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Duct Tape: A Love Story

Updated on August 7, 2011

A hobby is hatched...

It had to happen sooner or later. I had to write about duct tape. I didn't seek it out, it came to me on its own.

My son, you see, has developed this artistic interest with the amazing, durable, polyethylene fabric adhesive binding. Not for ducts, mind you, since experts don't use duct tape for ducts - they're not fire resistant. Perhaps why many call it duck tape instead. Like water off a duck's back.

Unlike duck tape. Cause it would stick to the duck's back. Presumably.

But I digress.

On Christmas morning, I received from my son a three-foot high duct-tape robot - see photo at right. It's legs, torso and arms consist of paper towel tubes, bound together by the silver tape, its nose a water bottle cap, mouth the plastic ring around a milk jug, and it's hair, toothpick doilies. It now sits in my dining room staring at us when we eat.

The Christmas Duct Tape Robot
The Christmas Duct Tape Robot
... and the stylin' Duct Tape Hat
... and the stylin' Duct Tape Hat

He graduated from that to creatingduct tape wallets, in multiple colors. He charges a nominal amount, and has a stack of orders from family and friends. The other day, he came out wearing a multi-colored duct tape hat that fits him perfectly (see right again). Not sure where he came up with the idea, but I love his creativity. And I love even more that he's not spending all his time playing with something electronic (even if the Home Depot bill is growing...!)

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"Magnetism is one of the Six Fundamental Forces of the Universe, along with the other five being Gravity, Duct Tape, Whining, Remote Control, and The Force That Pulls Dogs Toward the Groins of Strangers." ~ Dave Berry

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No problem, Houston ...

April, 1970. Within a span of a couple of weeks, the world learned the Beatles were breaking up, and that the crew on the Apollo 13 mission to the moon, might not be coming back. The initiation to the tumultuous 70s was swift and immediate.

"Houston, we have a problem," came the message from Astronaut Jack Swigert. An oxygen tank had overheated and exploded on board the craft, which meant if they didn't do anything, the crew would suffer from carbon dioxide poisoning as a result of their natural exhaling. An unexpected problem. Fortunately, insightful NASA staff and the crew were aware that there were lithium hydroxide canisters on board, which could rid the cabin of the excess C02 before it killed them. Problem was, the square canisters wouldn't fit into the round holes of the lunar module.

Square peg, round hole.

Ed Smylie, of the NASA ground crew, said later he just wanted to know whether they had duct tape on board the craft. The answer: yes.

"I felt like we were home free," he said. "One thing a Southern boy will never say is 'I don't think duct tape will fix it."

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"One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop." ~ G. Weilacher

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Duct, duck ...

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"Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good Duct Tape is barely enough." ~ Unknown

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Duct tape was invented during World War II, for the purpose of quickly repairing jeeps, aircraft and the like. When the bullets are flying, things like this matter. So, I did a little research to find the best duct tape stories, to demonstrate the significance of this institutional novelty:

Duct Tape in Flight: During a fishing excursion in the Alaskan wilderness, a chartered pilot and fisherman left a cooler and bait in an airplane, which was then torn apart by a bear. With two new tires, three cases of duct tape and a supply of sheet plastic, the pilot flew the plane safely home (above).

Duct Taping Lindsay Lohan: Potentially the start of a really great idea (see right)!

Duct Tape Roses: Never need water! Never die; hence you can just blow off the dust and give them again!

Duct Tape Date: Keeps them from talking too much. Keeps them from disagreeing. Keeps them from leaving!

Duct Tape Bandages: Because when you're on a construction work site, you don't have time to bleed, and duct tape is readily available (Really. Someone said this).

Duct Tape Toilet Paper: Um ... for the truly hardy. Or to get rid of Klingons (... methinks this example is really going nowhere good fast!)

Wallpapering your house: Because nothing's classier than a sticky, shiny, silver wall!

Reattaching your broken rear-view mirror: I plead the fifth on this one.

Holding your breasts together: Really. See photo at right.

... Goooooose!

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"I went to a Subway sandwich shop, and I said, 'Let me have a bun,' but she wouldn't sell me just a bun. She said it had to have something on it. She told me it's against regulations for Subway to sell just a bun; I guess the two halves ain't supposed to touch. So, I said, 'Alright, put some lettuce on it,' which they did. They said, 'That'll be $1.75.' I said, 'It's for a duck.' They said, 'Alright, well then it's free.' See, I did not know that -- ducks eat for free at Subway. Had I known that, I would've ordered a much larger sandwich. 'Lemme have the steak fajita sandwich, but don't bother ringing it up, it's for a duck! There are six ducks out there, and they all want SunChips!' ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Because I never pass up an opportunity to quote Mitch Hedberg.

Cut tape! Print it! I'm out.

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    • Gerg profile image
      Author

      Gerg 5 years ago from California

      Funny. I saw the notification from HP that someone commented on this hub and I immediately thought, "I'll bet it's BeyondMax!" Sure enough. Yes, my son is quite the artiste. The duct robot isn't holding up well these days - keeps losing his head. Don't we all?

    • BeyondMax profile image

      BeyondMax 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      LOL Fascinating hub, your son is a true artist! I had so much fun here (of course, I am a fan of the duct tape LOL)

    • Gerg profile image
      Author

      Gerg 6 years ago from California

      Wow - I didn't expect so many comments to my silly meandering about tape - must have stuck a chord! Now I'm just tripping with bad puns...

      Larry - too funny about the boob pic, but even more funny you enlarged that photo, of all things! I appreciate the comment and vote - I forget those buttons are there; I guess I should dole some out as well!

      Justsilvie, fashion and BethBrown - I sincerely appreciate your positive comments. Many thanks!

      G

    • BethBrown profile image

      BethBrown 6 years ago from Florida

      I love duct tape! Great Hub!

    • profile image

      fashion 6 years ago

      Really interesting hub.I love duck tape.

    • profile image

      Justsilvie 6 years ago

      I love Duct/Duck Tape and your Hub! The stuff is an amazing product and I could do a page longs list of things I have used it for.

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Very interesting, informative, and funny...You caught the perfect wave here...I had to enlarge the boob photo...I imagined her saying " Hey Mom, would you hold these while I tape 'em..? " ...

      Btw, here in Arizona we use duct tape to remove cactus thorns and wood splinters...

      Even tho the subject matter was a bit " tacky " I voted up, useful, and funny...Larry

    • Gerg profile image
      Author

      Gerg 6 years ago from California

      Hi Dad - I don't know; from my research, duct tape has quite a following all on its own! Google "duct tape guys", for example.

      Jim - not surprised. I've never seen my son actually create one, so it was interesting seeing the video.

      Thanks for commenting!

      G

    • profile image

      Jim Keddy 6 years ago

      My daughter makes duct tape wallets also!!!

    • Jackwms profile image

      Jackwms 6 years ago

      Nice hub. Maybe someone in the industry would want to use it in a commercal.