Someone Really Should Have Solved This By Now

>> Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Today I'm experiencing the miracle that is superglue. Okay, to be fair, I'm sure superglue is a trademark of somebody or other, and I'm also sure that I'm using some generic brand that is not technically called "superglue," but honestly, for purposes of this blog, they are all the same. Really. I wish they weren't.

Please excuse any typos you might see, because I have a thin white film over most of my fingers that makes it difficult to bend them. You see, I had to repair a Toddler toy today, and only superglue would do, despite my fervent wishes otherwise.

You would think that a human society that sends spacecraft to other planets and will send people to Mars in Toddler's lifetime could create a tube of superglue that can be used more than once. Alas, no, not yet. Every tube, no matter what the package claims, is really only usable once because as soon as you put the lid back on, the lid will almost certainly glue itself to the tube permanently. Every once in a great while you might get lucky enough to get two uses out of a single tube (perhaps because the tube has dual openings?) but I've yet to see anyone get three uses out of any tube. I have heard claims, but I have never seen the proof. I strongly believe that this fundamental flaw in superglue dispensing is why most brands will offer the consumer the opportunity to buy two tubes in one package. At least then you are guaranteed two chances to fix the same toy.

The most forward thinking superglue packages are those that have both the glue and the antidote in the same package.

I didn't buy one of those.

I wish I had.

I will probably wish this for several days.

Many brands of superglue dry clear. This one apparently turns white on contact with human flesh.

On the other hand, even if I had bought the superglue antidote, there as no one around but Toddler to administer it, so it wouldn't have helped much.

Here is what happened:

I tried to remove the cap on the tube to expose the dispensing spout. (Fat chance because it had already been used once before.) Instead of the cap coming off, the whole top began to separate, exposing the wider, toothpaste tube shaped opening. This was not good because the area I had to glue was very narrow, and anything that wide was bound to get glue everywhere. I needed a toothpick or something to apply the glue since the little spout was irretrievably glued shut.

Apparently, though, the accidental opening of the tube to the air released some sort of pressure or something, because glue began oozing out at an alarming rate. I had little choice but to coat the small area of the toy (plus the surrounding several centimeters) in a bold effort to save my countertop. Of course, in the process, the glue dripped all over my fingers. I instinctively ran both hands under water in the kitchen sink before the gooey mess had a chance to dry, but of course once the glue has made contact there is little one can do but spread it. By the time it hardened, I had managed to leave a nice film over five fingers and both thumbs. Thankfully I managed to separate all of these appendages from each other and anything else I cared about before they became irrevocably attached, but each one is nice and stiff now.

I'll admit that I've no brilliant ideas, but I would think by this day and age someone should be able to invent some kind of superglue dispenser that really works where and when we want it and no where else and won't drip even so much as a drop on the container so that it can't ever glue itself closed. After all, we have drawing products that only work on paper, and we have washable crayons and markers. Why can't we have superglue that repels itself from human flesh and won't stick to its own tubing?


Susan December 8, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

When the tube glue shut sometimes you can cut the very tip off with scissors but be careful because of the wider opening. Nail polish remover. I hope you have some. And water is probably why it turned white. You're better off wiping it off with a rag. Can you tell I've used a lot of super glue?

Karin December 8, 2009 at 6:03 PM  

Yes ... the wider openening is what got me. I just unscrewed the lid because the cap was stuck. Woops! Remind me to tell you the day I opened the bottle of bleach ....

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