284: Tape Measure

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Tape Measure
This sequence was later reproduced in the International Tape-Extending Federation archives, retitled 'The Founding of the Sport'.
Title text: This sequence was later reproduced in the International Tape-Extending Federation archives, retitled 'The Founding of the Sport'.


Cueball acts like a small boy, finding a tape measure and then playing with it. He then extends it to 8 feet (approx. 2.5 meters), wondering whether or not that was a record, which makes him imagine a sport where extending the tape measure as far as possible was the goal. (Tape measure strips are bent upward lengthwise to support itself when oriented correctly, much like how one can better hold a sheet of paper horizontally by creating a slight dip. However, as a tape measure is extended, the weight of the strip eventually overcomes the support offered by the bend, causing it to collapse. Skillfully holding the tape measure at an angle can redirect some of the weight load and allow for a longer total extension; it is implied that this technique can be explored to the point of becoming its own sport.)

The title text refers to a future where this sport exists, and this comic is a representation of the origin of this sport.


[Cueball finds a tape measure.]
Cueball: Hey, a tape measure.
[Cueball extends the tape measure.]
extend extend
[The tape measure falls.]
[Cueball tries again.]
extend extend
Cueball (thinking): Ooh, eight feet. I wonder if that's a record.
[Cueball imagines an olympic stadium, with three people extending tape measures]
Audience: Gooo! Goooo! Gooooooo!


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I think it should be mentioned that Randall uses the unit Foot instead of Meter.--Dgbrt (talk) 10:28, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

All of the tape measures of the given type that I've used are in feet because I, like Randall, am in the US! (I've seen metric ones, but not used them). It seems entirely natural, although if you really feel it's relevant... --Quicksilver (talk) 18:41, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
I wonder why they don't make the tapes with metric on one edge, and imperial on the other. Some rulers and most vernier calipers do that. BK201 (talk) 17:35, 12 December 2013 (UTC)BK201

I have seen them with both units, but unless you're switching between them, it's better to have the same on both edges, since you can then make your pencil marks accurately on whichever side is more convenient. (For household use, though, my favorite shows inches on one edge and half that on the other, for centering.) (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

They do in some countries. I can confirm that it's a standard in New Zealand, at the very least. Apparently that's just not the case in America. Daniel 02:16, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
Or in Denmark - here we only have the metric tape measures.Kynde (talk) 11:33, 7 March 2014 (UTC)
In china we use meteric units and traditional units like Chi(1/3 m from the last century till now) and Zhang(10 Chi's as far as I know). I think only some clothes-making rulers use traditional units because people are used to them. 10:39, 7 July 2014 (UTC) Not registered
UK here, and pretty much any tape measure I've ever encountered has both metric & imperial. --Pudder (talk) 16:08, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
In Germany they're metric in most cases. But I found some with both scales. And I got excited since some tabletops (such as Warhammer) use imperial units, whiles others (Battlefleet Gothic - at least in the German rules) us metric units. And some (Flames of War) provide rules for using both. Now I can play all of them with only ohne tape measure :) Elektrizikekswerk (talk) 12:19, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Another U.S. here, and I commonly see tape measure with both systems. I think that may be what Cueball is using here, but he just thinks "8 feet" because Americans tend to think about things in the imperial system. Trogdor147 (talk) 19:00, 7 September 2023 (UTC)

Stanley Fat Max tapes have this measurement as a selling point: http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp?CATEGORY=HT_TAPES_FATMAX&TYPE=PRODUCT&PARTNUMBER=33-716&SDesc=16%27+x+1-1%2F4%26quot%3B+FATMAX%26reg%3B+Tape+Rule First one on the list. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

As a very serious professional carpenter I can confirm that, indoors to avoid wind, one can with patience achieve at least 25’6”. My longer tapes lack enough of a cup to support much length. I mean extending vertically of course, if done at an extreme angle as shown the comic I am unable to get more than 6’ based on rigorous trials performed just now.

I tried how long my tape measure could go, the maximum length when I held the measuring tape was 9'9, which is around 2.98m. Guess this can really be an Olympic Sport when done correctly.Boeing-787lover 08:02, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

I will say, it must be insanely easy to measure results in this sport. Trogdor147 (talk) 19:00, 7 September 2023 (UTC)