In Memoriam Ms. Tape

Friends, Family, and Harrisburg High School class of 2010, we gather here today to celebrate the life and legacy of Ms. Tape.

I was first introduced to Ms. Tape in health class during my sophomore year. Mr. Hufstuff displayed a long piece of packing tape to the class. The fluorescent lights shined through her proud translucent figure.

“Everyone, this is Ms. Tape. Notice how pure she is, but watch what happens to her purity after she gets a little too close to Paul,” Mr. Hufstuff leaned toward Paul Lampanelli, who was sitting at the front of the class, pressed Ms. Tape against Paul’s arm, and pulled her back to reveal a cloudy residue and some of Paul’s arm hairs. Paul grabbed his arm in pain.

Mr. Huffstuff displayed Ms. Tape to the class a second time. “Now that Ms. Tape has been hanging around Paul, she is less pure because she carries traces of Paul.”

Paul examined his red, patchy arm while the rest of the students were instructed to pass Ms. Tape around the room and press her sticky body against our forearms. As I waited to press the dead skin cells and tiny arm hairs of thirteen students against my own, I imagined Ms. Tape as a real person, slightly older than me, who kissed a few too many boys and did the sex cocktail of things we are supposed to remain abstinent from and lost herself in the process. The damage was irreparable. I felt squeezy.

When it was my turn, I placed her once radiant exterior against my arm and peeled her off without much stickiness left. Up close, she seemed like a different person, or object. Tired, used, depressed. She didn’t ask to be passed around like this. I couldn’t help but wonder what the real Ms.Tape was like beyond the forearm floozy she was made out to be.

After contracting my second round of HPV in college, I thought of Ms. Tape again. Was she still being pressed against the skin of pubescent teens? Was she the adhesive on one of Ms. Hufstuff’s posters promoting the totally optional but highly recommended prayer circle after school, or was she sent to a recycling plant and reincarnated into a purity ring?

I decided to reach out to Ms. Tape to let her know I was thinking about her and to wish her well.

This was her response:

Dear Hannah,

Sorry about the HPV. Four in five sexually active people get it. I cannot say I have ever had that specific sexually transmitted infection, but I was once applied to the forearm of a kid after he had been, I can only assume, dared to coat his entire body in peanut butter.

HPV typically goes away on its own. So talk with your doctor, and keep your chin up. Despite what you were led to believe in your health class, this doesn’t make you a whore, a slut, or the devil. My body, intended to be exclusively used to package boxes, was a horrible visual aid to illustrate what is a very natural, human experience. 

To respond to your curiosity, no, I was not turned into scrap and remade into a purity ring. Although your question makes me wonder what it would be like to be a purity ring and perhaps grace the finger of a drummer in a midwestern christen rock ensemble. Being a rockstar sounds delightful, but I no longer wish to be a pawn used by institutions that are super weird about sex.

I remain a piece of tape, and of that, I am proud.

After your health class, I was placed in a loosely tied garbage bag outside your school. The wind picked me up and blew me into the sky where I was caught by a raven headed to New York City.

New York City. What a beautiful place it is. I was awestruck by the tall buildings, the whimsy of Broadway, and the beauty of Central Park. Heck! I got to see Fred Armisen eating a Turkey sandwich on a bench in Strawberry Fields.

I was especially enamored by Wall Street. Observing the busy people racing against time excited me, Hannah! Through trial and tribulation, I managed to blow into The New York Stock Exchange during trading hours by surfing a lucky gust of wind. Let’s just say my cloudy body made a 1 look like a 7 and stock prices soared through the roof!

I was immediately given a job, and after I proved I had the tenacity to stick around, I was promoted to VP with my own corner office overlooking Battery Park and The Hudson River. After being involved in a few legal troubles due to my non-human state, I decided to take my pursuits to The NYU School of Law. Upon graduation, I was placed on the U.S Plastic Corp vs. New York case and recently won the renowned Feminists Against Barstool Sports vs. Barstool Sports. Now, I am a high-powered lawyer, living in a penthouse on the Upper East Side. My two purebred dachshunds are my only children, and Chef Eduardo is my only real confidant lately. Sometimes success can be lonely, Hannah, but you just have to remind yourself of where you came from.

Treat yourself well. If my experience with law has thought me anything, morality is in the eye of the beholder.

Take care and have awesome sex,

Ms. Tape, Attorney at Law

We began to send letters to each other often. She helped me get through HPV, college, breakups, job loss, and bangs. But I was so focused on myself that I neglected to ask her about her. I didn’t realize she was yellowing. I didn’t know how that all worked. She had held on for so long, I assumed she’d hold on forever.

Because I was her last correspondence before she died, Ms. Tape’s doorman sent me a letter informing me of her passing and attached the pedigree papers for her two dachshunds. That is why I address all of you today with Rascal and Beowulf at my sides.

Looking around, it is clear that Ms. Tape had an effect on us all. Among the many notable attendees, we have representatives from Feminists Against Barstool Sports sitting to my right, Barack and Michelle Obama sitting in the front row, and the entire Utah Jazz basketball team in the balcony. Ms. Tape would be pleased to know she made a lasting impact.

On your way out, please feel free to take an item from the seven large tubs by the doors, all donated by Ms. Tape’s estate. From left to right, there are condoms, lube, vibrators, dildos, butt plugs, whips, and pamphlets on consent. In Ms. Tape’s words, “Go nuts.”

Thank you all for coming to celebrate the life and legacy of my dear friend and mentor. Ms. Tape didn’t let the beginning of her story define her outcome, and we too have the opportunity to take control of ours.

Happy fucking.

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