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I suppose there are always things, unique to every family, and every household, that are constantly in need of topping up or replenishing. At The Mom’s there is never any tape to be had. Which is unusual as when we were in high school, we had pretty much cornered the market on duct tape.

This is particularly evident whenever a gift of some kind needs to be wrapped. Someone will come sailing into the kitchen, in a bit of a panicked rush, screaming about tape. The Mom will point to the drawer where it’s been kept since we moved in. She will do this without looking up from whatever trashy novel she’s engrossed in, and she will also not even pretend to be interested in whatever panicked drama is afoot.

Whoever is in need of tape will open the drawer, and rummage through the crappy pens and old magnifying glass for a while before announcing that there is no tape.

This will cause The Mom to look up from her novel, and proclaim that she just bought some the other day. This will then lead to an argument about who remembers more of what’s happened around the house in the last few days.

The Mom will not win this argument. She will lose interest in it quickly and decide to buy more tape when she’s out later in the day. She’ll buy some, quickly, and in haste and later, when she herself needs tape, she will go to the drawer and be unable to find it.

Which will cause her to seek out any living creature in the house and question him, her or it about the whereabouts of the tape.

This often leads to her being directed to ‘Newton’s papers and ribbons’. You will probably be unfamiliar with this, as a concept. Newton, my old parakeet, used to spend a lot of time running wild in the birds’ room. Which is also where The Mom keeps the old wrapping paper and assorted gift dressing items. Back in his day, Newton used to play around with the ribbons and papers overflowing from this bag. Hence the name. Anyhow, in Newton’s papers and ribbons the tape is often to be found. Which makes sense. You want to wrap something, you’re going to need tape, right?

Unfortunately, when The Mom does find the tape, she will also find that she bought the wrong kind. Because they’ve changed the colour of the label, or the name of the tape, or something. Often, it turns out that the tape she does find is double-sided. Which is not helpful when wrapping gifts.

She’ll make a hash job of the wrapping, declare the gift unfit for giving and then go back to Newton’s papers and ribbons in search of a suitable gift bag. She’ll then stuff a bunch of tissue paper in the gift bag along with the gift. And the first person she sees after this debacle will be accused of buying shit tape. And when you are stupid enough to point out that it was she who bought the shit tape, you will be informed in no uncertain terms that at least she buys tape of some kind, unlike the rest of us.