Well what is important is that it’s fixed: Adhesive Tape and Me
Comic bits on duct tape are almost in the same shit pile as redneck jokes in my book, but things become cliche’ for good reason and in my case it’s especially true.
I have just finished “repairing” the back, driver’s side window of my van with an artfully applied amalgam of gray tape and cardboard. In fact, I spent the better part of 2 hours (and 2 rolls) carefully layering and smoothing the tape in order to best provide that elusive mix of strength and water-proofing; it’s about the fifth time I’ve done this procedure since breaking out the back window in one my less destructive moments of crappy driving and I’m sure it won’t be the last since I’m too cheap/broke/inept/lazy to ever get it properly fixed. In my defense, the estimate with labor on the new window is over $250.00 and I estimate that so far I’ve only spent about $20.00 in tape; so in my books I’m coming out ahead of the curve for a car that’s over 10 years old; because by Murphy’s law, (being an immutable and constant law of physics) I’d end up wrecking the car right after having it “properly” repaired.
But , duct tape, America’s mightiest adhesive solution, is not the only one I rely upon, oh no. My trusty, 7 year old Nokia cell phone is also held together, but in this case clear packing tape is the porridge that Goldilocks ate. True I frequently need to unwrap and re-tape due to the acidic nature of the machofuerte sweat that pours off of my massively fat head, but again my math shows I’ve probably only invested .35 cents in cell phone maintenance. Even my much treasured Warwick Bass, quite arguably the nicest thing I have ever owned (and probably ever will) is hung on my arthritic shoulders by a 25 year old guitar strap that is heavily reinforced with judicious applications of duct tape. While this solution has worked wonderfully for over 5 years, it is to the utter horror of my frequent guitar playing accomplice Gregg.
I blame the influence of my father on my possibly excessive use of “tape based” solutions. He spent the majority of his life as a hard-working landscaper and house painter, however, whenever he fixed anything for himself or for our home it was done with an almost genius level lack of aesthetic sense. In other words, it would be fixed, it would stay fixed, but it also be one of the ugliest fucking things you’d ever lay eyes on. What also gave his handyman work it’s “post apocalyptic” charm was that it always seemed that he would only use whatever was within arms reach to fix things, be they branches, 2 x 4s or old street signs the only constant being duct tape and wire. I really wish I had pictures of his repair jobs, they were unintentionally reminiscent of Jasper Johns and would be gushed over in any modern gallery for their naive but brilliant ugliness.
The “tape and wire” gene was most definitely passed on to me in a big way (much to the chagrin of those who live with me) and I also admit a certain mischievous enjoyment in using butt-ugly, cobbled together, items in the face of rampant consumer culture & the value of status displays. I’ve seen people laugh and get visibly uncomfortable when they’ve seen my taped up phone and it cracks me up to no end. While I do come off as a giant, eccentric, cheapskate (which to be honest is the case here) they can’t fault my logic, either that or they desperately want to avoid hearing my rambling, long-winded dissertation on the subject… That would probably have sounded quite a bit like this…