Mowing the lawn yesterday, I noticed the duct tape I had wrapped around the PVC water line leading into my home about a year ago was beginning to deteriorate. I had applied it in order to secure some pipe insulation. It was easily replaced.
I also recently used my trusty roll of silvery tape to reinforce the connection between the lint duct coming out of the back of my clothes dryer to the aluminum duct leading through the wall to the outdoors. (It occurs to me that this was probably the first time in my life I used duct tape on an actual duct.)
There has never been a time since my birth when I a roll of duct tape was not within easy reach. And, as I have posited before, there seems to be no end to its utility.
Duct tape, baling wire and bubble gum have seemingly been forever associated with repairing something that is broken. I remember a kid during my middle school years who used duct tape to replace the broken hinge on his eyeglasses—I think the effect could have been called “date-away.” And what might appear to be a 3M ad at the beginning of this piece is testament to its enduring contribution to society in general.
For you city dwellers who may not be familiar with baling wire, it is used on the farm to hold together those traditional rectangular bales of hay or straw. It appears to be less prevalent these days as farmers often prefer rolled bales that can be stored outdoors, thus avoiding the cost of hauling them off the fields and storing them in expensive barns. These rolls are usually bound with sheeting or cord made of plastic. The farmers in the neighborhood where I grew up, though, used “binder twine” for this purpose, which is made from coarse sisal fiber rather than wire or plastic.
My dad always kept a roll of binder twine in the garage. It can be used to tie any two things together that otherwise would prefer not to be in such close proximity. Its uses range from providing ad hoc shoe laces to, in sufficient quantity, a line stout enough to tow a car. I confess that I no longer have any binder twine in my garage, but I do keep a good–sized roll of cotton string handy at all times.
We all know that in most cases the use of proper tools would likely work better and last longer than sticking on some tape or tying something together with string or wire. But when more appropriate tools aren’t available or, for that matter, simply don’t exist, the most resourceful of our lot will figure out a way to get the job done with duct tape and baling wire.
Therefore, I have decided that when I finish this article I am going to assemble a care package consisting of a couple of rolls of heavy-duty duct tape and a large roll of coarse cotton string. (I might even throw in a pack of “Double Bubble” gum just for good measure.) Then, I am going to head down to the FedEx store and get it shipped to Mr. Bernanke in Washington. I have read that he and his counterparts on the Federal Open Market Committee at the Federal Reserve Bank are running out of tools to fix our economy. Couldn’t hurt.