A Duct-Tape wallet; and announcing “A Theory of Duct Tape”; and my new Duct Tape Museum!

IT ALL BEGAN WITH –OF COURSE– A DUCT-TAPED WALLET

I’d been looking for a new wallet.

Where do you buy a wallet? On the street, of course. Canal Street is supposed to be a good place to get a good wallet cheap. What do I call cheap? $3. $3 to $5. ($10 is too expensive for a wallet.)

I’ve been looking for a new wallet for some time now. But, I have to admit –somewhat desultorily.

I don’t think there’s ever a single 24 hour period at the beginning of which one’s wallet is “perfectly fine” and at the end of which one goes “Ugh!” and drops, in disgust, said wallet to the ground. Wallets do tend to last for ever….

Especially wallets enhanced with Duct Tape.

Duct Tape will carry a wallet through, well, several extra years of “acceptable service”. For this reason Duct Tape is clearly regarded as the sworn enemy of The Global Wallet Industry. (Actually, no, that’s wrong –it’s The Wallet Industry that is the Sworn Enemy of Duct Tape.)

So –I would ride my bike along Canal Street with my eye out for cheap wallets. And never really found one.

But I did find one in a local thrift shop today. New! Four bucks? Hmmn….I’ll take it!

THE BIRTH OF –THE DUCT TAPE MUSEUM.
I’ve had this idea for several years, from when I first entered the World of Duct Tape. I was at a book fair in Milwaukee, one I’d done over several years with my friends Eitan and Colleen from Seattle.
A point came at the end of the fair when everybody broke down their displays and put their unsold books etc. back into cartons. Everybody seems to want to do this in a hurry. You put the stuff in the carton. You close the flaps of the carton. And then you get out your roll of duct tape and you pull out the required length of the sticky tape off the roll which produces a sound that varies from “Quick Tear” to “Long Extended Sticky Sound”, and all points in between.

The thing is, of course, that a hundred other people are doing the same thing, at…not exactly the same time –but almost! The sound of tearing Duct Tape fills the air, fills the hall, reverberating and echoing off the rafters. Rip-rip-rip-rip; sticky rip. On and on and on.
Quick-quick-quick! L-O-N-G! Quick-quick STICKY RIP. L-O-N-G TEAR. Quick-quick. LLLL-OOOO—NNNNN–GGGGGGG. Wow, that was a really long one: he/she must have gone all the way around the carton. It sounded almost…ostinato.
The sound was coming in from all over the hall.

It was….The Song of The Duct Tape! Well, not exactly The Song. Indeed, hardly a song at all; no symphony; no euphony. This was a definite cacophony….
But it was still…strangely musical. Concerted. Indeed, like all music…you, sort of, got used to it. Missed it when it stopped.
At each successive fair, you would hear it –The Duct Tape Concert. No –The Duct Tape Variations. Various virtuoso performances popping off all over the place –some of them quick-and-sure, some of them tentative (which is fatal with Duct Tape).

I began to sense that the other tapers, other participants, were becoming aware that they were in a concert; that they almost were…co-ordinating…their ripping and tearing. And there was always that sense of urgency; that “get it over with”; that fast rip and tear.

Then there were other factors that affected the performance. If the fair had gone fairly well, there would obviously be less to put away, less duct-taping; fewer ducts to tape. In other words, shorter post-fair performances.
But, precisely because things had gone well, the participants were generally in a happier frame of mind, and so such performances were….upbeat;…more…vivace.

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“The Song of the Duct Tape”. That was the name I gave my composition, though I have since changed to “The Duct Tape Variations” which I’m thinking might get it played on WQXR.
Actually, I can’t really claim authorship since I was really just another participant.
But then, when one thinks in terms of “Intellectual Property”, would not the composition belong to the one who discovered it; who became aware of it first?

Well, I’ll leave that to more legal minds. (Minds more legal?)

In the meantime, I am putting the finishing touches to The Duct Tape Variations: Concerto Number 1 –to be premiered later this year at the soon-to-be world famous Duct Tape Museum.

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The DUCT TAPE Museum? Yes –opening shortly. Imminently.

First acquisition: My old wallet, much enhanced with duct tape. (Already we are being inundated with Duct Tape Wallets submitted.)
Second acquisition: My old Gardening Sandals, finally retired at the end of last gardening season –the straps of which had over the years been gradually submerged beneath that familiar grey slightly-floppy and much-loved metallic-ish sheen….

The Duct Tape Museum. My decision to have the entire museum building made of…yes, Duct Tape, meant that I had to pass up on hiring Frank Gehry –who had lobbied fiercely for this prize plum. In the interview Frank didn’t seem able to grasp that you can’t really get those sharp Gehry angles with that famously-floppy much-loved DT. (It looks like I’m going to end up doing the whole thing myself. Yes, it’s still true: “if you want a job done well…Do it yourself.”

DIY! –The essence of Duct Tape!

The design calls for two floors. Upstairs will be the Duct Tape Only objects –fashioned only from Duct Tape. Downstairs –down, I should say, a dramatically-sweeping Duct Tape stairwell, with glittering floor-to-ceiling Duct Tape chandelier –we are still working on how to get Duct Tape to actually glitter [Why? Because. My design calls for glitter: that’s how I saw it, how it came to me.]
So, yes, the downstairs will be dedicated to a breathtaking display of Duct Tape Enhanced objects. Sandals and wallets are only two of an endless array. Inside Bicycle tyres. Inside jeans-leg-rips. Inside “over-extended” favorite half-sleeve shirts with incipient tears in them. All are only a few of the exciting possibilities.

There will be a host of cultural activities (in the Grey Auditorium, with its 3000 seat capacity. The specially constructed seats, by the way, reach new levels of comfort –like a sleep-number mattress, they adjust to each person’s personal ILBS ( “Individual Lower Body Specs”). The seats also have the great advantage of being Entirely Silent when tipped up.
And don’t worry about Cellphones: they, by the way, will be completely wrapped in duct tape which effectively silences them: we subscribe to the idea that it is enough –not to mention cost-effective– to sufficiently muffle the ringtone with a few layers of DT, rather than suffoucate it completely. (You can try this at home.)

As previously announced, the first seminar will be on the much anticipated “A Theory of Duct Tape.”

Not, you will note, a proclaiming “The”, but a respectful “A” . (Though we are completely confident of our own theory, we don’t want any unnecessarily “sticky situations” with other Alter-DT theoreticians).

That’s all I can say about it at this stage; though I can say that The Theory will render obsolete all those older Unified Field Theories that have sought, in vain, to “tie everything in the universe together.”

Of course they are in vain. Things, I hold, are not so much tied-together as taped together.

Look for many exciting developments. We are in the final stages of discussion with a major airline who wants to sponsor our Manned DuctTape Flight Project –that is, the design and manufacture of a Flying Machine fashioned entirely from Grade One Duct Tape that will fly unassisted over a measured mile –using a DT-derived fuel– and land safely.

[We already have the flying helmet AND the goggles.]

Be assured: the day is not far off when we all will be flying Duct Tape Airlines.

Or DUCTAir, as my more FrequentFlyingFriend S. succinctly named them.

(Yes, we’ve had the DUCTAir shoulder-bags made up already.)


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