In my experience with East Texas Rednecks and their sons, Good Ole Boys, I have found that they are generally good at repairing what ever breaks. They seem to be able to figure out how a gadget works and what needs to be done to fix it. In recent years, most have narrowed down their list of repair tools to only two items, WD-40 and Duct tape.
The general theory they use is twofold: 1. If something moves and is not supposed to, repair it with Duct tape. 2. If something does not move and is supposed to move, spray it with WD-40. To them, these are miracle products which will make temporary repairs a snap. They can get back to their pastime of hunting and fishing.
Let’s take a closer look at these two repair products:
WD-40 is a product that was developed in 1953 by Dr. Norman Larson, the founder of Rocky Chemical Company in San Diego, California. Mr. Larson was looking for a formula to displace water and prevent corrosion in nuclear missiles. The Atlas missile program was just getting started and water and rust was a serious problem.
The official name for WD-40 is “Water Displacement, 40th formula”. On the fortieth experiment, Dr. Larson discovered the correct formulation of the product that has expanded to include many more uses than it was originally designed to do. The top ten uses of WD-40, according to a recent survey, are:
1. Protects silverware from tarnishing.
2. Removes road tar and grime from automobiles.
3. Keeps flies off cows and horses.
4. Loosens stubborn zippers.
5. Cleans and restores chalk boards.
6. Keeps bathroom mirrors from fogging.
7. Keeps pigeons off balconies.
8. Removes duct tape.
9. Catches fish – spray on live bait or lures to attract fish.
10. Treats fire ant bites – takes the sting away instantly.
Duct Tape was developed during WWII by Revolite Company, a division of Johnson & Johnson. It was an adhesive made from rubber based material which was applied to a durable duck cloth backing. It was excellent at resisting water and was used as sealing tape on ammunition boxes during the war. It was first called Duck Tape. The reason? It was related to the cloth cotton duck fabric. It had the water proof characteristics of a duck, and was influenced by the amphibious military vehicle DUKW, pronounced “duck”.
It was not until the air conditioning and heating units became popular and service men used the duck tape to seal the joints in the air ducts that the product’s name was changed to “duct tape”.
Duct tape performs its job so well that it has been stowed on almost every space mission since the Gemini days. In fact, over the years duct tape has been used by astronauts to make emergency repairs to the space ship or the moon rover. Astronaut Ed Smylie remarked in 2005, “One thing a Southern boy will never say is ‘I don’t think duct tape will fix it.’ In fact, I feel a sense of relief to know that I have several rolls of duct tape on board.”
These days you can find Duct tape in many different colors for those who want to add a little sophistication to their project.
So, it would appear that the Rednecks have made wise selections in their repair kit. Actually, if a Red neck with Duct tape or WD-40 can’t repair an item, then it is not really worth saving. You may as well throw it away.
“REDNECK REPAIR KIT”
BY: NEAL MURPHY
PO BOX 511
SAN AUGUSTINE, TX 75972