Saturday, February 14, 2009


Ladies and gentleman and far-flung followers, I have a proud announcement to make.

I understand Dutch toothpaste. That's right! It's taken me five and a half months, but I Get It Now. I'm practically a native!!

Y'see, Dutch toothpaste isn't like regular or garden-variety Australian or British toothpaste. It tends to be runnier for starters, but mostly significantly it comes in a different tube. It has a bigger, stubbier lid, and more closely resembles your average shampoo bottle.

Consider, if you will, your regular tube of toothpaste. Your everyday (well, preferably TWICE a day) tube of Colgate. It can be minty fresh, it can be gel, it can be for Extra Whitening! - that stuff doesn't matter. The important thing to consider is how it WORKS. British and Australian toothpaste works in a vacuum. When you squeeze, no air comes back in, and you make a mark in the tube that stays there. That's why, unless you're a complete arsehole, you squeeze it from the BOTTOM (those that don't will not be saved), so that next time it's all up close to the top of the tube ready to go.

Dutch toothpaste doesn't work like that. There's air in the tube, and air comes back in after you squeeze it. No matter how empty the tube, it always retains its shape. Which, if you don't understand the Dutch Toothpaste Principle, can be a right pain in the arse, because every morning you waste valuable seconds trying to get some out, particularly if it's on the empty side. It's like the almost-empty tomato sauce bottle. And we all know how annoying THAT is.

But that's just it - Dutch toothpaste IS like the almost-empty tomato sauce bottle in principle, for pretty much its entire lifespan. And what, boys and girls, do we do with almost-empty tomato sauce bottles? That's right, we store it upside down, ON ITS LID. That way, you don't have to swear and curse and shake it and wait five minutes for it all to come out in a rush and drown your bangers. If you store it upside down, it's all there, ready to go, all it takes is quick removal of the lid and there it is.

THAT'S why Dutch toothpaste has a bigger lid, and THAT'S how it works!! You store it vertically! All the time! And never EVER on its side. You read it here first.

I'm taking little steps here. Chips and mayonnaise (it's true). In fact, mayonnaise on everything. Toothpaste. In a little while I may even learn some of the language.

You know what the funny thing about Europe is? The little differences.

Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction

1 comment:

The Empress said...

Why not save a lot of time and confusion, and just brush your teeth with mayonnaise?

Top Tip No.34 from The Empress. You heard it here first!