DUCT TAPE SPELLED LIKE A DUCK

I have not been in the garden. Daytime temps in Florida have remained in the 40s and 50s and in the 30’s at night. Being a weenie when the humidity freezes, I am not encouraged to wander outside to trip over an Adventure in Dirt. This resulted in nothing to report until I went into the craft store, A. C. Moore.

I was there at the prodding of my friend, The Grande Poobah, who is always good for a bit of Strangeness. I somehow never have the good sense to say, “Now wait a minute,” when she suggests I go shopping for a craft product she can only describe as one inch “tree trunks.” I wasn’t about to ask a clerk for help finding little tree trunks so I was walking the store. You can imagine the grim look on the face of a non-shopper having to walk the store. In the process of hunting down the tree trunks, which I never found, I had another one of those It Caught My Eye moments.

Duct tape. The manufacturer spelled it “Duck Tape.”  It was not that ordinary old silver duct tape favored by working men. Nosireebob, this stuff was in designer colors.

Photo borrowed from Duck Tape website
Photo borrowed from Duck Tape website

Who, but a Spelling Bee Flunkee, woulda thunk it? I’m serious, it stopped me in my tracks. Here’s why:

On April 18, 2011, I told Mr. Golf Cart that I wasn’t buying any more cars. My intent was to use bubble gum, duct tape and baling wire to keep my car on the road for the rest of my natural life. My car was paid off, had only 38,000 miles and was just over four years old. Less than two hours later, some old geezer rear ended me at 50 miles per hour, my car went airborne, four airbags deployed, the insurance company totaled it, and I haven’t felt so good since. Now I’m afraid to mention my plans out loud.

For the first time in 20 years, I bought a used car. It was the same car with a few extra gadgets, different color, but it had way too many scratches on the exterior, the Owner’s Manual and floor mats were gone, the leather on the driver’s armrest was worn thin, the headliner was dirty (how does one get the ceiling dirty???), the locks were programmed to open all four doors at once as if the passengers needed to flee from the cops, and worst of all, the warranty was almost gone with 59,000 miles on the odometer.

I pressed the sunroof button on the way home and it broke in the open position. I had visions of driving the car with a blue tarp thrown over the roof and Bungie cords holding it in place. After that happened, I was afraid to press buttons. So I discussed all of the buttons in emails to my friends since I didn’t have an Owner’s Manual. Used cars never do. I wondered about all that banjo music coming through the radio and my friends told me the car had probably come equipped with satellite radio that had not been turned off.

I had a few more visions of the car having been repossessed and the previous owner, someone with a hip nickname like “Dex,” stealing it out from under me in the Wal-Mart parking lot. More emails about the previous owner went back and forth and my friends convinced me to make sure I had a spare tire in the trunk. That led to the discovery of a big, ugly, black stain on the trunk carpet as if a dead body had spent time back there. That’s when the car was named Terminator.

If it wasn’t a dead body, Dex was probably runnin’ moonshine because I was having trouble keeping the car on the ground. Dex evidently had a lead foot and the car was prone to lift offs. I’d tap on the accelerator and immediately the car wanted to leap from the curb. I envisioned the Devil sitting on Dex’s shoulder whisperin’ bad ideas just to see Dex’s head hunkered down on his neck, his eyelids gone slanty, and his teeth popping out in an evil grin as he went whooosssshing down the road. It took me a long time to retrain that car to drive like a proper little old lady. According to some kind of mileage computer in the dash, I get 19.9 miles per gallon to Dex’s 11.5. I guess he listened to that Devil too much. It’s a good thing I was able to retrain the car because if it had slurped gas Dex-fashion, my budget would have restricted me to driving the car up and down the driveway.

Having been rode hard and ferried one too many dead body, this car will need – and you’ll understand why I need to whisper this — D__k T__e and Bal__g W__e sooner than my 38,000-mile car. Still, the idea that I could repair the Terminator with zebra printed duct tape boggled my mind. For once, I could be a fashionista in the world of duct taped bumpers!

It might be several years before the Terminator needs any duct tape. Do you have any garden ideas for using Duck Tape a little sooner? A project that would be a little less expensive than shoring up my rickety wooden fence with a mile of duct tape? I need some flash in my life!

Mother Nature Network has 20 non-gardening ideas for duct tape at http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/20-clever-uses-for-duct-tape.