Copyright 2008 by Pat Powers
Picture 1: "This is horrifying. The stickum holding my dress up over my boobs is slipping, and bound as I am, I can do nothing about it!"
Picture 2: "Hmmm, this gag is a wimpy little number. I bet if I scream loud enough, it will both loosen my breast coverings further and bring the Flash to my rescue, probably just as the dress falls off!"
Picture 3: "AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!"
Before she gave science fiction fans everywhere a heart-on in her role as 7 of 9, the Electro-cutie of Borg, Jeri Ryan gave a powerful demonstration of the ineffectualness of thin cleave gags, in her role as Felicia Kane on The Flash television series.
Fortunately, unless a damsel has a cold, she can breathe through her nose, so gags are best when they seal up a damsel's mouth but leave her nostrils open (snorting for help not being a very effective technique).
Given that, we think you can readily see that running a narrow strip of cloth from one corner of a damsel's mouth to the other will not really prevent her from moving large quantities of air pas her vocal cords. In fact, it will not even muffle the intelligibility of her speech very much, since it only interferes somewhat with the tongues' ability to move and the lip's ability to close.
If you don't believe us, you can test this out by simply pressing a thin strip of cloth across your mouth (no need to tie it in place (though you certainly can do that if you wish to) and screaming at the top of your lungs, thusly:
Notice how loud that was? That's about how loud Jeri Ryan would have sounded in that thin cleave gag she is wearing -- and how loud any damsel in distress would sound screaming while wearing a thin cleave gag.
Thin cleave gags don't work, but are nevertheless very popular on television shows and in movies. They DO work if you put something inside the damsel's mouth to block her ability to make sounds, such as the lemon that was used on Cameron Diaz in "Head Above Water" or the many anonymous cloths that have served as wadding in various scenes over the years.
Thin cleave gags are legion on movies and television, but directors generally have the actress keep her mouth firmly shut on the gag lest she give away its flimsiness. Not so the director of the Flash. Just look at the amount of mouth visible behind that gag in picture 3. You gotta believe people can hear Jeri screaming in the next county.
That's why we're giving the first Loosie Award in the category of Thin Cleaves to the director of The Flash. Go ahead, guy, tell us how you feel about it:
P.S. to all you "Voyager" fans: watch out for Seven of Nine. We've spotted two implants that were apparently missed during the surgery that returned her to human from Borg.
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