Tuesday, October 21, 2008

For Best Results: Smite!

Whilst brushing my teeth the other day (something I do once a week even if I don’t need it) I happened across the directions on the back.

NOTE: Sorry, that was ‘ewww’ even for me. I do brush my teeth twice a day. Honestly. And floss. And use mouthwash. It’s showering I do once a week.

Anyway, I noticed a sentence in big red letters at the bottom of the directions. ‘For best results, squeeze the tube from the bottom and flatten as you go up.’

I wondered as I stood there, clad in my Spiderman Underoos, my teeth gleaming from my vigorous and dare I say, manly, brushing, ‘how else do you get the toothpaste out?’

Obviously there was a reason they included this in the directions. The marketers didn’t just look at the tube and say ‘Huh, this isn’t clear enough. Let’s add text!’ I’m honestly curious as to what people must have been doing to get the toothpaste out that the manufacturer felt it necessary to add a hint.

Did they discover that the average user was smashing the tube with a hammer and collecting the paste off the wall? Mayhap was a chainsaw being employed to tear the tube asunder, so the minty goodness inside could be reached? Was radiation involved? Gamma rays? A Rube Goldberg-ian contraption that involved a stuffed shark, three penguin feet, an eye patch and the bones of an Australopithecus?

NOTE: I am particularly pleased with myself as I spelled ‘Australopithecus’ correctly on the first try. Honest.

Granted, the directions may have been left over from the 1920’s, when toothpaste in a tube was ‘new’ and flappers were doing the Lindy Hop and things smelt of turnips, but still, how hard is it? They didn’t bother to inform the consumer to remove the cap and that seems to be the tricky part. They had faith, it seemed, that the cap would be removed, yet the user would then be unable to squeeze the tube.

It’s weird. Puzzling even.



Anonymous said...

Given how many people I know who squeeze the tube in their fist from the middle and wonder why they 'run out' of toothpaste so quickly, it's not that surprising.

Jason Janicki said...

Really? That just seems so foreign to me. Why would you not squeeze from the bottom? Boggle.

Ralf said...

Its not really the toothpaste.....

I get often told this story:
My father-in-law was the first time alone with his newborn daughter (my later wife).
He has to change the diaper, not really the first time, but the first time without help.
All went good, but then he meet the baby powder can. It has some sort of secure stopper. But he cant open it. So he went a little mad (a crying, naked baby on his arm), go to the kitchen, get a sharp butchers Knife and cut the whole top of the can up.

You see, sometimes some advice are good. :-)

That thing I sent you said...

Ooh...ooh! I know this one! The Wives Executive Commission on Uncivilized Theatrics (WECUT) called and insisted upon it. We manly men squeeze from the middle, then pound the klinging bits out of the bottom later (note that you did not know this). The WC felt this was boorish, so insisted that the marketeers (no relation to *mouse*keteers) add the text. This makes it easier for them to Be Right Always on matters of boorishness. Now, all they need to do is point to correct any infringing partners. Easy. Except that manly men don't get to pound so much. Awwww, man!

Jerron said...

Well, you could do like my kids do...

Squeeze from the *top* of the tube. Then, in about 2 days, when you 'run out', you simply place it on the edge of the sink, and lean on it really hard (both kids being female, and not allowed to smash like manly men). Then, collect the paste off the wall like normal.

Jason Janicki said...

I've done similar things, ralf. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, you just don't notice the little tab you need to pull and end up ripping/crushing/slicing the container open. It's also fun!

Wow, I think I just got dissed. I can honestly say that is the first time anyone has ever suggested I wasn't manly enough. I'm going to go cook badly just to prove you wrong! :)

But wall paste is the best kind! It's all minty and . . . wall-ey.