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TRIVIAL PURSUITS

Duct Tape Duo Discovers a Sticking Point

September 14, 1997|THE WASHINGTON POST

The Duct Tape Guys, co-authors of the "Duct Tape Book" and its humorous sequel, "Duct Tape Book Two," have amended their thesis that a roll of the versatile adhesive strip is the only truly necessary tool.

"We'd said it's the only tool you needed in your toolbox, until the hinge rusted shut and we couldn't get the duct tape," says Tim Nyberg, who, along with his brother-in-law Jim Berg has sold about half a million books suggesting comic uses for the product. After someone told them to spray the balky hinge with WD-40 lubricant, Nyberg adds, the "WD-40 Book" was on its way. "They're the yin and the yang of your toolbox."

Their original inspiration: At a family Christmas gathering a few years ago, a power outage made for idle time around the darkened tree. Berg, a kindergarten teacher from Sturgeon Bay, Wis., joked that whatever caused the blackout probably could be fixed with duct tape, which led to a brainstorming session.

"In two days, we had come up with 365 uses," says Nyberg, a freelance advertising representative from Roseville, Minn., "so I illustrated it and sent it out to publishers."

"The WD-40 Book" (Bad Dog Press) pairs actual user testimonials sent in to the San Diego-based WD-40 Co.--"Prevents squirrels from climbing the bird-feeder pole"--with facetious applications imagined by the authors--"Prevents dogs from climbing on visitors' legs."

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