Left flat: A rant

See what I’m doing?

IMG_3384IMG_3384-001 IMG_3384-002The two by two hands of blue are a dead giveaway: I’m mixing up a little batch of epoxy for that motor mount. But what am I mixing it with?

IMG_3384-001 IMG_3384-003 IMG_3384-004

Very good! A toothpick.

Here I am using that same toothpick to apply the epoxy.IMG_3388Admittedly my hand is in the way so you can’t actually see that’s what I’m doing. And that’s why I’m bothering telling you so.

But so what?

Well, what kind of toothpick am I using?

IMG_3384-004A flat one, yes. From a blue box of (originally) 750. And who makes blue boxes of flat toothpicks?

flatFull score! Diamond brand flat toothpicks, from Hearthmark, LLC d/b/a Jarden Home Brands, a subsidiary of Jarden Corporation. Which you can buy in any grocery store, right?


Here’s the Wegmans grocery store in DeWitt, NY, from above.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 1.34.39 PM copy For comparison, here’s the VAB at the same scale.Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 1.35.19 PM copy By the way, did you know there’s a Subway restaurant at the VAB?Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 1.36.02 PM copyGoogle Maps seems to think so, anyway.

I’m getting off the subject.

The DeWitt Wegmans is huge. About 141,000 square feet — not sure if that’s before or after their most recent expansion. And here’s their toothpick selection:Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 1.46.08 PM copyYour Diamond Square/Round Tip, your Diamond L’Elegance, your Diamond Party Pics, your Diamond Frilled Pics, your Diamond Sandwich Picks, and your Doctor’s Brush Picks.

That’s it.

No flat toothpicks.

Nor have I seen them recently anywhere else. That box on my work table was bought years ago, I have no idea where.

There’s enough more in it to last me a good long time, really. I wouldn’t have even thought about buying a new box but I misplaced mine for a while. Now that I’ve found it again, there’s no urgency, but I’ll need more toothpicks eventually. Flat ones.

Not that round toothpicks are useless, of course, but the flat ones are what I want. Easier to mix stuff using the blunt end. And easier to scoop up glue with it. Use the pointed end (of a different toothpick!) for application in tight places. Flat toothpicks. Ask for them by name. But where?

Walmart? Generally I’d rather have a hysterectomy than go in there, but…

Diamond L’Elegance. Diamond round. Great Value Round. GUM Soft-Picks. That’s what they have locally. Online, more options, but no Diamond flats.

Apparently Americans have stopped picking their teeth with flat toothpicks.

Now, Diamond’s not quite the only game in town. Amazon carries School Smart Flat Toothpicks – Pack of 2500, marketed for crafts and not tooth picking, about which it is written:

I knew these wouldn’t be high quality, but I was still surprised to find out how low-quality they are. They split apart practically when you touch them. They are very fragile, and many were already split apart when I received them. I think it would be difficult to use these for a school craft project. It’s probably worth paying a little more money for toothpicks that are a little sturdier.

Okay then. How about Flat Wood Toothpicks, Wood, Natural Wood, 2500/Pack by Chenille Kraft? Sound better?

Ordered craft toothpicks. Intended for students to use them to build bridges out of, for toothpick bridge project.
Random size and shape slivers of wood is what we got. Not toothpicks. Many pieces where “pre” bent or broken. Others were 1/2 to 3/4 size.
Had to redefine the project, as the bridges would clearly not hold the prescribed weight, being as they were constructed out of significantly inferior materials.

They sound… nearly adequate.


Wait, though. Amazon does have Diamonds.

Amazon Marketplace, that is. They’re not stocked or shipped by Amazon, they’re from Dave & Mark’s Sporting Goods. Hi, Dave! Hi, Mark! The Amazon page says it’s for 48 boxes of 750 — 36,000 toothpicks. That would last me a while. Dave & Mark are charging $4.50. With free shipping.

Why do I have the feeling that’s for one box?

Still, five bucks. I’m not too peeved to pay five bucks for Diamond flats. I clicked Buy. I got, indeed, one box.

2015-02-28 08.47.20

And I’m glad I wasn’t lusting for that “attractive plastic container” they talked about on the Amazon page, because what Dave, or possibly Mark, sent was your basic cardboard box full of toothpicks. Thanks, Amazon Marketplace, for your attention to consistency and accuracy in your listings.

Still, it’s 750 new toothpicks. Between that and my previous half box, I’m probably set for years. But when they run out (or get lost, more likely)… I don’t want to think about it. I DON’T WANNA LIVE IN A POST DIAMOND FLATS WORLD.



4 thoughts on “Left flat: A rant

  1. Interesting about the flat toothpicks. I use them to hold the igniters in MicroMaxx engines. The round toothpicks make too tight a seal, a possible exploding engine if a round toothpick is forced too tight in the nozzle.
    The square toothpick allows the engine flame to “vent” around the square toothpick at ignition, no chance of a exploding engine.
    I’ve never had a MMX engine explode but some on the forums have had it happen when a round toothpick is too tight in the nozzle.

  2. Pingback: Rocketry goals review for Nov/Dec 2015, and for the year 2015 | Rich's Rockets

  3. Pingback: Building the [scratch] Pumpnik | Rich's Rockets

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