem calls for a specialist, total replacement, or even a surgeon. Duct tape is the ultimate answer. It is with anomalous glee that men will pull duct tape from their tool boxes and work benches. From behind or under vehicle seats, out of kitchen drawers, and sock drawers. They get that excited gleam in their eye and caress the rough edge of the roll with the thumb, breathing deep the scent of their duct tape as they prepare to perform a silver cylindrical miracle through divine agglutination.

Ok, so I've never seen a man actually breath deep the scent of duct tape. But I can totally tell they want to because they always tear the tape with their teeth, even though it tears easily if ripped in the correct direction, just so they can fill their senses with the taste and smell of the duct tape at the same time.

To further prove that men have deep-seeded obsessions with duct tape, I present 10 problems I've personally seen 10 different men solve (or at least attempt to solve) with multiple applications of duct tape.

10. Used to fix leaks in pool pump hoses.
(though plastic glue AND new hoses were an option)

9. Used to baby-proof electric outlets
(though unlimited free outlet covers were available)

8. Used to child-proof important CDs by taping CD cases closed.
(Hide CDs with important stuff like duct tape maybe?)

7. Used to repair a hole in a window screen.
(just what we all want to see when looking out- the big gray duct taped X)

6. Used to repair an infant's no longer sticky diaper tab.
(poor child had to be cut from that diaper)

5. Used to repair girlfriend's accidentally broken (and expensive) porcelain flower pot
(at least turn the tape to the back guys)

4. Used to cover obsenities on a beer can cozy.
(obsenities still spoken by mouth)

3. Used to tape a stubborn birthday card.
(card had to be cut during extraction)

2. Used to tape a gaping stitch-worthy wound received while removing patches from uniform with a survival knife instead of a seam ripper.
(continued to use survival knife for this task once bleeding subsided slightly)

and #1...

drumroll please

Duct tape used to keep a broken truck bed closed while hauling a new washer and dryer as well as to keep the set from moving about instead of the common "tie it down with rope already" method (duct tape was wrapped around the entire frame of the truck...from back to front).

Now in all fairness, Wikipedia reports that duct tape (originally known as duck tape) has always had (and continues to have) many significant purposes, intended or otherwise. One such purpose has been in saving lives-

NASA engineers' faith in duct tape as an emergency tool was rewarded in 1970, when the square carbon dioxide filters from Apollo 13's failed command module had to be modified to fit round receptacles in the lunar module, which was being used as a lifeboat after an explosion en route to the moon. Engineers designed a workaround using duct tape and other items on board Apollo 13, relaying directions to the spacecraft's crew. The lunar module CO2 scrubbers started working again, saving the lives of the three astronauts onboard.

Ed Smylie, one of the NASA mission control engineers who designed the scrubber modification in just two days, said later that he knew the problem was solvable when it was confirmed that duct tape was on the spacecraft: "I felt like we were home free," he said in 2005. "One thing a Southern boy will never say is 'I don't think duct tape will fix it.' "

I'm certain that Duct Tape Guys everywhere will agree, Ed.

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