Between the Lines

Between the Lines by David Lias I have often been plagued by this burning question � who will be the next MacGyver?

If you go way, way, way back to the mid-1980s, there was a television show by that very name.

It�s central character was (who else?) MacGyver, who had to be one of the unluckiest former secret agents on the planet.

The plot was always the same. He seemingly would, by accident, stumble into the plot of some evil-doers. Since he wasn�t exactly a visionary when it came to this sort of thing, it happened to him time and time again.

And, naturally, he was never prepared for it.

He had no secret weapons stashed away up his sleeve.

Usually all he had was a Bic pen, an old piece of chewing gum, and two popsicle sticks to rub together in case he ever had to build a fire.

By using these simple household items and his scientific knowledge, he demonstrated how to defuse a nuclear device, cut through a solid steel door, stop an acid leak, and boil a three minute egg.

It�s been over a decade since MacGyver used a magnet and a piece of aluminum foil to cause a villian�s nuclear missile to crash harmlessly in the ocean.

Ironically, all he was trying to do at the time was improve his television reception.

But I digress.

I had all but given up hope that we would ever be exposed to such ingenuity again.

But then along came Alexis Hilkemeier, and Kayla Larson, both students at Mitchell High School.

Mitchell High held its prom last weekend. And Alexis and Kayla decided to tackle the challenge of preparing for the special event in true MacGyver fashion.

They didn�t go from one dress shop to the next, looking for the perfect gown.

Nor did they sit for hours at a sewing machine to design a dress with fabric and thread.

They simply went to the hardware store, and bought lots and lots of duct tape.

I�m not making this up. They made their dresses out of the stuff.

�It probably took four to five hours from start to finish to make both the dresses,� said Alexis, an MHS senior.

The idea to design a prom dress out of duct tape was prompted by a scholarship list sent to Alexis. She and Kayla will be eligible to participate in the fourth annual Duck� brand duct tape Stuck at Prom� Scholarship Contest, with the chance to win $2,500 each for college.

One�s imagination can run a bit wild when thinking about how they successfully got themselves into this sticky situation.

It�s likely that they didn�t actually wrap their bodies with tape. They probably began by fashioning a plain cotton liner of some sort.

When I first read this story, I expected the two girls were decked out in two rather bland-looking, gray-colored dresses.

Little did I know that duct tape comes not only in multiple colors, but multiple �categories� of hues, including primary colors, flourescent shades and �natural� and �neutral� colors.

Alexis and Kayla probably don�t realize that they�ve done much more than make a fashion statement.

Their tale of the tape provides us all hope, that, yes, someday, somewhere, when we need a �MacGyver,� we�ll know where to turn.

Plain Talk Editor David Lias usually cries for help after getting tangled up in plastic wrap while trying to prepare leftovers for the fridge. You may contact him at

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