Domestic DIY effort meets sticky end

Many years ago when I was a bright-eyed young cricket writer, national cricket coach Martin Horton told me he found it incomprehensible that our players made exactly the same mistake every time they went out to bat.

I, too, was dumbfounded by this thing.

And, look no further than Ross Taylor, it hasn't gone away.

All the more incomprehensible then that I continue to work with Super Glue.

Super Glue was introduced to New Zealand with a spectacular television ad involving an elephant.

The glue was whanged on to the elephant's hoof, and then some utterly unbelievable thing happened, exactly what I am powerless to remember, except that it was utterly unbelievable, possibly the elephant hanging upside down from the branch of a tree, which had also been treated with Super Glue.

Naturally, we all raced out and bought this stuff to prove that our pshaws were based on actual action, not just rational thought.

And we were wrong, Super Glue really was super glue.

But a few of us didn't read the instructions on the tube.

I was one of those people.

In my harrowingly fat file of admissions to Accident and Emergency, almost all of them for serious life-threatening internal disease, there is one involving trying to separate a coating of Super Glue from a finger in the late 1980s which is just plain embarrassing.

It left a scar still scarily evident today, and a glob of finger skin now able to be viewed in the hospital museum if you know the right person to ask.

Undeterred by idiot error, I continued to work with Super Glue through the 1990s, and caused considerable mayhem around the house along the way.

It was an ongoing challenge to master this tiny tube of toxic adhesion, and while it was one I repeatedly failed, it only drove me onwards with white knuckles and a firm jaw.

The arrival of the quaintly named Happy Coins stores in recent years, where you can now buy ten tubes for just two dollars, has driven my metaphorical chariot still faster.

I am now standing Ben Hur-like aloft with long whip in each hand, driving towards Super Glue nirvana.

The task last Wednesday was to glue a wide split in the plastic case covering the switches above the range top.

I had limited minutes as it was the first game of the NBA finals, so there were only time-outs and half-time to get the job done before my wife returned home.

It was important I pulled this one off, the sign she had placed above the drawer where I keep my wallet, Do Not Buy Any More Super Glue, was beginning to scrag my craw.

I couldn't find any gloves, so I used a pair of black socks.

And I placed newspaper everywhere to prevent leaving any rock-hard droplets of Super Glue on crucial kitchen surfaces, something I had done before but not on purpose.

Who could ever have predicted the glue would seep through the socks to give me the webbed fingers of a duck? Or that the light switch case would stick to the newspaper? Or that black wool from the socks would stick to the light switch case and not come off when my webbed hand scrubbed it fiercely with my wife's emery board to try to make it look like I hadn't done a really bad job? Super Glue does not need to be this powerful.

It should be slightly powerful, able to make an elephant's hoof slightly sticky but not turn a man's fingers into a Japanese fan.

It needs to have something easy to break down its adhesion.

I'm thinking water.

And it should not be sold at two dollar shops where just anyone can walk in and buy; you should have to pass a home handyman intelligence test.

And I would be entirely happy to fail that test, because I do not ever want to work with Super Glue again.


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