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Tactical Ninja - I am the craft destroyer

Jan. 14th, 2014

09:56 am - I am the craft destroyer

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Six months ago I bought a glue gun. It was a pretty nice glue gun. Yes, was is the correct term here. Turns out that hammering your glue gun as hard as I have leads to an early death.




Careful observers will note that the bit where the glue goes in looks pretty munted. It didn't look quite as munted before I stuck a kebab stick in it to try and rescue what glue I could to finish a project. Instead there was just a big blob of glue on the side, because it seemed the path of least resistance was out the back instead of out the front. And no, it wasn't blocked. It was just buggered.

However, I think using low quality glue from the $2 shop probably didn't help here. And why was I using low quality glue? Funny story...

You see, Dr Wheel is also doing a project that involves lots of hot gluing, and it'd got to the point where he needed his own gun because I was constantly using mine. Had this not happened, I would never have known about the Bunnings weirdness. Bunnings being the place that sells glue guns and good quality hot glue. But it's a funny thing, they don't keep them with the adhesives, and it's really hard to find them without asking. So we both had to ask.

The answer they gave me? "With the craft stuff." Sure enough, there was a hook that should have held hot glue - empty. So I went and got some at the $2 shop because they actually had some.

The answer they gave Dr Wheel? "With the welding stuff." Sure enough, there were a multitude of glue guns and a pile of quality glue sticks. Which I found out later from him, and went back to get my new gun and sticks without having to ask.

So, I wonder why they told him welding and me crafts? I'm trying hard not to be uncharitable about gender assumptions here, but it's annoying just the same. *mutter*

Meanwhile in New Zealand, there's a Conservative tosspot named Colin Craig. He has a political party called the Conservative Party and he's all for those wholesome family values such as refusing to acknowledge Maori culture as relevant to New Zealand, refusing to allow gay marriage, and supporting traditional gender roles. Nobody would give a crap except that our current government, which has been slipping in the polls leading into an election year, has been courting this party as a potential coalition partner. Eek.

And yesterday, Craig got in the news for saying that NZ's anti-smacking law is stupid and that he smacks his children.

So what? Well, it depends on what side of the fence you're on really. Those who think the legislation is the government interfering with people's right to parent their children the way they want, are saying "Good on him." Those who think any kind of smacking is assault, are saying that Craig wants the right to beat his children.

This kind of shit really annoys me. To understand why, you have to understand a bit about the so-called Anti-Smacking law.

You can read the details here, but if you can't be arsed, it can be summarised as follows:

Prior to the institution of this amendment, 'correction of a child' could be used as justification for use of 'reasonable' force against a child.

After the legislation, it could not. Justifications still allowed include preventing harm, preventing crime, preventing offensive or disruptive behaviour, or 'the normal daily tasks incidental to good care or parenting'. Whatever that means.

The reason this legislation came up was that on several occasions, 'good parental correction' had been used successfully as a defence in child abuse cases that really should have been convicted. "I beat my kid to teach her" etc. And so, the law was changed to make it so someone who'd been smacking their kid round the head with a four by two could no longer say that it was for their own good, to make them better people. The last clause in the Act gives discretion to the police about whether to prosecute cases where offences 'are considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding.'

That's it. If you beat your kid, you can't use correction as an excuse any more. Normal parents won't be convicted for inconsequential smacking because that's a waste of public resources.

However, some people, some loud people, managed to convice quite a large majority of the public that this meant smacking your child is banned and that your neighbour could dob you in to the cops and you could be sent to jail for it. Never mind that last clause, eh? Leaving it to the discretion of the police? Can't have that! Everyone knows they can't tell the difference between smacking and beating! People will be jailed for being good parents! I was smacked and I'm ok!

*ahem*

The thing is, this supposed inability to tell the difference between smacking and beating is the entire reason the law came into existence. Most people do not beat their kids. Some do. And some, who have the money or the luck to have skilled lawyers, were able to convince a judge that beating their kid for their own good was ok. Now they can't. Personally I think that's a good thing.

I was smacked as a child. Not beaten. I know the difference. I remember an occasion as a teenager when a dressage whip was used on me (not by my parents), and that is definitely a case that would come under the new law. I tend to agree. It wasn't the whip that 'corrected' me, it was the surrounding stuff - the knowledge that I was in big trouble, that I'd been caught, that I'd betrayed a trust. The whip was nothing, unnecessary for my 'correction'. But it was assault with a weapon, and it left marks for a week.

That's the sort of thing that people who are up against child abuse charges are no longer able to get away with as a punishment for bad behaviour. A light smack on the bum, or a 'flick on the knuckle with a finger', whatever that means Mr Craig, is not going to result in the police charging in and taking your kid away. And to think so is to display a lack of understanding of the law that is somewhat embarrassing in a politician.

So when folks who I agree with about the value of this law start saying things like "Mr Craig wants the legal right to beat his kids" or even as I saw yesterday, "Mr Craig admits to beating his kids", they are in a sense displaying the same lack of understanding. I very much doubt that Mr Craig beats his kids, or even wants the right to. I doubt he wants others to have that right either. And to say so indicates an inability to differentiate between smacking and beating which concerns me quite a lot. Because it's the same lack of understanding Mr Craig has himself.

He thinks the law conflates smacking with beating, and that he could be arrested on beating charges for smacking.

These people are conflating smacking with beating, and saying that Mr Craig beats his children because he thinks smacking them is ok.

And if we continue to do this, there is no way we'll ever convince the likes of Mr Craig (and there are a lot of them) of the reality of this law, which is simply that people who beat (not smack) their kids can't get away with it in the name of discipline any more.

Having said all that, personally I don't think smacking or even finger-flicking (whatever that means) is a necessary or desirable part of parenting. I am embarrassed to admit that I hit (smacked) my kid twice as he was growing. On both occasions it was due to a failure on my part to exercise a) restraint and b) alternative options. I am proud to say that it was only twice, and that was very early on and I felt bad enough about it to learn better ways and discipline myself to apply them. Because I am a fucking adult.

However, my kid did get hit a lot, and some of that hitting would probably come under the law. I don't know the truth of it, but I remember an evening when he called me because he was hiding from his family because someone was on a rampage and he was afraid. That sort of thing makes me think it wasn't just a smack on the hand, eh? It took several years of hard work on his part to get away from the mindset where he would lie, cheat, deflect, withdraw, basically do anything to avoid provoking anger in authority figures. Because he'd been trained to avoid getting hit where possible.


There's a better way. And in my opinion, the existence of this law is making people think about those better ways. Even the smackers and finger-flickers are having to think about what hitting a kid, however lightly, actually means. That's a good thing.

So please, supporters of the law, stop accusing Mr Craig of beating his kids. You're a) wrong, b) devaluing the difference that the law exists to clarify, and c) cementing the idea in the minds of the public that this anti-beating-excuse law is actually an anti-smacking law.

K?

Comments:

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From:clytemenstra
Date:January 13th, 2014 08:59 pm (UTC)
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I got smacked when I was a kid - when I did something so bad and bratty that my parents couldn't quite believe it. But it was only rarely - very rarely. And if I knew I'd get smacked as a punishment, I didn't want to do it in the first place.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2014 09:10 pm (UTC)
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My Mum was the discipliner in our household. She would rarely smack us in the heat of the moment, instead we'd be told we were going to be punished and then later, she'd give us a couple with the jam spoon. It stung, but it was the waiting and the knowing that was the real punishment.

The threat of being hit wasn't what stopped us doing stuff, it was the fear of that wait. But without the hitting at the end of it, I don't know what would have filled the wait with fear.

With my own kid, I used disapproval as a lever because I'm not a fan of hitting children, or hitting in general. I can see an argument for how emotional manipulation is just as harmful as a punishment though, given the behaviours people will engage in in later life in order to gain approval.

So I don't think there's a simple, glib answer to 'how to discipline one's child, eh?
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From:zoefruitcake
Date:January 13th, 2014 09:06 pm (UTC)
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I'm sure your glue gun died happy with all that use
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2014 09:11 pm (UTC)
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And covered in bits of fluoro fun fur. What a way to go! ;-D
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From:riath
Date:January 13th, 2014 09:12 pm (UTC)
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I only ever smacked a child once, on the bottom. She was pulling my hair so hard I thought she was about to rip it all out. She couldn't be reasoned with, so one swift pop to the bum was enough to make her let go. It wasn't even a hard spank, it was more out of shock that she stopped. She never pulled my hair again, though she continued to do it to others for a while.

If someone is spanking their kids over every little infraction, then there is a problem there. But popping your kid on the bum or legs after they've tried to run into the road or stick their hand on the lit hob is sometimes the only way to get through to them that those behaviours are dangerous. Personally I would only do that as a last resort though and I would try to explain why they shouldn't do those things first.


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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, and the law very specifically allows for reasonable force in the prevention or minimisation of harm to the child or others. This is why those who have a problem with it are pretty much just demonstrating a lack of understanding of what it exists for, which is very specifically to prevent people who have already abused their children from using 'correction' as a justification in court.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:January 13th, 2014 09:27 pm (UTC)
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To be fair, the woman I asked at Bunnings about the glue guns had no idea and told me to ask the power tools guy. After I tracked someone down, he showed me where they are (it was my own observation that they were next to the welding gear!).

Maybe the glues guns used to be with the craft stuff and it was all moved to the power tools section (since it is a power tool!) and the person you asked didn't know about the change?



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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
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Maybe. I suspect glue guns suffer from indexing trouble - they are technically a power tool, but they tend to be used mostly by craft and electronics hobbyists. The craft section in Bunnings is quite new (as in, I've only noticed it being there the last six months or so) and my first instinct was to look in adhesives. You know, like the brushes are next to the paint? I figured the guns would be next to the glue, which would be with the other glues.

But noooooo....

;-)
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:January 13th, 2014 09:34 pm (UTC)
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I looked by adhesives first too!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
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There is no clear place in the world for the poor electric-powered adhesives..
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From:pombagira
Date:January 13th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
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ohh there is a craft section in bunnings... must go see...


*grins*
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2014 10:26 pm (UTC)
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It's tiny - maybe one section about 2 metres long. Doesn't have anything you can't get at Made on Marian, that I could see.
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From:pombagira
Date:January 14th, 2014 12:24 am (UTC)
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i need some 4cm crome rings... heavy.. i might have to go and investigate.. both places..i got my orginal ones at petes emporium in porirua.. could go there to..

*ponders stuff*
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From:tatjna
Date:January 14th, 2014 12:32 am (UTC)
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I'm pretty sure Marian has stainless ones, I was in there yesterday looking at their rings. If not, I get a lot of hardware type stuff from Lapco and GDL.
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From:pombagira
Date:January 14th, 2014 12:41 am (UTC)
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ohh.. pretty... i will get some..

*skips*
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From:heathersmoo
Date:January 13th, 2014 10:12 pm (UTC)
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Poor glue gun. Looks like it has been through the wringer!
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2014 10:15 pm (UTC)
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It pretty much has. Seems one of the inherent issues with hot glue is that everything sticks to it.

Still, for $20 I reckon 6 months' (ab)use is a pretty good innings. <3 my glue gun.
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From:pombagira
Date:January 13th, 2014 10:23 pm (UTC)
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so do you have a new industrial strength glue gun now?



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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2014 10:28 pm (UTC)
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Nope, it's the same one as before. But I'm going to try to avoid using low quality glue now I know where the good stuff is hidden. Also, I suspect that I won't be doing quite as much gluing once Tangle and Dangle are finished with, so hopefully this one will last a bit longer.
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From:Will Marshall
Date:January 13th, 2014 10:44 pm (UTC)
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I have an over-developed flinch response from bullying and various times my father hit me.

It's an interesting discussion every time someone becomes close enough to notice: since I don't have any other obvious neuroticism around violence.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC)
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Yep. Most people who've been hit a lot develop very good strategies for avoiding situations where it may happen. Being taken by surprise is about the only way this response becomes evident.
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From:fuvenusrs
Date:January 13th, 2014 11:32 pm (UTC)
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I got hidings when I was a kid, when I'd done something REALLY bad. However those hidings would only stop once I'd actually wet myself, so there was not only pain and fear, but shame as well. I really don't think these are adequate tools to use against someone who is half your size and defenceless.
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From:fuvenusrs
Date:January 13th, 2014 11:33 pm (UTC)
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Incidentally the hidings stopped once I got to be around 14-ish. "Too big to hit".
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From:tatjna
Date:January 13th, 2014 11:55 pm (UTC)
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I don't think they're tools at all, they're reactions from people who can't control themselves.
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From:Will Marshall
Date:January 14th, 2014 01:21 am (UTC)
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They are, however, often post-hoc rationalized as tools to save face.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 14th, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
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Which are then supported and condoned socially by other people who also want to save face. The law change was an attempt to stop this from happening.
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From:Will Marshall
Date:January 14th, 2014 08:14 am (UTC)
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FACES MUST BE SAVED, apparently.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 14th, 2014 08:19 am (UTC)
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YOUR face must be saved.
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From:fbhjr
Date:January 14th, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
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Sorry about the glue gun.

On the other thing, I don't think there is ever a clear answer.
But, i don't have kids, so don't know how I'd react to them.
My god kids for a week a year don't count.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 14th, 2014 08:19 am (UTC)
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Oh but the new one goes so beautifully!
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From:helianthas
Date:January 14th, 2014 01:46 am (UTC)
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That thing about the glue gun craft vs welding is ridiculous! They should've told you both both places to find it. Sheesh.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 14th, 2014 08:20 am (UTC)
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I am beginning to suspect that they didn't really know where to look and were just guessing.
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From:pythia
Date:January 14th, 2014 09:01 am (UTC)
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Urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh Colin Craig.
I was smacked maybe 3 times as a kid. It was very, very rare, and was only ever used in circumstances where I'd put myself or someone else in danger (and knew what I was doing was dangerous) or once when I deliberately broke all the windows in Dad's ute canopy. Ooops.
I agree, I don't think it's a necessary part of parenting, and my punishments always involved either a privilege being taken away from me (No friends over, no riding lessons, etc) or doing some kind of manual labour around the farm - mucking out all the horse paddocks instead of just mine, or something like that.
I found that I tended to be more respectful and better behaved than my peers who were smacked as kids.
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From:spotsofcolour
Date:January 14th, 2014 09:41 am (UTC)
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See, that first anti-smacking law seems ridiculous from the summarisation you gave, and I'm taking that the word 'reasonable' is a direct quote, and that is the problematic word. Reasonable is such a wishy-washy word it means nothing, so of course it was easy to claim that beatings were 'reasonable', because what does 'reasonable' even mean? It makes a lot of sense that the law was changed to clarify and tighten regulations on the matter.

It's always the loudest people who have the flimsiest grasp of the laws, and then who cause a lot of confusion over things like this.
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From:meathiel
Date:January 14th, 2014 11:54 am (UTC)
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I have to say I was smacked quite often as a kid - by my father. Who - in return - was beaten by his father. I see that now ... but he doesn't admit to it when you ask him. And it wasn't because I was such an unruly kid or whatever ...
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From:tatjna
Date:January 14th, 2014 07:46 pm (UTC)
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My Dad was also beaten by his father, and he refused to do it to us. He kind of went the opposite way and left all the disciplining to Mum.
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From:clashfan
Date:January 14th, 2014 05:58 pm (UTC)

or even finger-flicking (whatever that means)

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I'm pretty sure it means putting your index or middle finger against your thumb, then releasing it forward with force--as if you were flicking coffee bean off the table, or something. This is sometimes done to kids on their head (or arm or shoulder), usually as an instant corrective of a mild transgression.

(kid wanders off in a shop without telling parent he's headed to the toy section)

(parent finds kid, flicks his noggin hard) "Don't wander off! I was worried about you!"
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From:adam_0oo
Date:January 15th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
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Munted?
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From:tatjna
Date:January 15th, 2014 02:43 am (UTC)
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Totally wrecked. Can be safely applied to both inanimate objects and people who have overindulged in various substances. ;-)
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From:adam_0oo
Date:January 15th, 2014 03:38 am (UTC)
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OHHHH, That is a line in Sean of The Dead.
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From:laughingmagpie
Date:January 22nd, 2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
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It didn't look quite as munted before I stuck a kebab stick in it

Ha! I've totally been there, though I used a chopstick! Poor things.

I really, really wish craft and hardware stores would shelve things by type rather than based on their narrow views of "purpose". All paints should be with paints, all adhesives with adhesives, all tubing with tubes, all blades with blades, etc.

I find the best line to use in those places, when they ask why I'm looking for something, is to say, "I make props." That line seems to free their minds to think of all the places in the store the item might be, and most of them think props are cool.
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