Monday, November 22, 2010

100 Mile an Hour Tape

I've talked to Jenny a lot this weekend. She called Sunday and told me she had put up her outdoor Christmas decorations. She had hung some green light spheres on her porch. The cords had hung down so she taped them up with clear packing tape. We tossed around a few other options, just in case, and I finally ended with: "If the clear tape won't hold up to the weather, just get some hundred mile an hour tape and use that." She thought she would be okay with the packing tape, and I said, "you're probably right".

She called me again tonight on her way home and was chatting to kill the time. Our conversation went something akin to this:

Chat, chat, chat.
Chat, chat, chat.
Chat, chat, chat.

Then - the hightlight of our conversation!

Jenny: "The packing tape didn't hold. It started coming down. I sent Todd to Home Depot last night to get some hundred mile an hour tape. He couldn't find it, so he asked a sales person where it was. The sales person told him he has never heard of it. They didn't know what it was. He came home empty handed. So I asked at work today if they knew what hundred mile an hour tape was. They hadn't heard of it either. What is it Mom? I don't want to use duct tape unless I have to."

Me: (inside my head: Bahahahahahahahaha! ! ! ! ! Bahahahahahaha! ! ! !) Sorry
It is the same thing as duct tape, Jenny. (inside my head: bahahahahaha! ! ! ! ) Sorry. Again.

What is the world coming to when your local hardware stores don't know what hundred mile an hour tape is? That's all we ever called duct tape when I was growing up. And still do, as a mater of fact. And, I knew the story behind it, to boot.
Oh. . . . you haven't heard of it either? Well, let me enlighten you as to how it got it's name:

100MPH tape according to Urban Dictionary: (just in case you wouldn't believe me)

Army slang for what civilians commonly call duct tape. The actual army name for it is olive drab green reinforcement tape which is what you would need to call it if you were to order it from the army supply store (GSA).

The story goes that during WWII the army asked Johnson & Johnson to develop a seal that would keep moisture out of their ammo cans. J&J answered with OD green reinforcement tape. It is said that the tape was so effective at keeping moisture out that water would bead off it like "water off a duck's back" earning it the name "duck tape". Duck tape would end up having multiple uses in the military, though; with supply short during WWII, duck tape became the military's answer to fixing equipment in the field. Seeing how effective, efficient, and versatile a roll the tape played in the military, J&J marketed the tape to civilians as a fix all. The tape became known as "duct tape", but I'm not sure if this is because the most common usage was to hold ducts together or because civilians misheard the name.

Throughout the history of the military, supply was always an issue, and in the event that GI's didn't have the proper tools to fix something they would use duck tape. As a fix all, duck tape was so effective that it was said it could hold a jeep together travelling at 100 mph, hence the common army name "100 mile an hour tape." Ask anyone from the army what it is and they'll tell you.

So Jenny, use duct (duck) tape. I don't think the makers of hundred mile an hour tape will mind.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness!!! I am still laughing! The fact that Todd actually went to the store and asked for it and that Jenny had no clue were HYSTERICAL! 100 mile an hour tape is the best...just not very attractive. Love you!


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i'm a wife, a mom, a mom-mom, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend...i'm a child of God.... i love to read, scrap, and sew (all when time permits!)... i like trying new things, going to different places, even if only in my mind....i like simple, but life is complicated....i like spring days, snow storms, thunderstorms, and big puffy clouds you can make things out of....i like coffee, tea and iced chocolate milk you can sip thru a straw..........