Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Duck Tape is Really Just Another Tool

There have been many jokes and stories of how Duct Tape is one of the wonders of the universe (I often refer to it as the Silver Savior.)  Though I'm not here to dispute that (duck tape is too much a part of my life!) there is something about Duck tape that a lot of people don't understand.

Usually jokes about Duck tape fall into two categories. A) Duck Tape doing something it was not meant to do, like tape together a crack in the asphalt, and B) Duck tape being used to make something like a prom dress.  These two simple suggestions not withstanding, Duck tape is mostly used to stick two things together. Duck tape is so much more than that.

There is an axiom that if it doesn't move and it's supposed to, use WD-40; and if it moves and it's not supposed to move, use Duck Tape.  What a lot of people fail to see is the utilitarian mode of Duck Tape: Duck tape as a tool in itself.  So much so, in fact, that we should really call it Tool Tape  or maybe Duck Tool Tape or Duck Tape Tool (I'm digressing, aren't I? Sorry bout that...)

I know I carry around a roll of Duck Tape (yes, always capitalized.  Always!) and I keep a big roll of it in every tool box and near every work area.  Not to tape things up permanently, but as a tool in getting things done.  This is the quintessential use of Duck Tape.  As a temporary bond while you work, an extra pair of hands or just a grip when you need it.

I've used Duck tape in the following 'Duck Tool' ways.
  • You can open a stuck jar with Duck Tape by sticking one end along the edge of the lid and pulling on the other end.  
  • Duck Tape, by its fabric nature and linear tensile strength makes a great temporary carrying handle.  Wrap it around the item to be carried and leave enough to fold together for a handle.
  • And of course, I've used Duck Tape to keep my knee pads in place while I crawl around under the house. 
  • Most recently, I used Duck Tape wrapped around my fingers to keep metal filings from being embedded under my skin while installing drywall screws.  
  • And of course, you can use it for baby sitting, as the above picture demonstrates.  (No, not me, I wouldn't do that to a stuffed Duck!) 
You can still make that new suit out of Duck Tape, and you can still use it to repair some old broken window or decorate your living room with it. That's your decision.  But if you're like me, you strive to the Southern Ideal of the best uses of Duck Tape.

Put some in your tool chest and rely on it often.  Tell everyone that Southern Guy, Marv, explained it all to you.

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