Note--I wrote this for the BD catalog after they asked for something about my relatonship to my climbing rack. It didn't make the cut so here it is in unedited format as usual...

Rack Envy #1

As a sponsored climber I get free gear. However, there’s a myth that I get a lot of it, and that therefore it’s OK to steal it from me. I’d like to set the record straight and point out that I have amassed my legendary gear collection only through stringent personal sacrifice and hard work. I have backups to my backups in all cam and nut sizes, spare ropes and other gear lined up like cord wood in tamper-proof temperature-controlled, hermetically sealed glass cases designed for cigar storage. That said, let me explain how I keep it from drifting toward the enemy’s rack (that’s you pal). I hire children (their hands are so much more supple) to tape all my gear with special Zirconium-based space-shuttle repair tape, then secretly mark it with a recently declassified military paint that both flouresces and makes noise when hit with a low-intensity laser. In case you think I’m exaggerating, I recently busted a climber in Europe who had cunningly stolen one of my biners during an over-night train ride to Slovenia; he didn’t think I’d notice just one missing out of the 604 I routinely travel with, but I knew. He also thought he was safe using my carabiner to hold his hanging Espresso maker deep in the depths of his fetid nylon hovel, but my crack team of uniformed commandos successfully stormed the tent and repatriated the biner with its unit. Never leave a man or biner behind is my motto, and I live by it. But there are problems on the home front; my partner, also a sponsored climber but not immune to rack envy, seems to frequently slide some of my gear onto her rack, always before I can get the children to mark it. She makes the most scheming Bond flick woman look positively soft with the tactics she uses, with the result that her rack is growing slowly while mine seems almost anemic. I mean, I couldn’t find my seventh #2 Camalot last night until I lasered her van and heard the paint’s quiet mewling from under the front seat. Disgusted with this mutiny, I have retaliated by buying a small can of Acetone adhesive remover for her flowered gear markings. My strategists and I will call this campaign the, “Metal Liberation Movement.” Hey, while you’re reading this, mind if  I take a look in your garage?

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