Tag Archives: toothpaste

Tube of Holding

Now it can be told! After decades of research, I have discovered the secret toothpaste manufacturers don’t want you to know about. But let me back up. First, my credentials:

I have been brushing my teeth roughly twice daily for nearly five decades. Call it about 33,000 observations. Each time, I am required to take hold of the tube of toothpaste and squeeze it onto the brush. I can’t properly guess how much toothpaste has been consumed in this activity over the decades. Call it a lot.

The reason I can’t properly estimate the amount of toothpaste is the crux of the issue. It is far easier to estimate the number of tubes of toothpaste I’ve run through over the years. Call it half a dozen tubes a year, giving a value of close to 300 tubes of toothpaste. Isn’t it simple multiplication to figure out how much toothpaste you’ve used? I hear you asking.

You would think. But you would be wrong.

After careful observation and analysis over the decades I have come to an inescapable conclusion, one that will shatter your perception of the toothpaste industry forever: The volume of toothpaste in a tube exceeds by a great deal the volume of the tube itself. Yes, there is more toothpaste in the tube than the tube can hold.

How can that be? I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but that doesn’t change the facts of the case. Take the current tube of toothpaste, for instance:

The current "empty" tube of toothpate
My current “empty” tube of toothpaste

The tube has been flat as a pancake for the last two weeks, and yet, twice a day, with a bit of effort, three of us are able to squeeze a blob of toothpaste onto our brushes. Empty though it seems, it keeps producing toothpaste. I suspect a wormhole, or tesseract, or perhaps a twist on the old D&D bag of holding: a tube of holding.

Why then, would the TIC (toothpaste industrial complex) not want you to know about this? Isn’t this a break-through discovery that could revolutionize all kinds of storage and delivery systems? Sure, but at what cost? If the world discovered an infinite supply of toothpaste in a single tube, no one would buy toothpaste anymore. What would four out of five dentists recommend the, eh?

I’m recording all of this in my lab notebook each night and will continue to see how long this empty tube of toothpaste continues to keep my teeth in tip-top shape. In the meantime, do me a favor, will you? Feel free to take full advantage of this incredibly discovery of mine but keep it under your hat for the time-being. The last thing I need right now is to be hunted down and lectured to by the TIC. I get enough of that from my dentist.