Back when I was growing up, CB radios were quite popular for a time, probably due to the influence of movies like Smokey and the Bandit. This was long before cell phones and widespread use of the Internet, of course.
People even adopted “handles” – nicknames to use while on the air. We had a mobile CB at one point. I did not get to play with it too often, though, because I had a bad habit of accidentally breaking things.
The first time I tried the CB, I was about three-years-old. My family gave me my handle.
You see, besides breaking things, I also had a bad habit of using up an entire roll of tape at one sitting.
Looking back, I guess I am fortunate they did not name me the Charmin Roll Kid for similar reasons.
I am not sure why I needed so much tape. Maybe to patch back together whatever it was I had just broken.
Anyway, whenever I could get my grubby hands on it, I would grasp the CB microphone and repeat over and over, “Breaker, breaker 1-9. This is the Scotch Tape Kid, come on in, come on in” and wait for someone out there in CB-land to answer.
I never did get any replies on the CB. For all I know, my family did not even have the thing turned on.
Three or four years later, I was over my friend Danny’s house. Looking through the toys in his room, I discovered that he had a walkie-talkie. Just one. Its twin was lost or broken, I guess. He said he never used it anymore.
I believed in making the best use of whatever materials may be available. In fact, I still believe this way.
Unlike my friend, I knew there was still fun to be had from a single walkie-talkie. I turned it on and started right into, “This is the Scotch Tape Kid, come on in, come on in.”
He laughed at me. “That won’t work,” he said.
I kept trying anyway. We kids had to entertain ourselves back in those days.
“This is the Scotch Tape Kid, come on in, come on in.”
After several minutes of this, I was just about to give up when I heard, faintly…
“Go ahead, Scotch Tape Kid.”
Danny immediately grabbed the walkie-talkie from my hand. “It’s mine!” he said.
As he tried to raise the phantom voice, a fight for the walkie-talkie immediately ensued. I was eventually able to wrest it away from him.
As he ran off to tell his mom, I tried one last time.
“This is the Scotch Tape Kid, you still got your ears on out there?”
The spell was broken.
Not too long after that, I received my own set of walkie-talkies at Christmas. The only person I was ever able to get ahold of on those, though, was my little sister. And who would want to talk to her?
This is the Scotch Tape Kid, signing off. Over and out.