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Date: 16 June 2014

Today's Topic: RIP to the Humble Toothpaste Pump Dispenser

Triggers: Empty shelves in the supermarket

My Grump: All the best ideas seem to end

It seems like toothpaste pump dispensers became extinct overnight. It probably wasn't like that because we always have a large stock of everything.

Living in the country is really the best, but of course, your average supermarket is in town, so shopping means a fairly lengthy drive for us. As a consequence, we tend to buy in bulk, especially when something is on seriously good offer. Other times we just buy things for the stock cupboard regardless of whether we need them at all, such things as bin bags, toilet roll, cereals, tea bags, coffee, you know, the stuff that will store, but is a real pain if you have to make a special journey to buy when you run out.

Toothpaste pump dispensers seemed to find themselves in this category, and so we ended up with a dozen or more in the store room over time.

I like this new form of delivery. Toothpaste tubes were ugly, awkward to use, they looked disgusting as they bunched up and the metal tubes collapsed, but the plastic ones regained their shape and so you had to squeeze the whole thing before you got to the bit where the paste could come out. Kids tended to make a bloody mess of the whole thing, and to be honest, I hated them.

Along comes the pump pot. Originally at double the price per ml as the tubed stuff, but I didn't care. This was offset by the fact that there was less waste, cleaner and tidier display on the bathroom shelf, and it lasted much longer it seemed.
toothpaste pump dispensers RIP
I think when they disappeared from the shelves we didn't really notice. Most shopping is done on automatic and a purchasing decision is normally made by visually seeing the item on the shelf. So when it wasn't there, none of us noticed. This meant the stocks started to dwindle.

As I noticed we only had a few tubes left, I put it on the 'active' list, not the 'decide at the time' list. Having discovered that none were on the supermarket shelf, I decided that I was in the wrong place, or that they had been temporarily unavailable.

It wasn't until after several visits that I realized they were gone for good.

I don't know why good ideas always have to go to the wall, quite bizarre.

It seems that the more economical and original an idea the less time it is available. WHSmith used to sell roll on paper glue in green penlike tubes. You had to press the rollerball down to break the seal, and then run it along the paper to leave a trail of glue that was in exactly the place you wanted it, with no spillage and no wastage.

Following this, you would recap the container, the glue would dry and seal over, ready for next time. Now gone and unavailable. I suppose they make more money if you chuck it all over the place, spend more money on glue remover, use it up faster, and have to buy another one. Cynical, or what?

Tell us about your favourite old products and the ones you miss most, thank you.



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