And Another

Thread, fishing line, string, knitting lifeline. OK, that’s four. I’m going good.

Tripwire in case of home invasion. Garroting tool. That’s six, total, but when my ideas are being inspired by improbable action movies, I think I’m slowing down.

Oh, wait, I feel a late surge coming on.

Plumb line. Guidelines for planting garden rows. Ornament holders. Hey, that’s nine! But it seems like cheating to count both “string” and all the derivative uses to which I might put string. Doesn’t it?

Count towards what?

Ah, sorry. To count towards the 500+ uses for dental floss, as touted in this week’s teeny-tiny flyer from Costco. See?


Original ~ 3×4 cm

I admit that it took me a while to see that “OVER 500 USES” tagline.

I admit that I was surprised at this marketing feint: Isn’t the obvious and intended use sufficient to sell dental floss these days? Have we become so demanding as a society that we need multiple uses for everything? Must everything be re-imagined in a Swiss-army-knife version?

I admit further that I was sceptical of the claim: over 500 uses for dental floss? Really? I mean, beyond the designed-for-purpose one, that would require at least another 500, and I’m not getting anywhere close to that number.

I admit, finally, that it took me a ridiculous amount of time to realize that it meant 500 servings, portions, measures, lengths, times teeth can be flossed: 500 uses.


On the other hand, it left me with a question that I’m sure my subconscious will work on. How many distinct uses *does* dental floss have? So far, 10 and counting.

Make your own fun.

And there’s no way that “500” doesn’t bring this song to mind. Da da lat da . . .

Although any folkies in the crowd might have thought of this, slightly, um, slooower rendition of a completely different song.

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14 Responses to And Another

  1. Tom Watson says:

    Love the two songs! Thanks, Isabel.

  2. Eric Hrycyk says:

    I will take you up on “make your own fun” ….. it will not involve dental floss.

  3. barbara carlson says:

    LOL — 500 uses.

    When John and I took cottage right beside a good-sized lake for a month years ago, I told a friend we could “just see the lake,” so when she arrived for a BBQ was shocked to see the lake. She thought it would be 1/2 a mile away. I should have said, “Our view is ONLY the lake — it fills our view.” And English, for us both, is our mother tongue.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – Oh, yes, re mother-tongue speakers getting crosswise. I see it all the time in writing and speech is worse. “We see just the lake” would have worked too, but wouldn’t come naturally IMO.

  4. barbara carlson says:

    It’s like when people say, there are a million reasons for doing … whatever…
    A MILLION??? Name 3.

    (One of my pet peeves)

  5. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – an RAF POW who was held by the Germans in Colditz Castle during WW II hoarded the dental floss that came in prisoner Red Cross packages until he had enough to braid a rope that would hold his weight. He used the rope to scale down from an unbarred 2nd-storey window. He was recaptured within days, but still. Ta da, use #501.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – That’s a Shawshank-style tale with respect to time and effort. That’s a whack of dental floss.

  6. In this house, dental floss is the favoured thread for repairing tough materials, such as leather or canvass. It’s much easier to find closer to home than “button thread,” which serves a similar purpose. You’re welcome! We’ll keep an eye (tooth) out for other uses since you are keeping a list.

  7. Marion says:

    Sorry but you chose the wrong singers. In my mind the Proclaimers do it best. 500 miles I mean. And I love how the accents come through, which doesn’t always happen when singing.
    Hope the link works.

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