It used to be not unusual to see broken tapes, unspooled on the side of the road. Tapes discarded by accident, or tossed out the window when they snapped while playing in tape decks and tape spewed out.
I had an old car that ate tapes at a pretty frequent rate, so much so that I almost exclusively played only dubbed tapes. I made copies of tapes I wanted to listen to in the car expressly so that I wouldn’t lose my original. Often I had to stick a matchbook under one side of the tape in the tape deck to get the tape to play right. Knowing what I know now, I realize it was probably the felt pad not holding the tape against the play head right, but back then it was just me and my Dokken tape against the evil tape eating POS factory installed tape deck.
Over the years tape remnants on the side of the road are a less frequent sight.
This caught my eye on the way out of breakfast one day. In the middle of the parking lot with no other shrapnel around. Just this cassette liner, laid out so sadly, alone.
Was this some Madonna maxi-single, or a bootleg Grateful Dead tape, or maybe a mix tape for a now ex-girlfriend. No matter what, it is now sad and alone in a parking lot.
R.I.P. poor tape, whatever you were.