Press-Republican

Columns

May 7, 2011

Capping off an overlong career

I retired from the Press-Republican a month or two ago, and everywhere I go, kindly people ask me if I'm enjoying myself in my leisure. There's no time for that, I tell them. There are important things to do and discoveries to be made. My retirement is devoted 24 hours a day to these critical pursuits. Fun will have to wait.

For example, I've lately been occupied full time with finding efficient ways to transfer toothpaste from one tube to another. How did this prickly assignment land in my lap? It's a long story, but I'll try to be brief.

I noted with elation, one day, that Aqua Fresh toothpaste had developed a tube with a cap that could be unscrewed in half a turn. That's right — half a turn! (I don't strew my exclamation points lightly.)

I ran upstairs to implore my wife: "Don't ever buy a tube of toothpaste other than Aqua Fresh," I gasped. "No Colgate. No Crest. From now on, it's Aqua Fresh for us."

She inquired with an appalling disinterest what had led to my new devotion to Aqua Fresh. I explained that the cap on the tube would come off in half a turn. Did she know what that meant? Most caps require four or five turns. Cut the time in an eighth or a 10th, and you've revolutionized how mankind lives and progresses. There are 6 billion people on the planet. Many brush their teeth. Cut two or three seconds off the time spent unscrewing a cap, and then rescrewing it back on, and you've collectively saved hours, weeks, months across the globe for meditation over serious matters affecting us all. "Do you understand what I'm driving at?"

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