There’s this large library, filled with millions of books. We pick one up, generally a scary, tension-loaded story, and we start reading. As the plot unfolds we become nervous and stressed, identifying with the distressed protagonists and forgetting that we have control on our reading. We begin to turn pages faster, our movements harsh and our breathing shallow. Then suddenly we tear the corner of a page off. We grab a roll of scotch tape and reattach it, and we keep on reading. Another page is torn. Out comes the tape. This repair is a little less precise. Then it happens again, and again. Pages now get torn and taped back in carelessly. Corners are poking out, entire paragraphs disappear, pages stick together, massive use of tape makes the book swell and the cover crack. But tape manufacturers comes out with a new kind of better, fully transparent tape. So we buy it and keep reading, tearing and taping. The book’s condition gets worse. A new tape dispenser is introduced, allowing us to hold the book with one hand and read on while taping back with the other; the dispenser has tripled the cost of our tape but we keep buying. More tape is needed now because reading with one hand makes us clumsier. We never stop reading and destroying books. The tape companies grow bigger. They start advertising and promoting books because tape has become an integral part of reading. So we go to the library and pick up a new book.

[Sound of a vinyl record scratched by the record player’s needle]

Oh, wait a minute. I don’t think I ever explained my analogy. The library is our body. Books are health and mental issues. The tape manufacturers are doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Tape itself is modern medicine.

About the author: He lives in Downtown Vancouver with 100,000 other readers. Organic tape is very trendy around there. And still nobody wonders why they need it in the first place. Copyright 2007. Printed in Canada on taped recycled paper, 347 body parts. The end.