I have been told that duct tape and panty hose are not proper towing equipment, and though I don’t know if that is true or not, I do know that in the South the two have been used on more than one occasion to get a Southerner out of a jam. According to my wife, there are plenty uses for panty hose other than covering legs and bottoms. You can stretch a piece over the end of a wet-dry shop vacuum and vacuum your fish tank, you can use panty hose to store mothballs in your closet, you can use panty hose to tie up your tomatoes, and you can even use panty hose to store onions to keep them from rotting. However, the king when it comes to useful as well as useless personal and home uses is duct tape. (Note: Duct tape is the generic name for the product while Duck Tape is a popular brand of the product.)
In the South, the first rule of home repair is duct tape it; if it is not supposed to be broken, sagging, or leaking, duct tape it; if it is sparking, duct tape it; if it is moving or sliding and not supposed to be, duct tape it; or, if it has a crack or is cracking, duct tape it. If you were raised in the South, you understand that outside God and family duct tape is the best friend you may ever have. Duct tape will not let you down, especially if you apply enough of it. That is why any Southerner worth his Whistling Dixie ID card will at all times have at least one roll of duct tape in his home, and if he (or she) is really a hardcore Southerner, there will be a roll in every room of the house, in every vehicle, and a case in the camper.
There are so many uses for duct tape that it would be near impossible to list them all. Of course there are the standard uses such as taping windows during hurricanes, taping over a broken car window, reinforcing book bindings, repairing a vacuum cleaner hose, taping the sole back on your shoe, taping busted car stereo speakers, and taping cracks in the dashboard of your truck, but what about the not so standard uses for duct tape? There are uses for duct tape such as duct taping the mailbox back together after your teenage daughter backed over it or using duct tape to repair the tile in your bathroom that many people would never think of unless they were connoisseurs of redneck engineering. However, if you are going to live in the South, it is imperative that you have that innate Southern instinct of how to use duct tape to resolve any problem. Now, if you are lacking that instinct (maybe you are not as Southern as you thought), you could buy a book (written by a true Southerner) devoted to the use of duct tape, take the time to put together your own list of duct tape uses, which I do not advise unless you are one-hundred percent certain of your Southern heritage, or you could simply use my minutely researched and personal experience duct tape list. With my unmistakable Southern drawl, culinary love of grits and anything fried, and penchant for writing overly long nonsensical dribble, my Southern heritage has never been in question. Whichever you do, it is important for you to become familiar with the various ways duct tape can be used to improve your quality of life even if you are a Yankee.
As I said, you can always create your own list, but why not save yourself a lot of frustration and grief when you discover at the most inconvenient time that your list is missing an idea or two that could get you out of a jam. Therefore, hang my list on your refrigerator and be done with it. However, please remember that all uses for duct tape on my list should be undertaken only with a little Southern know-how, common sense and under the direct supervision of a responsible adult – preferably the wife and/or mother of the house. Men and boys tend to get a little carried away when using duct tape; for example, my two boys used duct tape to brush their teeth until they were in their teens – my wife and I always wondered why they didn’t lose their baby teeth earlier. Therefore, use and enjoy the list, but if possible try not to get too carried away regardless of the temptation.
Linton’s Ultimate Duct Tape List:
Category 1: Duct Tape Uses for Family and Home:
- Use a strip of duct tape under your nose to prevent nasal drips. Warning: This duct tape solution could lead to suffocation, so prior to placing the strip under your nose use a toothpick, icepick, or scissors to make two holes in the tape so that the wearer can breathe. Warning: Never use the toothpick, icepick, or scissors to make the breathing holes while wearing the duct tape strip.
- Use duct tape to tape a diaper back together. The great thing is that duct tape works just as well on cloth diapers as it does on disposable diapers. Opening the diaper to check if junior has a dirty diaper and then repackaging it with duct tape is a lot more sanitary than sticking a finger inside the diaper leg to check if junior has done the dirty.
- Use duct tape to tape busted luggage together after the airlines have thrown and tossed it around. NEVER fly without a roll of duct tape in your carry-on or purse! Besides being handy for putting your luggage back together, duct tape can be used to tape your head to the back of the seat to keep it from drooping while you are napping on the plane or it can be used to tape yourself to the toilet if you are caught with your pants down in turbulence.
- Use duct tape to tape the side view mirror back on the car after your teenager ripped it off pulling into Sonic. If you are in a rush, and do not have time to vacuum, you can also wrap Duct tape around your hand with the sticky side out to pick up the crumbs and fries your son and his date dropped in your car. However, don’t tell his mom that you found the majority of the crumbs and fries in the backseat.
- Use duct tape to make cardboard robot helmets for the kids or grandkids. They rarely ever wear or play with the things, but it is a great activity to show your sensitive family side and maybe even get you nominated as dad or grandpa of the year.
Category 2: Duct Tape Uses for Family Camping:
- Use duct tape to patch a hole in your tent. Of course, if the kids had listened to you and the ranger about not leaving food in the tent in the first place, the skunk would not have chewed a hole in the side of your tent to get to the Cheese Whiz and chips they “forgot” and left inside the tent.
- Use duct tape as band aids. Duct tape is a great band aid for outdoor cuts and scrapes, but unless you are still angry that the kids left the Cheese Whiz and chips in the tent and want to literally peel the hide from their bones, do not stick the tape directly to their tender skin – use gauze or moleskin next to their skin.
- Use duct tape to fix a leaking sewer hose on your RV or travel trailer. However, DO NOT be cheap and store the repaired hose in your camper for the next camping trip – trash the taped over hose ASAP! The duct tape will do a great job of stopping the leak, but the tape will also absorb the crap. If the repaired sewer line is stored in the sun heated compartment under your camper, the next time you take your camper out everything in the camper may smell like a grease trap at McDonalds.
- Use duct tape to catch pesky flies. If flies are a problem, and they usually are on a camping trip, hang strips of duct tape around your camper. The duct tape acts like fly paper and will trap the flies. If the flies are really bad, tape a quarter or half a watermelon to a tree, or even sit it on the ground about 20 or so feet from your camper. Either way wrap three of four strips of duct tape around the watermelon with the sticky side out, and then sit back and watch the fun as the flies migrate to the watermelon and get stuck.
- Use duct tape to tape suitcases and camping gear to the top of the car when traveling. There is no need to invest in expensive luggage carriers for the top of your car. Simply lay two or three rubber kitchen mats on the top of your car and then place your luggage on the mats (You may wish to place your luggage in large garbage bags if there is a chance of rain). Next duct tape the luggage to the roof of your car. WARNING: Although this is also tempting for kids, please refrain from duct taping kids to the roof of your car even if it is just a short family trip.
Category 3: Duct Tape Uses for Men:
- Use duct tape to remove hair from your chest or back. This absolutely works, but be warned, it is not the easiest way to remove body hair, but it is the manliest way.
- Use duct tape to repair holes in underwear. Wives are continually trying to throw their husbands’ underwear in the trash the moment a couple or three or four comfort holes appear. This is absolutely unnecessary! If the holes accumulate to the point of the bottom being completely blown out, two to four strategically placed strips of duct tape can easily be interwoven across the bottom to extend the life of the underwear. If wives would only listen, their husbands would tell them they want their underwear to breathe. There is nothing more exhilarating to a man than having his bottom caressed by a cool summer breeze while wearing a pair of well ventilated underwear.
- Use duct tape to keep underwear like new and prevent skid marks. For those wives who insist their husbands get new underwear when their old underwear gets a little worn, a strip or two of Duct tape placed in the bottom of a pair of new underwear can reduce the day to day wear and tear that produces holes, as well as prevent skid marks from occurring.
- Use duct tape to relieve stress. A strip of Duct tape applied evenly across the mouth of a nagging spouse can drastically reduce stress in a man’s life. It has been estimated by the Middleburgh International Health Institute in Germany, that a regular regime of duct tape could extend the average length of marriage by 15 to 20 years, and extend the lives of both men and women by as much as 30 years.
- Use duct tape to do away with plumbers crack. By placing a piece of duct tape vertically along a man’s exposed bottom crack when he bends over or squats, one of mankind’s greatest eyesores can be avoided. According to the United Nations, concealing butt cracks is one of the most humane uses for duct tape. In fact, if duct tape ever wins a Nobel Prize, it will probably be for the elimination of butt cracks.
Category 4: Duct Tape Uses for Women
- Use duct tape to enhance cleavage. Television is filled with commercials touting so called wonder bras with steel reinforced wire cups that give women the cleavage they have always wanted. However, if women are looking for more cleavage, duct tape is the answer. By wrapping a roll or two of duct tape around her body and working her way up under her breasts, a woman can push her assets as high and expose as much as she pleases. In fact, I saw a woman the other day in the mall who was obviously using duct tape for that very purpose; her boobs were pushed so high her nose was a part of her cleavage.
- Use duct tape to make a thong. For the daring young woman who wants to make a big splash at the beach, duct tape can be used to make an awesome thong. The only caution is that she should be absolutely certain none of the sticky side of the tape is exposed. A thong with the sticky side exposed would probably not only be painful, but may cause severe constipation as well.
- Use duct tape to make a club. By rolling a magazine or catalog into a tube and then wrapping it with duct tape, the woman of the house can make a club to beat her good-for-nothing husband until he gets his lazy butt off the couch and makes himself useful around the house.
- Use duct tape to remove warts. According to research into the effectiveness of duct tape, this actually works. First, cover the warts with grey duct tape every day for six days. Second, on the seventh day, soak the warts in warm water and exfoliate them with an emery board. Finally, repeat this process for as long as two months or until the warts are gone. Of course, if you have a wart on the end of your nose or chin, you may have to be content with hiding it under the brim of your black pointed hat or with the green blush.
- Use duct tape to fix the leaking drain under the sink. Actually duct tape does a fairly good job stopping leaking drains; however, the question here is shouldn’t this duct tape solution be under “Duct Tape Uses for Men?” The answer is simple – the only way this one gets on the man’s list is if the woman makes and uses the club described in #3 above.
So there you have it, practical duct tape solutions to all your problems or least to your most important ones. If you are a true blue Southerner or a smart Yankee (a rarity, but it happens), hang my list on your refrigerator, and then run to Walmart and buy a case or two of duct tape. As long as Southerners are armed with prayer and duct tape there is nothing we can’t handle, so happy ducting.
©Jack Linton, July 11, 2014