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Summit Up


Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column wondering about some of the so-called conveniences of modern life.

Our thoughts turned to this topic over the weekend while using a chisel, along with some other heavy-duty tools, to chip away at a blob of hardened aquamarine-colored toothpaste in the bathroom sink.

We can still remember when toothpaste-makers introduced the flip-top tube, hailing it as an improvement over the old-school screw-top models.

We’re not so sure.

From what we can tell, the flip-top cap is actually way messier than the old screw-top technology. Every time we close the flip-top tube, we’re left with random streaks of paste oozing out from underneath the cap. It drips down onto the counter top where it quickly turns into a semi-petrified mass that is nearly impossible remove. We try rinsing the tube before putting it away, but to no avail.

Hmm, maybe the altitude is to blame ” for all we know, toothpaste tub

es are designed for optimal performance at sea level. Maybe at 9,000 feet, the low air pressure simply sucks the paste out of the tube.

We here at Summit Up HQ say it’s time to rethink toothpaste storage, and we’re hereby calling on the U.S. government to launch an emergency research program, along the lines of the Manhattan Project, to deal with thus urgent issue. We just KNOW that we can do better than flip-top tubes, and we can’t wait until the glorious day arrives. We are ready for, and insist on our right to hassle-free toothpaste.

On a slightly related note, we’re also curious about the various cleaning and other household products sold on television by the guy with the obnoxiously loud voice.

The latest one we saw was some kind of glue to repair fabrics. All these things look kind of cool and useful, although we can say we’ve never actually bought one, although we’d be tempted if we could shut the guy up.

But what we’re really wondering is why they all cost exactly the same: $19.95.

Call us skeptical, but we’re just not sure that price reflects a real product-to-value ratio. Rather, we think it’s based purely on the psychology of what people will pay for random items. And that just ain’t right, people. If we buy something, we want to feel like the money we’re shelling out actually goes toward the cost of research and manufacturing, not that the price is based on a psychological threshold determined my market researchers.


If you have the answers to any of our scintillating questions, by all means, please sound off and let us know. As always, we can be reached at

We out, treading water.

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