First of all, the the fact that MacGyver was a fictional television character, which therefore clearly gives great irony to the title of this blog post, is not lost on me.
If you were not a fan, a quick perusal of the show’s Wikipedia page will tell you that MacGyver was a secret government agent who:
A) Preferred non-violent resolution to fighting where possible.
B) Often refused to carry a gun.
C) Was educated as a scientist with a background as a bomb team technician in Vietnam. (really who isn’t these days?)
D) Was laid back, intelligent, resourceful, and optimistic.
Oh yeah… I forgot letter E.
E) He could also solve just about any problem known to man, short of disarming an atomic bomb, with everyday readily available materials and his ever present duct tape and Swiss Army knife. On second thought, I think he might have actually disarmed an atomic bomb at some point during season three.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what made MacGyver a real man. Sure his anti-violence approach was laudable. But hey, I know a lot of dudes who aren’t violent who also aren’t very manly.
Now MacGyver on the other hand… give that guy a pine tree air freshener, a tube sock, a paper clip, a ballpoint pen, a rubber band, tweezers, nasal spray, and perhaps a turkey baster or two and he was virtually unstoppable.
MacGyver was a real man if there ever was one because he knew how to improvise.
Which brings me to the topic my post today. Last night my lovely and talented wife decided she wanted to return something she bought on the internet. We still had the box and all of the shipping material so she called the company to find out how to go about returning it.
After a few minutes on hold and the joy that is Burt Bacharach hold music, the customer service rep answers and tells her that she’s called just in time. They have a 30 day return policy and today is day 30 so the guy schedules her a FedEx pickup for this morning and tells her to put the pre-addressed return label that came with the package on the box and leave it on our porch first thing in the morning.
Simple enough, right? To the ordinary reader, nothing about those instructions sounds too difficult. However, after scouring our home we could not find any packing tape to close the box up with. And this was a big box!!! (see below)
And that, my friends, is when my MacGvyer instincts kicked in. While there was absolutely no packing tape to be found in Casa de Mitchell, we did have a roll of blue painters tape, a bang load of Scotch tape, a clothes pin, a few thumbtacks, and a couple of drywall screws.
In the end, I eventually put the clothes pin, thumbtacks, and drywall screws back in the basket o’ random crap from whence they came. But I did make pretty good use of the painters and Scotch tapes. Though neither one was exactly what I needed, I found a way to improvise.
You see, the problem with painters tape is that although it’s very strong, it’s designed to not be very adhesive. So the painters tape by itself wasn’t going to seal the box. But the Scotch tape! Ah the Scotch tape… while not as handy as it’s distant cousin duct tape, it still continues to prove it’s muster in my life over and over again. What the Scotch tape lacks in strength, it more than compensates for in adhesiveness.
Which led to this:
Extreme? Probably. Effective? Time will tell. Awesome? Without a stinking doubt.
The perfect combination of sticky and strong found in not one, but two great tapes. On their own, neither would have been that useful. But together… oh what a different story.
I only wish I’d found a way to incorporate my Swiss Army knife.
That, fellow MacGyver wannabe’s, is exactly how you improvise. And if it’s not, well at least it’s a great object lesson on how two or more men can work in harmony to solve problems together that neither one is cutout to solve on his own. Yeah… or something like that.
At the very least, I hope the FedEx employee gets a good laugh at my tape job.
Be sure to tune in next week for my next post in the “Real Man” series titled, “A Real Man Doesn’t Need to Improvise Because a Real Man Always Has Packing Tape On Hand.”