Doris Day stars in the 1953 movie “Calamity Jane”. One of the many great songs she sings is “A Woman’s Touch”. Oh, if only my apartment could be transformed so beautifully and so quickly! But the reason I am writing about this is that a woman’s touch finally broke through another traditionally male barrier... duct tape! YES!!! When I first went overseas, the first item on the ‘packing list’ that was sent to me was “duct tape”. The list had to have been put together by a man. Ugly gray duct tape. Yes, duct tape is very useful and handy stuff. But not so pretty. I always keep a roll handy no matter where I live. Because it is water proof, flexible and super strong, it has been used on Apollo space flights. In addition, The “Myth Busters” devoted two episodes to duct tape by lifting a car with it, repairing and making a boat out of it, creating a duct tape cannon, building a bridge from it, preventing a parked car from moving off and attempting but failing to stop a moving car. They also tested the single strip break strength at 67 lbs!
In mountaineering, one of the joys in making a first ascent of an unnamed peak is that you get to name it -- according to the Board of Geographic Names (there are limits, however, in the naming of it). In Kyrgyzstan, there is a remote peak called, “50 Years of American Duct Tape”. I wonder how much they had to use, and in what circumstances... I know that I always keep some duct tape wrapped around my ice ax when climbing... (seriously). Anyway, I am glad to say that a woman’s touch has finally broken through the barrier of a man’s product. And now, we can get duct tape in many colors -- no more gray-silver duct tape for me. So never underestimate a woman’s touch!