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The Duet Tape

  Among the contents of the toolboxes of most people in the western world you would expect to find a hammer and nails, a drill, screwdrivers(螺丝起子) and some screws. But if you were to ask people from North America what the most useful item in their toolboxes was, the majority of people would undoubtedly tell you that it was duct(输送管) tape. Indeed, it has become an indispensable addition to every person’s perception of what constitutes necessity.

  Maybe you have never heard of duct tape. It is the brand name of a tape. Not only is it a tape, but also it is a special kind of tape.

  The name of the tape comes from the fact that it was designed as an insulating(绝缘的) tape that can be used in duct work (channels or conduits[导管] that are used for heat to travel through to get to different areas of a building). Incredible though it seems, someone actually put a picture of a duck on the packaging of the tape from one manufacturer perhaps just as a joke or maybe because the design artist did not understand the origin of the name. Neither the word duck nor duct was on the label. Presumably, it was assumed that everyone could identify the product.

  You can recognize the genuine tape because of its silver grey color. The color was likely chosen because it closely resembles the color of the pipes the color of the pipes it would be used on. That was the primary intended use of the tape. It was unlikely that the inventor realized how many other uses could be found for this product.

  Ingenious(善于创造发明的) people have found many alternative uses for this tape. The binder(粘合剂) on the tape is of good quality and it will stick to most surfaces. The tape is of great strength. It is impossible to tear the tape. It must be cut. The durable nature of the tape is one of its main assets(益处,优点).

  It comes in a variety of widths and the length of the tape on the roll will vary as well. The number of centimeters wide and the number of meters long will determine the price of the roll.

  The duct tape is acquiring fame as the number of its uses for it exceeds the thoughts possible. The number of uses for this tape will amaze you. One internet Website(环球网的站点) started out trying to identify 101 uses for the duct tape and the list has well over 200 uses on it now. Maybe there are an infinite number of uses. Some of the items it lists involve an imagination but others are quite genuine. Not even a kindergarten student requires instruction on how to use it. One idea seems to generate(产生,引起) another, inspired by the unique way someone else has decided to make use of the tape. However, some of the uses are not feasible to execute. For instance, the use of the tape as a bandage is not recommended. It could cause injury when it is removed. You must evaluate the list with a sense of humor as some of the uses could embarrass a person. The commercial value of the tape is undoubtedly tremendous with huge profits resulting from the sales. The product practically promotes itself without much need for publicity.

   Sometimes you see people, usually male rather than female, wearing shirts that have a slogan(标语) written on them that says, “I can fix anything”——and then there is a picture of a duct tape below the saying. The implication presumably is that the duct tape replaces skill.

  Another good marketing strategy(策略,战略) that people enjoy is the use of a calendar. There is one page on the calendar for every day of the year and each page shows and describes a new use of the duct tape.

   One of the typical uses of the duct tape is to repair a leak in a faucet(龙头) or water tap. If the hose(水龙软管) of a vacuum cleaner has a hole in it, the duct tape will come to rescue(援救,救助). Almost every household in North America has at least one roll of duct tape. People keep it handy and use it to repair almost everything. No one would think it necessary to justify the purchase of extra rolls of tape, so the sales continue to increase.

  Many people like to boast about how often they use the tape. They say that the usage of duct tape has allowed them to simplify their life and to decrease the cost of repairs.

  It can be used indoors in the interior of a house but there are abundant uses outside the house as well. If there is a chip out of a glass object, the duct tape can be used to protect the user from being injured.

  Repairing or reinforcing a joint on an aluminum ladder that a person is using would be a valuable use of the tape.

  The tape has proved to be bargain. Even if the manufacturers charged twice as much for the tape, it would still be a best seller in the western world. The retail price is very reasonable. In addition it is convenient to store, and despite the number of apparent uses, people are always finding more ways to utilize it. It has become a vital item for every household.

  The glue on the tape is a wonderful adhesive(粘着的) agent and will bond well to anything from a piece of crystal to the handle of a broom. There have been reports of people using the tape to trap insects. Crickets(蟋蟀), for example, were found stuck to the tape by one person. Maybe the glue was able to attract them or maybe they just were in the wrong place. Criminals have been known to use the tape on their victims. During a robbery, a robber used the duct tape on the witnesses to keep them from reporting the crime until he had escaped. It was apparent that the robber came armed with the duct tape, anticipating the need for its use.

  One evening a sea breeze was causing a window on a campus dormitory to crash repeatedly as the clasp(钩子) on it had been broken. The Duct tape put a swift end to the nuisance of the constant banging. Although it was obvious it was not a permanent solution of the problem, nevertheless, the temporary use of the duct tape was appreciated until the window could be replaced or someone could install a better latch.

  You can even accomplish repairs on vehicles, which sometimes means the difference between being stopped in traffic or being able to continue your journey. Many motorists(汽车司机) have had to resort to the use of the duct tape in an emergency situation. Drivers often keep a roll of duct tape in the trunk of their car for that reason. It is a tremendous relief when you are able to wrap a piece of duct tape around a leaking hose that you discover at a time when it is not convenient to replace it. Thanks to the duct tape, the driver can become mobile again. The fear of being stranded(束手无策的) on a lonely stretch of highway is lessened when you carry a duct tape.

  Other forms of transportation make good use of the tape as well. Usage for it can be found on boats, and also on airplanes. For instance, a sky driver once reported that jumping out of a small airplane did not scare her as much as riding in a small plane that appeared to have lots of duct tape.

  Sports and recreational activities make good use of this tape as well. If you’re audio cassette player will not stay closed, use a piece of duct tape to position the tape holder. It might look odd but it will serve the purpose. If a hockey stick needs to be taped, use duct tape!

  It can be used to compress a package, making more cargo fit in a carrier. You can use it repair a leaky toilet, or to fix a crack on a toilet seat.

  If you wrap duct tape around a newspaper, it can be used to make a dog’s chew toy.

  If you get an opportunity to use this product, you will also discover many uses for it and you will agree that it is one of the world’s best inventions.