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Life isn't an action movie where the quick thinking techno-geek saves the impossible mission with a jury-rigged device made of eucalyptus extract and cotton swabs. Everyday existence can be a string of embarrassing, poorly timed mishaps that can be minimized by an average thinker and a self-proliferating supply of twist ties. As a twenty year veteran of the middle school wars and a tool poor homeowning handyman, being wired is nor a reference to how much coffee I drink. Following is an incomplete list of twist tie inventions and the necessities that mothered them.

Clothes and Accessories

Tie clasp - Connecting a t.t. from a button to the back of your neckwear will keep it out of the drinking fountain, wash basin, your science experiment and anywhere staining or strangulation is a possibility.

Zipper fastener for pants or dresses - Indecent exposure will lose you your teaching certificate as well as your audience's composure. Securing the top of your zipper to a belt loop or some of the material will help get you through your lesson plan.

Collar stays - Not a common use for today's dress down instructors. Some of us just want our collars symmetrical especially in math class.

Broken strap repair - Backpacks, purses, cd players, shoes, suspenders, muzzles, etc. are a major annoyance when you have to carry them in your hand.

Shoelaces - I've had very good success with the twist tie cousin, that yellow shark-toothed binding plastic where you thread the pointed end through the hole and tighten until secure. My athletic shoes will survive the entire basketball practice.

Eyewear frame repair - three inch t.t. wire is the perfect gauge for those tiny holes that those tiny screws fall out of.

Watchband linkage - This takes some minor engineering but a for a temporary fix I've had some success.

Necklace clasp - I have several chains that are now permanently t.t.ed together.

Cufflinks - The question here is, do you remove the remaining one so you can have a matching t.t. set?


Home & Garden

Toilet flusher flap linkage - I saved at least fifteen dollars by not buying the entire kit for one new chain. Attach the rubber or chain puller thing to the arm that's attached to the flush handle.

Emergency latches - All the small pets (hamsters, mice, birds, lizards)collected or purchased by my children have expensive cages that the critters can escape from. Wire 'em shut!

Small hole cleaner - Faucet screens, Playdough toys, misters, aerosol cans, glue bottles, etc., were all designed to clog up. Don't toss them out. Poke them clean with a t.t.

Vine supports - Indoors or out a good plastic covered t.t. will withstand any abuse and your plants and vegetables will thrive.


Crafts

Ornament hangers - Every holiday seems to have doodads that always look better hanging around. I've hung a million Christmas decorations Holloween spiders, birthday streamers and balloons,as well as, retirement, anniversary, wedding, and funeral decorations.

Hole makers for egg blowing - This one really worked ( I know a toothpick is recommended).

Bead stringing leader - Beaded bracelets, trim, and mementos are quickly assembled with a small gauge t.t. that helps tame those rolling, bouncing baby beads that people ooh and ah over.

Fine line painting - I build models and using a t.t. is great for striping that custom '57 Chevy.

Glue applicator - Glue dot here, glue dot there and my models look pretty good without a wipe streak.


Miscellaneous

Orthodontic braces repair - I didn't try this myself but it caught on in my Language Arts class when there was a spate of emergencies right before I handed out the final exam.

Floppy disk retrieval - A six inch heavy gauge t.t. will fit nicely in that little hole and release the catch that will spring your tax return disk free.

Drawstring leader - Rethreading the lace through your parka, gym shorts, swimming trunks, laundry bag, velvet jewelry pouch, etc. becomes a lot easier when you have something that pushes through the cloth passage.

I realize that I have yet to scratch the surface of twist tie utility. As I sit here cleaning my nails with a plastic covered six incher, I know that there are new frontiers to conquer with my most useful tool.