Duct tape rules the world | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Duct tape rules the world

Nicole Meoli

Everywhere and anywhere that silvery sticky substance is binding one object to another.

What is this duct tape obsession holding the nation together?

Quite possibly, it’s that beautiful hollow grunt the magic metallic strip bellows out as it separates from the cardboard roll to which it is attached. Maybe it’s the inherent power emitted that causes adrenaline to surge every time the grid-like surface flows between fingertips.

On countless occasions, duct tape is called upon to patch, adhere, connect, rebuild or fasten everything under the sun.

For it is the grandfather of all binding equipment and the master of adhesives.

As the master, duct tape must perform durably. And that’s exactly the way Permacell, a division of Johnson & Johnson, designed it to be during World War II.

The war effort called for a strong, waterproof tape which could be ripped into lengths. Permacell came up with the idea to “polycoat adhesive products and to laminate the polyethylene coat to a cloth backing.” Hence a duct tape prototype.

After the war, a small group returned to America with the sturdy tape.

The group found the tape to be as effective as screws and bolts for holding duct work together. That, quite obviously, is where “duct tape” got its name. The evolution of duct tape continued and changed from a puke green military color to the silver now known by all.

All may know it, but not all use it the same way.

Jim and Tim, also known as the “Duct Tape Guys,” have made a career out of finding uses for duct tape. Beside the usual patching pipework, connecting ducts and lining leaky gutters, Jim and Tim recommend “Cow Taping” to “cow tipping” over their sight on the Internet.

The act of cow taping is accomplished by sneaking up on unsuspecting cows and wrapping them in duct tape.

“Not only will this protect the cow from the ravages of foul weather and the relentless attack of nasty, dirty flies,” Jim and Tim said, “but also the cow will instantly become the envy of all the other cows in the pasture because of her shiny new coat.”

This may sound crazy, but it is safer than the destructive and sometimes fatal act of cow tipping.

A far cry from cow taping, Jim and Tim give pointers on face-lifts using the miracle tape. Their explicit instructions are to “stretch duct tape around the back of your head and attach to either side of your face near the eyes. This will make those crow’s feet disappear. Then, remove a double chin by attaching duct tape to both jowls and stretch up over top of head.”

Maybe it would make more sense to combine the two and give the cow a face lift.

What doesn’t need a face lift is duct tape. In all its marvelous glory, the tape is perfect just the way it is. Here are many examples why.

— Duct tape can actually prevent theft. Seal the doors of your car with about a dozen layers.

— It makes a great disposable replacement for cuff links.

— Substitute raincoat plastic and make your own for a heavy-duty, hi-tech look.

— It’s perfect for hair removal or as permanent garters to keep your socks up.

— Tape oneself to the toilet after a bad meal.

— For preventing campfire burns, wrap tape around hands when roasting wieners without a stick.

— Next Halloween, wrap one’s body in duct tape from the neck down and put a fishbowl on one’s head for an instant spacesuit costume.

— Use as ear protectors for when your mother-in-law is visiting (wrap several layers around her mouth).

— Make a lid for half empty beer cans to prevent flat beer or use it to remove navel lint.

— Are flies or roaches a problem? Hang up some duct tape as fly/roach tape for those large, mutant houseflies and roaches that need a leash.

— And, finally, use it to force President Clinton to keep his pants on and his mouth shut.

Whatever its use, remember – everyone has an obsession. Some, however, are a little stickier than others.

Editor’s note: Portions of this article contain creative uses for duct tape that may not be safe. However, the Tahoe Daily Tribune does not endorse irresponsible use of any adhesive product. Please consult your local hardware store or physician for proper, safe uses of such items.


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