Pick it apart

Some days I don’t feel like writing. This is one. It is nothing that can be helped, really. Heaven only knows there are a million things to write about.

Anything could be a topic. Like. Toothpicks.

I could write about toothpicks to no end. I have a brother who loves toothpicks. Not just any kind though. He likes “Mint Tree Oil” toothpicks. Every time I get in his car, which is not very often, he offers me one. “Polly. Can I offer you a Mint Tree Oil toothpick? They are delicious.” Most of the time, I turn him down. Typically, I only require such a device after I’ve eaten something delectable, and that something has left a monstrosity behind.

Anyway. Last summer, he was here at my house for a BBQ Cookout. Just down the road from us is the National Go-Cart Some-Kind-Of-Track. When the Go-Cart People are having an event, the peace and quiet of living in the country goes right out the window. People within several miles surrounding the place are in earshot. But. My brother loves racing as much as he enjoys toothpicks. He asked if we could go down and watch.

So, he and I hopped in his car, and off we went to the racetrack. A couple miles away. He offered again. And this time, I took him up on it. And there we were. Jerry, that’s his name, and I stood at the fence of the Go-Cart place, chewing on Mint Tree Oil Toothpicks and watched the grown men in little cars go round and round on the track. And it was a good day.

If I am YELPing about toothpicks, I’ll give the Mint Tree Oil variety about a 5/10. They were good, but not delicious. A Reuben Sandwich with homemade potato chips and Cole slaw is delicious.

Toothpicks just didn’t fall of the truck either. It is the oldest device for dental cleaning. I mean Neanderthal old. The skulls of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens that still have teeth — the ones that scientist have found — show that the teeth have been picked with a tool, like a toothpick. Researchers (in Florida) discovered the remains of ancient Native Americans which date back 7,500 years. Their chompers show little tiny hollows between their molars which indicate use of “dental woods” to clean those teeth.

I could go on. All over the world cases have been found for the toothpick in ancient times. But at one point in history, humans made them luxurious. Like jewelry. This was back in the 17th century. The picks were made out from precious metal. Or ivory. Some were encrusted with expensive stones. Glitzy. Yowza. My brother didn’t offer me any of those, I’ll tell you.

These days they are wood. The U.S great state of Maine is the biggest toothpick producer. It is estimated that about 90% of the country’s toothpicks are made in Maine.

Rain Man Raymond Babbott could count ‘em. A guy named Joe King used 110,000 toothpicks to build a model of the Eiffel Tower. Like 23 feet-tall Eiffel Tower. And some people lose all signs of Etiquette Awareness when given a toothpick. But those little wooden sticks are here to stay. What would we test the doneness of cakes with in their stead?

So. There it is. On days that I do not feel like writing, I will clutter your minds with things like toothpicks. And perhaps that way, you will not feel like reading either.


“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
― Marthe Troly-Curtin


“You can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes”.”
― Lauren Oliver, Delirium


“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”
― Mark Twain