Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ducktape (duct tape?) Age

Historians will tell you that in 1942, humanity effectively exited the Iron Age and entered the Ducktape Age. Some English scholars may quibble about the spelling of the name for this new era, some preferring Duck tape, Duck Tape or even Duct Tape instead, but I will refrain from entering into a discussion over such subtleties.

It was also brought to my attention that the People Down Under -for whom everything including history is upside down- use the term Duct Tape to refer to another, far less important type of sticky tape that is used in the preparation of vegemite, the ultimate performance-enhancing substance for endurance racers.

Ducktape prototype for the Golden Gate

Anyone watching the hugely popular show MythBusters will know that every invention known to man can be improved upon by Ducktape and that includes power meters. I remember that at the USAC coaching meeting, Hunter Allen told us that some athletes do better when you cover their power meter readout with Ducktape, so as to take away a distraction.

And so it is that due to my recent crashes I was forced to use the almighty Ducktape to temporarily improve my helmet in the following fashion:

Don't try this at home!

Now, before you grab your quill and ink canister to write me an email about safety, responsibility and other outrages related to this fix, let me remind you that NASA used Ducktape to fix the airflow in the infamous Apollo 13 incident, and later again for Apollo 17 to fix their moon buggy. Anything good enough for NASA is good enough for me.

Ducktape fender on the moon
On second thought, maybe Ducktape was the reason Apollo 18 failed! After watching the trailer, I did order a replacement helmet forthwith.

And for your further enjoyment, here are some daguerrotypes illustrating the latest petrol prices:

Up and up

I have heard a rumor that due to these unreasonably high fuel prices, competitors in the upcoming and infamous Paris-Roubaix race will be using human powered bicycles for propulsion. I wonder how many of these will sport Ducktape enhancements!

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