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Scotch Tape

Author Shelley Fraser Mickle
Air Date 12/7/2000

Scotch Tape Transcript

In 1928, a painter at an auto plant was working on a two-tone paint job when he was given some masking tape with the adhesive left off of the center to save money. He put it on the car and it fell off. The painter picked it up and handed it to a salesman and said “take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and have them put adhesive all over the tape.” They did, and the new tape was named Scotch tape, and it has stuck around ever since.

It was never more clearly in my life, though, than on the day I used six whole rolls of it to tape shut the door to my room to keep my brother out. It didn’t hold, but then not much did. Besides, that’s not the best use for Scotch tape. Of course we all know what that is. Try wrapping a present without it.

But there is another use that I can strongly recommend. I discovered it when I was nine years old and walking to the neighborhood library on a summer day. I had been run off from the ball game that my brother and his friends were playing; my bike was broken; my dog had a general case of mirasmus, which is what my mother said he had when he wanted to sleep and not have a kid messing with him. Besides, he was 12 years old. So I went to the library to spend the afternoon. I never minded that, it was just that I felt so terribly alone.

On the way, I came upon a penny. It was new, too. It was lying on the sidewalk as if the sun had dripped part of itself there. I reached down and picked it up. You know how the old saying goes, put a found penny in your shoe and good luck will come to you.

But I was wearing sandals. So, I carried it on to the library. When I walked in, the most wonderful idea came to me. I went up to the checkout desk and asked for a piece of Scotch tape. Then I got a scrap piece of paper and wrote on it: “finders keepers, losers weepers. This is yours now, so good luck.” I taped the penny to the paper and placed it inside of a book on the third shelf in the section that held all of my favorites.

As I walked home, I had a great time thinking of all the different kids who might find it. Imaginary friends, I guess you could call them. And then, whoever found it was probably going to try to imagine who had left it too.

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