January 31, 2010

Three Girls Make Contact With A Man With Magic Hands

It began with a bet between three girlfriends, to see who could do it better. You see, Carole's technique was lacking a bit of finesse. It was fine, it did the job, but it just wasn't getting the results she wanted.

Mandy and I decided we could teach her a thing or two.

Mandy went first. She did better than Carole, but suffered from performance anxiety, and took far longer than she usually would.

I went next, over-confident as usual. I rushed it, showing off, and the next thing you know, I had left behind several unsightly bubbles.

Then Adam wandered over to check things out.

"You girls know nothing," he told us, with a touch of the expert's arrogance. "Move over and let me show you how it's done."

He sat down with us and grabbed some tools. And let me tell you, this man knew his stuff. Within minutes, we were sighing over his fingers, overwhelmed by his spectacular touch.

"Firm, and yet tender," Carole marvelled.

"Incredible," I breathed. "His wife is so lucky."

"Great ruler work," noted Mandy. "He's really getting the bubbles out."

Adam smoothed out the final crease, and raised his book with a triumphant flourish.

"And that," he announced, "is how a book should be covered."

It was magnificent. I was awed. And inspired. I rushed home to finish covering the 15 (yes, FIFTEEN) books required by my school aged kids. I knew that, after Adam's masterclass, I would produce perfect results.

Oh...... but I was wrong.

Out of the 11 books remaining on my desk, only two left my hands perfectly creaseless (using 'perfectly' in the sense of 'well, creaseless compared to my other books, but still hopeless in comparison to Adam's').

One book I actually covered in the wrong coloured paper, risking humiliation and insult to my eight year old daughter. Several books I covered in coloured paper that I'd managed to glue to the table first, resulting in an attractive 'cloudy' effect where the colour had come away (though, unsurprisingly, my kids failed to buy this metaphor). And two books ended up with stray bits of scrap paper under the contact, for which I couldn't come up with a metaphor at all.

So I concede defeat. I am the Worst Contacter In The World. Not only am I worse than Adam, but I am worse than Mandy, Carole, and pretty much any other parent to ever grace the halls of any school.

Still, it's not like I really care. It's covering books, for godsake, not rocket science. It's not like it's going to affect my kids' futures.

But if we were talking about the perfectly tied school tie, well..... that would be another story.


  1. I am faced with my first contacting this week. My mum was an expert, but sadly is gone. I grew up with perfectly covered books. I was mortified by a bubble.

    I pity my daughter.

  2. Should i add your name to the long list of clients that next year will pay for may service?! " contact me" or "uncontactable", we haven't decide the name yet. the last mane is like signing one of those agreement where they do not take responsability,well with contact you never know how it turn out to be,it seems he has a mind of his own,love ooxx

  3. He does sound as though he has a wonderful touch. Tender, yet insistent. Probing, yet...poetic. I bet he goes off at the washing up.

    But it all feels a little like the 'men as master-chefs' chestnut... Yes, yes, swan in and give an impressive display to the group of appreciative women. But who will be cleaning the mashed- in banana and drawings of erect penii off said textbook in four months time? ADAM? I'm talking to you.

  4. I'm one of those sad mothers who shines when it comes to contact adhesive. It doesn't frustrate or fluster me. I used to cover my own at school & my siblings as my mother would reveal her dark side, when it came to covering school books x 4 children. I have 4 x primary school children & love it, i let them peel the paper but prefer to be left alone & hog the work. I little bit of me dies when an air bubble dares defy me.
    My sister on the other hand, wihtou my life time experience has 3 who, school rules state: must cover all books in school logo white paper then apply clear contact adhesive. She is beside herself & 200km away & i'm unable to help.
    Is it wrong i bought 20m of contact in advance after Christmas so i don't run out?? Love Posie

  5. It is certainly contact time of year isn't it?! Influx of mama contact complaints on twitter I notice!
    My son is 1 year old so I have this to consider in my future haha.
    Nicely written!

  6. I fecking hate the shit. I was destined to live a life with inept contacting skillz.

    Stupid me, because with both the kids we just pay a bill and don't actually have to go buy the books, it didn't even cross my mind, until day one of school when the 10yo brought home 12 A4 size books that I'd even need contact. I must erase all memories of contact every 12 months because surely I did this last year?

    So I tried. I started getting it kind of ok. I palmed off the rest to my husband and his were seamless. If professional contacting became a job, he would be the master. So his anal retentive ways have found a welcome home. :) Till this time next year..

  7. These comments are absolutely hysterical. Who would have thought contact was such a deeply emotive topic?
    Well, me.....

  8. I'm just glad my contacting days are over. I remember one year my daughter came home from school and said "Shelley's mum said she'd cover my books if you send over some contact, I told her you weren't good at it". I was mortified, my mothering skills were being compared. After brooding (sulking) for a while, I took my contact and my three childrens books over and made Shelley's mum my best friend.
    She was a great friend to have, she could sew too.

  9. Of all the shitty jobs in the sometimes shitty realm of parenting, contacting books may well be the shittiest. Even worse than listening to a 7yo Star Wars nerd rabbiting on for four hours thusly: "Blah blah blah, Luke Skywalker, blah blah Han Solo, blah blah, Lightsaber, blah blah, Darth Somebody, blah blah blah, Mum, can you make the Chewbacca noise?"

  10. I am proud to say that I have completed all my contacting duties without cussing or swearing.

    I did *almost* finish a box of Cadbury favourites whilst doing so. So there.

  11. 18 metres of contact were used at my house this year. 18 METRES! I had little triangles of contact stuck to my body and in my hair for days! I am pretty good at it, though in my early days of book covering I was known to buy a new book if there were too many bubbles. Sad, but true!

  12. I can't comment right now, I'm too consumed with laughter after reading all these comments!!

    Thanks for the giggle, I needed that!


  13. Remember your own wise words of wisdom Kerri.

    Wasn't it you that said

    Effort, not quality counts?

    I believe the aforementioned statement is useful in this situation.


  14. This is GOLD! I think I may have left a few unsightly bubbles myself- blown out of nose as I read your blog.
    Can I just add that at my children's school all books are only used as class sets, no child is ever allocated a specific book as their own, and thus no parent ever needs to contact. Ever! It's a catholic primary if anyone wants to convert.

  15. It is certainly contact time of year isn't it?! Influx of mama contact complaints on twitter I notice!
    My son is 1 year old so I have this to consider in my future haha.
    Nicely written!


Thanks! Love hearing from you.

Like it? Share it!