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Tuesday, August 25, 2009



I get packages from people who put tape on every possible seam and flap on the envelope or box they've mailed, and I wonder why.

Is it to prevent thieves from opening the envelope? Yeah, tape'll do it.

Is it to keep me from zipping open a FedEx box using the zip open pull-tab on the box, designed to allow the recipient to zip open the box?

Is it to keep the nosy mailman from opening the easy-open flap to see what's inside?

In each case, I usually go to the other end of the envelope or box, the one where the package is glued together during the manufacturing process, and peel it open from there. It's easier than wrestling with the tape.

Sometimes I get big, flat packages custom-crafted from big sheets of cardboard to hold big, flat artwork or vintage comic strips, and these are often double taped on all four sides. While I appreciate the concern for the security of the contents, it usually requires a chain-saw to get the package open, inevitably slicing a good chunk out of the contents. Sometimes the tape is even attached to the contents.

Once in awhile I get one sealed with duct tape. After I manage to get the contents out of those packages I write on the side, "BOMB SHELTER."

Occasionally, after getting one end open, I try to pull the contents out, only to discover they've been taped in position to the inside of the package to keep the item from moving around.

I imagine this obsession with tape over-kill stems from some sort of traumatic childhood experience with snoopy parents who "accidentally" opened some package containing some "none-of-your-business" material that little Billy ordered from the Johnson Smith Company.

So now little Billy, 40 years later, tapes the crap out of everything he puts into a mailbox out of consideration for the little Billies of the world still living at home, to spare them the embarrassment of being caught red-handed with a three-month run of Little Orphan Annie comic strips from 1940, or the Complete Equipment for 10 Professional Type Tricks so you can Amaze Your Friends With MAGIC.

Trick #10: How to make a playing card mysteriously stick to your forehead.


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