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2001-08-08 - 12:57 a.m.

Behold, the power of duct tape

Should anyone need further proof of the amazing versatility of duct tape, I found out a new one today.

I know this is not news to some people; in fact, I realize that perhaps a lot of people know about this. And by "people," I mean guys, because I'm sure if I were to express my amazement to women, they'd just be like, "Yeah, it happens. Get over it."

So, apparently, sometimes women will tape their breasts together with duct tape to achieve cleavage. I find this fascinating, really the fact that a standard item in every hardware store in every small town in America can help with looking good and knowing it.

This came to me because of an e-mail I received that included a photo of four people two men, two women at a formal. One of the women has her arms around the shoulders of two taller people to either side, and her dress well, it's falling down a little, and there's the duct tape, all shiny and reflecting the flash. The text of the message reads: "Formal dress: $120.00. Dinner and drinks before formal: $80.00. Having a picture passed around on the internet that shows you duct taped your boobs together to achieve cleavage: PRICELESS." On the side it says "Mississippi State" and some fraternity or sorority formal. It's bad enough this is going around in an e-mail I'm not going to post it here.

I figure her date wasn't happy. Maybe he didn't get what he was expecting and is taking it out on her in spite. Maybe the other woman in the photo got pissed and is exacting her revenge.

But as my mind processed this fact of fashion, I came up with questions.

Under what circumstances do one wear a dress requiring such steps? A formal, I got that. But I'm talking about the date here, the guy. Is it a random date? A friend? A potential boyfriend, someone in whom she has an interest? Is it a long-time boyfriend? That leads to ...

Say it's a potential boyfriend, a guy she's interested in. Well, what if she's interested in him to the point where she'd fool around with him. There's certainly the chance there for him to find out, and wouldn't that be more embarrassing than any lack of cleavage?

If it's a long-time boyfriend, does he know? Or does the tape come off in the privacy of the bathroom (to a muffled scream into a towel, maybe?) before he'd see it. And does it leave a mark?

If it's a long-time boyfriend, is it really that important to impress everyone else?

Where does one pick up this trick? I imagine there are high school slumber parties in which someone passes along the knowledge gleaned from an older sister. Does it come up in The Talk with Mom? Why, when I asked one friend, she couldn't remember where she learned is it not that significant a moment in the development of a young woman to remember where she learned how to achieve the illusion of a larger bra size? What about older sisters, where do they get it? Do sororities teach it to pledges who do not know? I suppose now, too, there might be internet sites about it, or at least that mention it. I'm sure now I'll get Google hits for "duct tape breasts" (and here I should also say "duct tape boobs" just to increase my traffic).

Should I just forget it and come up with something better for an entry rather than spending all this time basically talking about breasts?

I understand that there are lots of things women do that guys don't, won't, can't and shouldn't understand. I don't necessarily think this is one of them, that I can't ask questions here. I just find it interesting. I wonder who first came up with it. I wonder how that idea got into someone's head.

I wonder where duct tape will go next.

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