Maybe duct tape will get point across

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ columnist

I may have a new use for duct tape.

That hardly seems like a discovery worthy of mentioning at all, let
alone in a record that will stand forever in print — one also assumes
the standard exists for online records, but I just saw “Terminator:
Rise of the Machines” and am now unsure of all technology.

But I discuss duct tape because it forms bonds, no pun intended.
I’ve written columns that were (at least I thought) inspiring,
thought-provoking analysis pieces. Around the same time, I mindlessly
wrote about a duct tape prom dress and filled it with duct tape stories
from my childhood, including my friend Adrian’s duct tape locker shelf
that was easily twice as expensive as its mass-produced plastic

The former generated nothing — no calls, no e-mails, no angry
letters. The latter produced an e-mail from a former New Mexico
resident who ran a successful business and owned a duct tape wallet, an
office visit from a woman who bought an extra copy to mail to a
relative, and no angry letter. The last part proved relieving, as I
would worry about anybody angered by duct tape.

So really, what I started four paragraphs ago was a cheap way to
pique your interest, and if you’re still reading, I’ve successfully
constructed a column with duct tape.

But that’s not my idea. The inspiration started when I did something I (and likely you) do multiple times daily — parked my car.

When I returned minutes later, my car had a another car as a
neighbor. A very, very close neighbor. A neighbor that didn’t seem to
bother with the pre-arranged lines for parking.

It wasn’t a small miscalculation — the offending car’s right side
tires were six inches to the right of the line. And the car’s size
wasn’t an issue — I walked around, and measured about two feet of open
space to the right of the other yellow line.

As I re-entered my car, I felt like Catherine Zeta-Jones in
“Entrapment,” trying to slither through my newly compacted entrance.
Except there were no lasers. And when I finished with my slithering,
she was still Catherine Zeta-Jones and I was a guy in a dirty car with
pants that don’t fit.

I didn’t want this parking injustice to go unnoticed, but had little
recourse. Should I wait outside for the driver? I had no idea how long
they were shopping in the adjacent store (or if they were an employee
just starting a long shift). Leave a note? My only piece of paper was a
receipt, which had my name on it.

As I drove home frustrated about doing nothing, inspiration struck
me. If people aren’t going to notice where the parking line is, why not
give them a visual aid with duct tape? I’ve seen bright yellow tape
sold, which matches most parking lines, and I assume some ingenious
printer could customize a roll to read, “Since you have proven you
needed additional help, this duct tape illustrates the part of your
vehicle flagrantly in the plane of another motorist’s parking spot.”

I would want a less sticky version of the tape, because I don’t want
to damage cars or create awkward cleaning jobs (though I think peanut
butter might be the most effective treatment).

I’ve got something to work toward now. But as I drove Tuesday
morning, I was almost struck by a man at an intersection who, while
waiting to turn, pulled out 10 feet in front of the stop sign.

I don’t think any amount of duct tape will fix that one.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be
contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail: