Brown tape


50 years ago, when you drove to the store for packing tape, all of it was brown and had glue on it. You had to wet under the faucet or–if you were desperate–with your tongue.

I don’t even want to know what was in that stuff, but one of the ingredients tasted like it was dead.

Except for electrical tape.  That was black and stuck so well it didn’t want to come off the roll (tape doesn’t seem to like hot, humid weather 10 months out of the year).  I’m trying to remember if my parents owned one lamp or appliance that mom hadn’t uglified with a big black knot of electrical tape wound around part of the cord.

Fast forward on your cassette player to the present.

I’m sending a package to my daughter and found the perfect sized box.  Unfortunately, it has Puritan’s Pride written in green all over it, among other things.  

There’s nothing like a bit of brown packing tape to solve that problem.


My husband and I went to at least 3 stores.  We found pink tape with sparkles, plaid tape, purple tape with polka dots, and the ever useful camouflage tape.  Not one &$%#*& roll of plain, brown tape. 

Well, at least electrical tape still comes in black (among other colors).  

Rows and rows of tape in every imaginable size and color!  Who in hell wants bright neon yellow tape?  I mean…really?  What does one do with it?  Repair a wall?  Spell out a nasty word on the side of a building?  Maybe you could tape someone’s mouth with it during a kidnapping so the police could find where you’re hiding when they fly over your location in a plane?

Plain old packing tape made with paper seems to be as out of style as a 1957 Chevy with 2-toned green paint and a horn that would split your eardrums.  Man, I loved that car!

(But I digress) Packing tape, it seems, comes in 1 predominant color:  Clear.  


My husband finally found brown packing tape…at Wal-Mart.  But it’s no longer paper.  It’s this weird-ass plastic that’s translucent and feels like mylar.


The package is finally ready to send,  I think there’s 2 inches of bare box still visible.  And in 50 years when I have to send another package, I’ll have the tape to do it…..somewhere.