Got a hole in your life? Patch it up with duct tape!

by Ken Carpenter

Duct tape could rule the universe if it only had a brain. It can fix anything except the fractured thoughts of a typical human male.

            I know, I once tried to cure an attack of brain flatulence with a duct tape headband and all I got was a sticky forehead.

            There is one duct tape episode in my life that defines a bachelor’s belief in the “King Duct Tape” theory. While I am no longer a bachelor, I think it is important that I blame the circumstances I am about to describe on the peculiar direction a single man’s brain can take under stress.

            I was a poor, unnaturally deprived bachelor. It was not unheard of for me to walk six miles through a blinding snowstorm in search of a date, only to find a snow woman with melted bosoms and one coal eye waiting for me. All evidence seemed to say that I was a failure as a would-be Romeo.

            Eventually I tired of the “someday I’ll meet someone next to the frozen food section” approach to a love life. With my heart in my hand and my soul in an empty coffee can, I decided to brave the terrifying world of Internet dating.

            I soon found that it was a piece of cake communicating with invisible women. All the things I could never think to say in person could be practiced and edited to perfection in e-mails. I thought myself the Rudolph Valentino of the computer world.

            Of course, face-to-face meetings were another thing. Not only would I have to grow six inches on the way to our encounter, but I would have to grunt nonstop in an effort to sprout muscles, melt my pot-belly and make my face resemble the Tom Cruise picture I substituted for mine.

            It seemed honesty was not always the accepted policy on Net dating, but to be truthful (really!) I did send my own picture. I have no idea why I looked taller, skinnier and handsomer.

            I’m pretty sure 50% of the pictures I looked at were taken in the 1980’s or 90’s. In one case it may have been the 60’s. It didn’t really matter though, most of the women I met were just fine as individuals. They just didn’t seem to be my type. I tried not to hold little things like moustaches and quadruple chins against anyone but, sigh, I’m only human. 

            After numerous misadventures, I met someone who was bright, funny, sexy, honest and easily lulled into a comfort zone, as was I. We clicked, and after carrying on a long distance dating relationship for what seemed like eons, we reached the point where a sleepover at my place was called for.

            Energized to the point of euphoria, I cleaned up the house and, with minutes to spare, remembered with horror that the sheets on the bed needed changed.

            Crikey! My only clean sheets were the legendary duct tape sheets that had resulted from one of my bachelor brain fueled fix-its. I sleep with four wiener dogs, my back-up sheets ripped, so I naturally sealed the rip from both sides with duct tape so the dogs would not rip it larger. Of course, I thought it was just a temporary measure until I bought more, but they were holding together OK so I was on about the 5th or 6th washing. 

            Duct tape really is a miraculous substance, but it takes on a weird consistency after being laundered numerous times.

            Having little choice unless I wanted to wash the other sheets while she was making her first visit, a sin in a bachelor’s mind, I decided maybe she wouldn’t notice the small patched spot and I put them on. 

            Much later, when Joy’s exploratory and sensitive toes discovered the tape on the sheets, she was quite perplexed.

            “What is that stuff on your sheets?” she asked in a puzzled voice.

            “It might be duct tape,” I muttered.

            The resulting uproar could have fueled the laugh track for 15 “I Love Lucy” episodes. I don’t think I provided much of it, but laughter is contagious so I may have.

            Needless to say, the duct tape sheets are no more, but Joy and I are doing just fine as a married couple. I can’t understand why she keeps bringing up those sheets though. It’s like she thinks they are the crowning moment of a life of misguided intentions.

            Sheesh! Surely somebody else in the world besides me has used duct tape for such a thing.

            It’s not like I used it to patch my favorite underwear.