There’s nothing the Outlaw sisters can’t fix with a roll of duct tape, a pair of scissors, 30 minutes and Joshua, the English Shepherd, barking incessantly to be petted instead of watching our Gorilla tactics.

You’re thinking, “She misspelled that word. It should be guerilla tactics.” Actually, both spellings are appropriate. We used Gorilla brand duct tape, and our method of coercing the Honda Odyssey automatic sliding door to close required outsmarting a van door with a smidgen of stealth…guerilla warfare, if you will.


What prompted us to engage in these subversive adhesive tactics?

Following an outing, we helped my nephew Joseph out of the van, carted in the rest of the our leftover more-than-generous lunches from a local restaurant and then Calamity Jane went back outside to close the automatic sliding passenger door. The door kept stopping and emitting an annoying beep when it reached the halfway point on the rubber track.  Was the seat belt in the way? Did something fall in the track? Was the door lock accidentally engaged? No! After careful inspection, the Outlaw sisters realized that the rubber edging on the floorboard had a tear in it. The door’s automatic sensor refused to continue along the torn part.  Our comments of frustration must have upset Joshua, who barked at even greater volume. Perhaps he was attempting to alert us or he was voicing his innocence, since he had been accused of and proven guilty of chewing the siding on the house, his sofa/bed, two plush throws, about four cardboard boxes and two bags of charcoal briquettes. Ah, but I digress.


Calamity Jane, recalling the genius of Red Green, star of the PBS Red Green Show, decided that duct tape might just do the trick. Armed with a pair of scissors and a roll of Gorilla tape, she carefully applied some pieces along the rubber track. She pulled the door handle and the door started to slide. Success? No! The door stopped at the same torn area. She kept adjusting and reapplying the tape, but to no avail. The stubborn door would not move beyond the now-duct-taped tear. She was due to take the van to our mechanic for an oil change. But drive on an interstate with the passenger door open? Leave the van overnight at the mechanic’s parking lot so some car thief could just hop in the back seat, hot wire the van and take off?  We were getting desperate. Finally, I said, “Why don’t you put a piece of the tape vertically over the tear and secure the long end of it onto the floorboard above the door track?”  She tried it and we crossed our fingers, hoping we would not have to resort to having the van towed or trying to squeeze it in the garage overnight so no one would see the gaping/open door passenger side. She pulled the handle and the door began to slide. It crossed the duct tape and continued along the track to close securely! Success! We high-fived each other and promised to write to the Gorilla corporation to let them know we found a new use for their excellent product.

Joshua stopped barking and plunked his 85-pound derriere on the doorstep so we’d have to pet him to get back in the house. Happy ending for all.

duct tape



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