Friday, June 5, 2015


The things man invents!  Does everything have both a good side as well as an evil side? No doubt you can find many situations where some invention has its pluses and minuses. Such love-hate relationships!


It’s a crazy relationship, that little tube and me. Whenever we meet I always get the short end of the stick, in other words, I loose big time!

It was early in the 1970’s the first time I saw the commercial of the guy in a hard hat hanging from a steel girder; I knew that was for me.  There were so many things to repair, but my savior definitely had other ideas as we entered into the love-hate relationship that we still enjoy today.
Remembering the thrill of the hunt as I headed into the hardware store on my quest for the magical fixer, my stomach takes a turn as visions of embarrassing and painful moments flash before me.
It was a lovely sunny morning in Salt Lake City and my partner and I had just won a doubles tennis match which left me feeling able to conquer anything.  Rushing home to shower and change in time to teach my Weight Watcher class at 11:00 always gave me a lift, but today was special. Tennis partner Caroline and I finally found our rhythm, and we trounced our nemesis for the first time.
I showered and dried my hair, grabbed a quick snack and went to get dressed. Reaching for the closet door I accidentally hit the door with my forefinger and broke my fingernail halfway down the nail bed. It really hurt, and I knew that a Band-Aid was not going to do the trick. I needed a quick fix and thought – CRAZY GLUE!

I ran to the garage to get my tube of glue and went into the bathroom to find my bottle of acetone polish remover. I took off my robe as I didn’t want to get any acetone on it. I sat on the edge of the bathtub, dressed in panties and bra, hesitating before starting to remove the polish, figuring this was going to hurt, but it had to be done. I screamed as the acetone hit my bleeding nail. I heard a scratching on the bathroom door. Sure enough there was Mitzi our little Pomeranian-terrier mix who came to see why I was making all that noise. Leaving the door open so she could watch would eliminate her scratching the door as she always did. So she sat in the doorway and watched me finishing with the acetone.

When finished I returned it to the cupboard under the sink. Sitting back down on the bathtub and crossing my legs to raise my hand by laying it on my knee, Mitzi barked at me. Could this dog be trying to tell me something?  I opened the tube and as directed broke the seal, where upon it spewed glue into the air which promptly landed on my hand gluing it firmly to my knee. Reaching for a towel while still holding the tube of glue, it spewed again going between knees. Trying to wipe it up before anything stuck was not a smooth move. There I sat on the edge of the bathtub with a hand towel stuck to my knees, my knees stuck together, with a hand stuck on the top of my knee and a broken nail throbbing after contact with acetone and glue. I reached under the sink for the bottle of acetone and screamed with pain as my legs could not decide which one was going to relinquish its skin. Mitzi started barking and dancing up and down, and I was trying to figure out how in the heck I was going to get unstuck and make it to my class in a half an hour.

Rolling off the bathtub would put me close enough to the door of the cupboard so off I went and just remembering the pain makes me want to cry. Screaming and crying brought the dancing dog to lick my face, then she licked my hand and the taste of the glue made her stop and the look on her face said, “Lady you’re on your own”, as she backed up to the door and promptly sat down on the threshold, where she would look at me shake her head then let out a bark. I really think she was laughing.
I made it to the cupboard door and low and behold I was lying on my left side where I landed on my arm, which was the only mobile one, and commenced trying to get my arm from under my body which meant a lot of screaming and barking.

Finally my arm was free but there was barely enough room to open the door and hopefully enough room to pull the bottle of acetone through. Yeah, just barely made it, but now what? In order to save the carpeting meant getting into the bathtub. I didn’t know if there was enough acetone in the bottle to do the job and didn’t want to waste any. I practiced some self-hypnosis, a technique that I had learned when pregnant. Soon I was in the bathtub with a lot of screaming and barking.

It was a long process of dripping acetone between my knees until I finally pulled them apart with out loss of skin, it just hurt like hell. Next came my hand. Noticing that my nail was glued and that it looked stable gave me some comfort. All told it took 45 minutes to become unstuck. I called the Weight Watcher Center and told them I had a little accident and would be delayed for another 15 minutes. I was told that was okay because there was a full house and they were still weighing and checking in. After finally arriving in one piece, the first thing the clerk said to me as I reached for the check-in cards, “Lee what happened to the polish on your nail?”
“Strange,” I said, “It came off in the bathtub.”
Over the years, due to Super Glue, I have had so many things stuck to other things that had no business sticking to those things. There are spots on cabinets and dressers where paint and finishes are gone because I had to chisel something off their surface.

While visiting my with my son in England, once again I was confronted with my old enemy.  Reaching for something in a cupboard, I broke a fingernail down to the quick, again! A search turned up a tube of the English version of Crazy Glue, but this time I would be smart and hold my hand over the sink. This tube had been opened, and now we had glue hardened at the opening and nothing wanted to come out. I found a pin and poked the opening.  I squeezed, nothing, squeezed again this time really hard. Once again the spewing glue found its way between my fingers and the one finger trying to hold my fingernail in place.  Trying to lift my middle finger from my forefinger was useless. At least I had a thumb and little finger to try and grab something. But there was nothing to grab, since my son doesn’t wear polish; he had no need for acetone.

Learning the hard way that polish remover without acetone does not remove crazy glue, I set out for the neighbor next door in hopes that she would have some acetone. Hope was dashed when she looked at my hand and burst out laughing. She shook her head and explained that she just goes to the nail salon in the village and they take care of all the messy stuff. She would have offered to drive me to the village but her car was in the shop. I was getting frantic as it was nearing time to leave for my appointment with the counselor. Maybe the counselor could tell me why I continued to have long fingernails, which on occasion brought me nothing but pain and embarrassment.

While waiting for my son Chris to arrive I tried every thing imaginable. Running hot water over my skin until I couldn’t stand it any more did nothing but give me red skin that hurts. Chris soon arrived and in his military problem-solving manor, assessed the situation and told me he would be right back. He took off and in 15 minutes was back with a bottle of acetone from the salon in the village. It took about ten minutes to get me unstuck, and off we went to the counselor. Of course we were late, but he delivered me to the door, stating to the counselor “Sorry I was late, it took me longer than I thought to unglue her, and she can explain.”

Of course she laughed!

The next day I was at the salon in the village having my nail repaired and all my nails filed shorter than they had been in years, and yes she laughed!

It was just two weeks ago that after noticing that there was a crack in a cup handle I thought that this time I would be smart and not have my fingers any where near the glue except to hold the tube.  I turned the cup upside down on my wooden worktable and squeezed the little tube. Not only did it come out of the tip but it came out of the side and right between my fingers.

I ran to get my acetone and fifteen minutes later freed the tube from my fingers. While checking the cup handle, it was apparent that the glue had hit the crack, and it looked good. About an hour later as I walked by the table, I grabbed the cup, and it felt like my arm came out of its socket. The cup was firmly attached to the table. Looking closer I could see that a line of glue ran down from the handle and worked its way around the rim. Using a very thin knife and working my way around the rim, I freed the cup without using acetone.

It is my firm belief that Crazy Glue is inherently evil. It was invented by some demented person to insure that innocent people like me will suffer the pain and humiliation of thinking they can actually fix something with Crazy Glue. Except for my fingers it has never adhered to something I wanted to repair as advertised. How they got that guy in the steel hat to hang from that girder was a trick! The warning label should read, sticks only to human skin.

It is my fervent hope that if someone is reading this in a hundred years, they can benefit from my disasters or maybe crazy glue now comes in a spew-proof tube, or some genius invented anti-glue.

Lee V.
April 25, 2015

Thank you Lee!!



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