Thursday, March 30, 2006

Duck Tape & WD-40

Duck tape & WD-40.
(You may click the picture for a larger view, but really, why bother?)
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"One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop." ~ George Weilacher
Every garage or workshop has these items; I didn't have any trouble finding them in Dad's work area along with his jars of "saved but used" nails; those rusted bent things he won't get rid of because "he might need them sometime", and I'm sure that having to buy brand new ones would break the bank (much sarcasm here). Back to the tools at hand...... (cont.)

I love duck tape. You've all seen the contests where people design clothes or other items from duck tape; I remember seeing a couple whose prom outfits were made out of red, white and blue tape. Frankly I have only worked with the traditional silver color. When I was a college sophomore my dorm room had linoleum floors. In the Oklahoma winter these were freezing in the morning. True we had throw rugs but some girls had room sized carpets. My roommate and I were poor, so we went looking for carpet samples to put together. What we found was even better. For the sum of fifty dollars (this seemed extravagant to us) we could purchase short rolls of excess carpet that were about ten feet long and eighteen to 30 inches wide. They weren't even or straight and the color was almost an olive green and it wasn't shag (shag was all the rage in 1971), but it was carpet. So her boyfriend helped us haul the carpet strips to the dorm, but it still had to be cut and put down. This required a box cutter type knife and (ta-da!!!) duck tape. Janet lived within a reasonable distance from the college so she went home for Thanksgiving; since we lived in Delaware at the time, I stayed in Oklahoma. While the dorm was empty except for a couple of other stragglers like myself, I cut carpet and taped the strips together, trying to form a seamless "wall to wall" look. I did a pretty good job of it, if I must say so. It took the entire holiday weekend to get done. Only one little accident involving my right thumb and the scar is now barely visible; nothing like the time I cut my other thumb while slicing an autopsy brain that required thirteen stitches, but that was years later and another story. Sorry, I digress. Yes, the carpet. The carpet was a big hit and that trusty duck tape did the trick, keeping it together for the rest of that year and two more besides. And our toes were warm and toasty all winter.

As for the WD-40, has there ever been a greater invention? Squeaky hinge? One squirt and it's silent. Sliding door that crunches and sticks? Another squirt and it glides shut with the touch of a finger. It also gets pine tar off of fingers. I'm not sure if any of its ingredients are absorbed through the skin so this is NOT a recommendation, just a report of how I've used it. My ex-husband always called it "skeeter pee." I never knew why. I guess it is just another of those things I didn't get around to asking him during that thirteen year run. Sometimes not knowing why he called it that bugs me, but not as much as other things he did. Maybe some day, someone will understand and let me know.

The other tool I learned to use extensively is the "nail file"; yes, the good old fashioned emery board. But, I think I will save that story for another day.

Submission for Thursday Challenge topic "tools". (end of post)


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