Cornflakes, the world’s best glue…


Does the holiday season always seem to involve glue? I suppose presents littered about the floor like plastic landmines, mixed with your best china on the table, kids so hopped up on sugar they could give Usain Bolt trouble at the 100 metres and unstable guests who have spent six hours gargling your booze, means that people inevitably fall over and things get broken. Yet despite claims that new superglues can attach a hippo to a space rocket on lift off, in my experience no glue ever works. In fact the only thing glue is brilliantly good at, is unsticking my temper.

...and another thing

My father came from a generation that fought in the war and so never threw anything away. Our cupboards were full of mugs with brown carbuncles of glue fixing the handles or plates with a brown vein running across a crack. Such was his faith in Bostik and Evostick (the Coca Cola and Pepsi of the 1960’s glue wars) that he would have gladly flown up to help the Apollo 13 mission with a tube, confident it would have solved the problem.

The only thing I remember about those glues were:

a) You could make little girls shriek as you pretended to peel a layer of skin off your hand that was simply a thin covering of the brown goop.

b) Using a straw you could blow a blob like a glass maker and make cheap balloons.

c) Unless you had fingers like a brain surgeon your fingerprints were immortalised on the plastic models you tried to build.

d) Sniffing the stuff was guaranteed to get you stoned…but if you did it too often the only thing it could stick was you in hospital.

...and another thing

Our faith in glue however seems unshakeable. The average American apparently uses 40lb of the stuff a year! Who are these people? My wife thinks I have a problem as I buy two or three tubes a year with not enough gook to glue my Christmas stamps. Yet it’s a $50 billion business. I am sure there is some industrial strength stuff out there that does work but glue seems like medication; unless you get a proscription for the good stuff, the over counter offering has all the strength of a second hand teabag.

However, I will admit it took the Italians to find a really socially beneficial way of using superglue. The sale of the stuff skyrocketed when the Italian Police introduced their Curby Grips (The Denver Boot, Wheel Clamp or whatever you call it). Every Italian felt it was his civic duty to buy a tube and whenever he saw a clamped car squeeze the content into the lock. The result was the Italian parking police had to hacksaw off the clamps and it cost the government a fortune permanently having to buy more they stopped using them!

As for cornflakes? Have you ever left a cornflake to dry in a bowl after a midnight snack of your favorite Kellogg’s cereal? You need a chisel to get the thing off. Without doubt the world’s best glue.

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