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4.22.2011

TOOTHPICKS

How many times a day do you use a toothpick?  I mean, a week?  Or even a month?  I once worked for a man who constantly had a half chewed toothpick in the corner of his mouth.  He worked that toothpick with his tongue from the corner to the center of his mouth with such rhythm and without thought.  It was amazing and strange at the same time.  I use a toothpick in my mouth only in dire emergencies; to pick restaurant food from my teeth - usually meat or some sort of green something or other and only if I don't have dental floss on me (which I normally do).  The only other two times I use toothpicks are to pin shut chicken/bacon/water chestnut hors d'oeuvres I make, or to test the doneness of a cake.  My husband has this nifty little toothpick case that he keeps in the car.  I did have to use one of his the other day - after a restaurant meal.  Knowing that most people don't use volumes of toothpicks on a regular basis why do they only sell toothpicks in quantities that will last an entire lifetime.  To me that is not smart marketing.  Don't companies want you to have to keep repurchasing their product frequently and consistently?  I have a box of toothpicks (250 count) that I purchased at my best guess nearly 15 or more years ago.  If I do the math at 250 toothpicks divided by 15 that means I average using only a mere 16.66 toothpicks a year.  I am questioning how I even use that many a year!  Check out your toothpick box.  It will say "Diamond" as this is the only company in the U.S. that makes wood toothpicks, making 8 billion yearly.  And yes (for you environmentalists out there), to make that many toothpicks it only takes one cord of wood or a stack 4x4x8 feet.  I'm wondering about how to increase consumer consumption of toothpicks.  Remember when pork producers promoted pork as "the other white meat" to increase pork consumption.  What could the toothpick industry use to get to the one trillion toothpick production mark ... "Only one tree was slain in the making of a trillion toothpicks.... We care about the environment.  Pick us:)"  

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