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Show your old buddy VHS a fun time on its way out

November 13, 2005|Casey Dolan

CAN'T tear yourself from the comforting smell of polyethylene terephthalate encased in a durable plastic box? Does the sight of ribbons of videotape put you in a state that the gold and silver disci of DVDs fail to match? Don't really feel like hauling your once-treasured collection to a VHS recycling outlet? Here are a few creative uses for that ever more outdated technology:

* Line them up for a game of Dominos Grande from bedroom to kitchen, invite the neighbors over and watch the fun as the laws of physics take over! Granted, this is somewhat labor-intensive for short-term amusement, but, then, isn't life?

* Construct shelving for your new DVD collection! Of course, this isn't a Lego set, and there are no dovetail joints. Tape cassettes will have to be super-glued together and the amount of glue necessary may send you to the hospital with toxic inhalation.

* Paper the walls with the tape; stack the old casings as a stepladder to reach the high spots. Call it High-Tech Goth. It will make the room a trifle dark, but the glow from your new DVD player should brighten things up.

* Use the tape as ribbon for -- what else? -- your Christmas DVD gifts. What fun you will have. Little Petunia will never suspect that "Dawn of the Dead" encircles her "Bambi."

* Use the hard-shell cases as containers for the rhinestone jewelry collection given to you by your punk boyfriend Johnny. Perhaps the cases can be papered in colorful patterns? In fact, they can house many items -- a fisherman's flies, for example.

* Those pesky ribbons of tape might work well as insulation material. Certainly a better bet than asbestos above your rafters beckoning the hazmat inspectors. Then again, the tapes' extremely flammable composition might make them the least desirable material.

* The marvelous deceit of VHS boxes is that they promise to contain something they may actually not. You might own an old video box of "Wings," you cineaste you, with Clara Bow and Buddy Rogers looking forlorn before a background of biplanes. Who's to know that inside are dice, matchbooks and crumpled liquor store receipts? The tape itself was recycled long ago and never replaced by a DVD (it's not available yet). But you always liked the box. And there it stands on your shelf proclaiming to all that you know your film history, by golly!

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