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After hearing one too many complaints from Crazy D and L’il Sis about the inferior quality of pens  available for household use and the notable lack of duct and wrapping tape, I finally took the bull by the horns and went to the office supply store. Well, perhaps viewing duct tape as an ‘office’ supply is a stretch (although hearing about Gill’s office with its leaky ceiling and the primitive methods used to fix it–a strategically placed bucket– it may NOT be a reach.)

I stood, mesmerized by the display of various types of tape. There was ‘magic tape’, double-sided tape, double coated tape, wallpaper tape, scrapbook tape, wall-saving tape and a few others I can’t remember. I almost broke down in my confusion and looked for a clerk to help me distinguish the correct kind for my needs. There wasn’t one. (I meant clerk but there probably wasn’t any suitable tape either.) But I forged ahead. I wasted ten minutes reading labels (it takes longer when you don’t have your glasses with you and why would you since you were just going to buy tape and pens, no reading required?)

As I gazed at the wall of tape, I could hear Gill saying to me:”What the hell? It’s just TAPE, people. I just want to have tape to stick shit to other shit! How hard can it be?”

Oh, the age of specialization. I guess stuff that just ‘sticks shit to other shit’ isn’t precise enough nowadays. I have noticed, as a complete non sequitor, that the same thing is happening at universities. Precision. When I graduated, a degree in English covered a lot of territory. Nowadays, perhaps because they’re running out of material by old (or dead) white dudes, the field has become much more specific. But really, if students have to specialize in why Shakespeare’s left nostril was stuffed up and the effect it had on his writing in the spring of 1601, I despair of the entire education system. I understand the necessity in scientific, math and engineering areas, since I don’t want buildings collapsing or satellites falling out of the sky due to imprecision, but there is a fine line. Tape is perhaps, for me, that line.

So after much deliberation, I walked out of the store with ‘Magic Tape’, expecting great and magical things to then happen. I wonder if I get a refund if nothing magical happens. And who gets to decide what is magical and what isn’t? The invisible clerks in the store?

As I entered the house, The Pig (the beagle) rushed to greet me, a happy smile on her face, kisses and hugs to go around.

L’il Sis yelled to me:”Mom, don’t come into the kitchen yet. The Pig got into the garbage and I’m in the process of cleaning it up.”

“Okay,”I sighed. And then it hit me! The magical tape could perhaps enable me to stick the cupboard doors together so The Pig couldn’t open them. Or, perhaps on the more diabolical side, I could tape her feet together so she couldn’t paw things open. Or, and this is true marketing genius, I could come out with a tape of my own and call it ‘Pig Paw’. I’m sure it would be a big seller with other beagle owners…especially the ones with YouTube videos of their pooches ransacking kitchens.

It would be nice to think my wasted ten minutes staring at tape had a higher purpose.

Just then, L’il Sis piped up, “Did you get more pens? And I hope you didn’t get the crappy ones again…”

With that, I turned around to get back in the car. Yup. Yup I did get the crappy ones…