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Yet Another Use For Duct Tape

I’m still amazed by how fast Porn Star caught on to my shadowing him that one night.

What I cruise around in is nearly non-descript. There are a gamillion automobiles identical to it out on the road -- same make, model, even the color is common. The only thing that might cause it to stand out from its counterparts is the deer whistles (shut up, they work) I’ve got on the hood, but those are removable. At the same time, while my headlights certainly aren’t anything special they are unique to the type of car I drive.

What if the Task Force men are on the lookout for my *Mustang? Assuming that they’re somewhat adept at vehicle identification, the distinctive glow from my front end might interfere with, and possibly put an end to, my night tracking.

As I watched the daylight surrender to nightfall on the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement building, I got to seriously thinking.

Could I somehow alter the way my lights appeared in the dark? If so, would such a masquerade be worthwhile? Time for a little experiment. Obviously the addition of light wasn’t practical; I wasn’t sure if that could even be done, period. But perhaps there was a way to cover up some of the illumination. I rifled through a toolbox of sorts I keep in my car and came across the roll of duct tape I carry around. Hmm

Duct tape is the all-time best product on the planet; there is pretty much nothing you can’t do with it.

I got out of my car, ripped off a big strip of the silver-colored adhesive and stuck it on one of the front lights. Duct tape, just so you know, when placed over something luminous is utterly transparent. I tried doubling it up. Still no good. Darn it!

Not to be defeated I got back in my car and dug around some more, this time coming up with coin wrappers from the glove compartment. Hmm… I affixed one to a piece of duct tape, got back out and slapped it in front of the light. Adequate concealment indeed. Perfect!

Combining the two items I crafted several strips into a pattern and strategically arranged them over my lights. Incredibly ugly but Voila! Total transformation. One of the men may be able to detect a car is following him but there’s no way in hell he’d identify it as a Mustang.

I figured the best person to try this out on would be a detective who’d spied me recently. When he departed, I tagged along behind him careful to do everything as I normally would’ve. Not a single snag. I might as well have been in Wonder Woman’s invisible jet for all the difficulty I had following him from point A to point B.

Although I doubt the investigator would’ve intentionally led anyone to where he went, there was a chance his failure to perceive me was unrelated to my trickery. He could’ve been distracted from rockin’ out to the Rolling Stones on the radio for all I knew.

For further testing (and amusement) I chose another Enforcement officer, whom I knew was also mindful of my mode of transportation, to follow. I tailed him for a significant distance with no indication of being observed.

Actually when he and I had gotten several miles into the middle of Nowheresville, I pulled over momentarily on the shoulder and ripped the makeshift cloaking off the lights. I reckoned that this move would cause him to believe the car that, if he’d noticed, had been at his rear all this time had turned off. Also I thought that if he now happened to identify the car behind him as a Mustang, it probably wouldn’t occur to him it was mine showing up all of a sudden this far out.

I watched him, too, arrive at his destination -- a place I doubt he, like his associate, would’ve willingly led anyone.

None of it proved my modifications had been beneficial but I felt that it justified additional effort and study.

At home later on I took some precise measurements of my Mustang’s lights and cut shapes out of paper for stencils. Sticking with the duct tape -- mainly for its flexibility -- and going with black spray paint rather than nickel wrappers to prevent the light from showing through, I produced a better version of the covers. They’re way prettier too! They can be attached to my car with electrical tape.

To date I’ve not been spotted once since I started using the things. I find it interesting but I’m still not convinced there’s any correlation; I believe the only way to truly know their effectiveness would be to speak with the JADE guys about it.

Uh-huh, you’re right; that’s probably never gonna happen.

*not my actual vehicle