#22 – Rubber Bands

Insert 'cuts' joke about a sport with balls here

Sometimes it’s the simple things that you find pleasure in; the satisfying click of a stapler, stomping in a puddle like a four year old or the compulsive addiction of ball in a cup.

For me, this pleasure lies in rubber bands. And in a not at all planned slice of convenient ‘Oh, how amazing you turned up just when we were about to show you 400 home videos of our grandparents snoring in Majorca’ luck, today happens to be 166 years to the day that the little blighters were patented.

Of course, everyone uses rubber bands; they’re a staple of any office-based landscape but are severely under-appreciated (at least until you really need one and can’t find one because you realise you’ve fired them all at arbitrary targets ranging from people to a disturbingly wide-eyed Tony Blair bust (yes they exist in offices, or at least did in mine).

It's just so hard to say no to his cute little face...

I’m not entirely sure there is anything you cannot do with a rubber band. There must be a reason why they’re always overbought by workplaces around the world, other than extreme boredom. But no, all these wonderful pieces of rubber are wasted being fired at anything in your path; co-workers, fiancées, pets currently on heat, areas where you pretend you aimed for. Their purpose is being exploited only to inflict pain and tiny impact marks on others. They can serve a much better purpose.

I’m sure there is a lot of interesting things about their history and manufacture to be said, but truth be told, that stuff interests me less than a day watching an ITV3 of the new most racist show on television, Midsomer Murders. I know what you’re holding out for, I can see the look on your faces. So here it is; a short list of great things to do with rubber bands outside of the usual ‘firing at people’ and ‘holding stuff’.

  • Cook some into a dish containing cabbage. The taste is so similar no-one will notice.
  • Give it to your pet rock as a playmate. He’ll never realise it’s not a sentient being; pet rocks aren’t known for their intelligence
  • Make a rubber band instrument. It’s likely you’ll sound better than Jack Johnson within approximately three minutes and 27 seconds.
  • If you can’t find a knife in the kitchen, squish the food with one so you can pick up more manageable chunks with just your mouth

A veritable feast of options; the versatility of the rubber band never ceases. Have a good tomorrow trying all of these out. And I mean all

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