What does a screen doorknob, a new pair of Nikes, a cantankerous zipper on a favorite winter jacket, a python snake in India and a naked burglar have in common?
They brought about issues that were easily solved by an application of WD-40. (The trade name, by the way, means “Water Displacement, 40th formula,” which means the inventors got it right on the 40th attempt). I have first-hand knowledge about the first three items noted above, but read about the other two on the internet.
The guess here is that many out there have a WD-40 story to tell. The product is that good. My story begins with a new pair of Nike walking shoes, which I was anxious to take possession of. My old walking shoes were flat “wore” out. My feet were hurting, my legs were aching and my knees, which I thought were good for my age, began to experience soreness.
I am going to interrupt myself here and insert a full disclosure vignette. For years I have found a way to remove my feet from lace-up shoes without having to untie when finished and then tie them up when I use them again.
How long does it take to lace up and tie the strings on a pair of comfortable-fit walking shoes? Probably less than a minute, but if you get the hang of slipping your shoes on and off without having to take the time to do all that tying and untying, it just seems to be more efficient and orderly.
Back to my new Nikes, which arrived serendipitously without shoe laces. They have a plastic zipper that runs horizontally on the inside top of your foot. Hot diggity dawg. What a godsend for one with a finicky idiosyncrasy. I opened the box, removed the shoes and slipped my left foot into this fabulous footwear. Then I engaged the zipper. Glory, glory, my foot has never felt better when putting on a pair of shoes.
Now to the right foot. Everything was fine until I engaged the zipper. Apparently, something minor was askew with the zipper. It only zipped half way. I kept fiddling with the zipper and finally got it zipped all the way. This zipper not working properly first made me think that I would have to go back to a pair of lace-up shoes. I was determined not to let that happen.
There had to be something in the way of graphite to solve my problem, I thought. That didn’t work, so I donned my worn out dock siders and took my cantankerous new shoe out to a local hardware store and asked the owner, a good friend, for assistance.
He had a couple of suggestions, but the product he had in mind was not in stock. I understood. How many customers out there would confess to having a shoe with a zipper in the first place and then to remedy a dysfunctional one would mean, when it comes to marketing, that he would starve to death even if he marked the product up beyond the cost of the shoe itself.
Finally, he shook his head and said, “I’m sorry. Don’t know what to tell you to do.” Suddenly I thought of WD-40. “We got plenty of that,” he smiled. Soon he rang up the cash register for the cost of a small can of the versatile product — about what a Diet Coke would cost you at a vending machine at a chain motel.
The WD-40 worked like a charm. My Nike zipper is no longer cantankerous, allowing me to wake up early in the morning and dress quickly and efficiently. My feet slip easily into my Nikes. I go downstairs, make a cup of coffee and belly up to the computer. When daylight comes, I engage the zippers on my Nikes and enjoy a comfortable walk around the neighborhood.
Lately when something doesn’t work, I spray it with WD-40. My favorite winter jacket also had zipper malfunction. WD-40 to the rescue. A door knob on a screen door became frozen from wear, weather and rust. Even a seasoned carpenter’s quick fix only lasted about a week, but a healthy application of WD-40 loosened it up. It now works like a bee in clover.
About that python in India. It wrapped itself around the undercarriage of a bus. The bus driver sprayed it with WD-40. Problem solved. WD-40, 1; stupid python, 0.
And the naked burglar? Police used WD-40 to remove the burglar who became trapped in an air-conditioning vent. WD-40, 2; stupid burglar and stupid python, 0.
Based on all of the foregoing, I have come to the conclusion that WD-40 is undefeated.