Duct tape....

"is a vinyl tape with imbedded cotton threads to give it added strength. designed to be torn to length without tools, it is very strong and durable"
"has a very aggressive adhesive and is waterproof. It's great for repairs, holding cables to the floor and color coding."

but it can be dangerous when placed in the wrong hands...

This story starts with some gentleman called Tom Ridge who runs something called the Department of Homeland Security. I know this sounds like a name for the secret police for some tin pot African dictatorship but is in fact a real and genuine part of the federal government of the good old USA pledged to defend the nation from terrorist assault.

This Mr Ridge advised his fellow Americans to stock up on duct tape and plastic sheeting in case of some kind of terrorist attack. Quite why Americans are so obsessed with what seems to be just extra-strong sellotape is quite beyond me, but duct tape does seem to be regarded with some sort of special reverence.

Taking heed of this advice was one Steven J. Bosell, of the town of Corona in California who dutifully trotted down to his local Costco and purchased a hundred dollars worth of duct tape and some plastic sheeting, in order to 'protect' his home from 'radiation'. (I get the impression that Mr Bosell doesn't quite appreciate the intricacies of nuclear physics.)

As Mr Bosell himself later explained;

"As soon as I got home, I taped up the doors and windows, but then I did some thinking. I realised that if survivors like myself are going to reproduce and repopulate the earth after a biological attack, then we have to protect our private parts as well."

Oh my! You can just see what's coming next can't you? That's right, Mr Bosell is about to demonstrate that thinking is not something he does well.

"I used my last roll of duct tape to wrap up my privates, leaving just a little hole at the end for toilet functions."

(I think it's safe to assume that Mr Boswell didn't have a girlfriend at the time.)

Some days later the Department of Homeland Security announced the 'all clear' and Mr Bosell concluded it was time to remove the duct tape. (Feel free to wince now.) After some loss of skin and body hair, a certain degree of blood loss and a good deal of pain Mr Bosell concluded this was a job for professionals and phoned for an ambulance.

The tape was duly removed from Mr Bosell's nether regions by the combined efforts of various medical professionals although not without further damage; both physical and psychological, as the various doctors and nurses concerned seemed to regard the whole situtation as somewhat amusing. As Mr Bosell was later to complain;

"They went out their way to make me look like a fool. Once I saw the doctor's scalpel go toward my privates, I totally lost it and blacked out"

Of course being an American that is not the end of it. Naturally enough Mr Bosell blames the government. In particularly Tom Ridge for giving "bad advice" and George W. Bush for hiring Tom Ridge in the first place whose combined efforts, complained Mr Bosell, "make me look like a fool". (Although Mr Bosell seems to have demonstrated that he was quite capable of doing so on his own without anyone's assistance.)

Mr Bosell has therefore followed American tradition and filed a a lawsuit against Tom Ridge, the Department of Homeland Security and the President of the United States claiming compensation for "emotional distress, personal injury, and sexual dysfunction".


Definition of Duct Tape from http://www34.pair.com/harrison/thetapeworks.com/duct.htm

Mr Bosell's ordeal from
The Corona Times 13 Feb 2003 quoted in Private Eye no 1076 and at http://www.giannimartini.com