This is a tutorial, but not for boy scouts

by Andrea Mulder-Slater

It arrived yesterday.

As part of Apple’s ongoing 1st Generation Nano replacement program*, my old device was replaced with a smaller, less flammable and apparently far more powerful – little fellow.

Hi there cutie pie.

I was so excited. All I needed to make it work was a set of headphones. Cinchy, right?

My search began in the office.

You know how some people have a junk drawer? Well, I have a thingamajig purgatory. It’s a place where a child’s glue stick, a tray of coffee paint, a roll of 35 mm film, a bag of beach glass, a wrist watch, a fake one million dollar bill, a stapler and - quite possibly – the equivalent of an entire box raisins all reproduce quietly in the dark. Did I mention the zebra-patterned dishcloth? Not exactly what the designers at IKEA had in mind for my workspace. In fact, my desk drawer looks a little bit like my kindergarten teacher’s classroom threw up on itself.

Sorry Mrs. Warnica. But it’s true.

From the office, I moved through the rest of the house, searching frantically for earpieces. I looked in the bowl on the dining room hutch, inside the pantry, on the bookcase, under Geoff’s jeans and in that extra special secret hiding place where we keep the chocolate bars. What?

Rifling through everyone’s private things was exhausting, but I did eventually locate a set of earbuds in the pocket of Geoff’s bathrobe - which didn’t strike me as weird at the time, but now…

Nevermind! I had the final piece of my iPod puzzle. But, there was one teeny tiny little problem.

The headphone knot.

Now, I may not have been a Boy Scout, but I do know that there are many different types of knots...*

The Half Knot

 The Overhand Knot

 The Figure Eight Knot

The Slip Knot

But no knot is as strong... as powerful... or as ubiquitous as…

The Headphone Knot

According to Outdoor Life magazine, “Knot tying has always been one of those key skills that the inexperienced take for granted.” Well, I'm here to tell you that anyone - inexperienced or not – can make a headphone knot.

Even if you have no thumbs. 

The headphone knot is a cousin to the Christmas light string nexus and the extension cord tangle. And while other knots require two, three – or, in some cases – twenty steps to complete (pffft!), the headphone knot is ridiculously simple to tie.

All you need to do is place your earbuds in a pocket, drawer or computer bag. Any confined space will do. In fact, in most cases, just setting the little bastards on a table will achieve the desired results. Then, go pour yourself a cup of coffee, or scotch, or wine. Whichever.

That’s it. You're done! Your headphone knot is now secure and you are ready to perform many useful tasks.

Need to pull a monster truck out of a ditch? 

Use a headphone knot.

Want to help bring the space capsule back home to Earth? 

Use a headphone knot.

Have to tow a stranded cruise ship back to shore? 

Use a freaking headphone knot!

You can count on your headphone knot to work it like an American Idol contestant in the final round while attempting to undertake the following:

Attaching a line to the head of a sail.
Giving a gorilla something to swing on.
Safely hanging a baby’s jumper in a doorway.
Securing an arrestor cable to an aircraft carrier.
Hanging a tire swing from a tree.
Securing a giant boulder to the roof of your car.
Pulling a distressed and disoriented cow from a cresting river.

You get the idea.

In fact, you can do almost anything with your newly found knot knowledge. Except for one thing.

You cannot, under any circumstances, listen to your new iPod.

No, really.

But seriously:

*Have a 1st generation iPod Nano? Want a new one?
Go here:

*Need to know how to tie a "real knot"?
Go here:

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