One of my favorite books as a child — hell, even now — was Roald Dahl’s The Twits, about a horrible couple of ugly, smelly, hairy, nasty, bird-killing, cannibalism-aspiring, troll-like Brits. I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone, but the finale of the novel involves a group of monkeys gluing all of the Twits furniture to the ceiling, prompting the Twits to believe they have been turned upside down and standing on their heads until they “compress” and eventually disappear.
I was always troubled by this scene. Certainly, it is common knowledge to the 4 year old that standing on your head too long will cause your organs to compress into your brain pan, and it certainly makes sense that this would eventually cause you to blink out of existence. But what super glue could possibly hold a couch, or carpet, or grand piano to the ceiling? Impossible!
Perhaps I should have been more credulous. I should have trusted Mr. Dahl: an admirer of Gustave Flaubert, Dahl is most often grouped in the school of 20th Century Literary Realists, and is not considered an author known for his gifts of hyperbole or exaggeration. Surely, when he wrote The Twits, he was thinking of Gecko Glue, which can can support 220 pounds of weight with one square inch. It can even be scraped off and re-used.
Of course, it’s not available commercially yet, but I look forward to the day it is. Several horrible, smelly older relatives will be in for a surprise.