Regular readers of Notes and Rests will recall that Italy is near the brink of financial disaster, which is a shame. But it’s good to know that this has not undermined the capacity of the Italians to design, make, and market a device as fine as the one depicted above. The Cedes Toothpaste Squeezer, which you can purchase from Park & Bond for $295, is a chrome plated item of jewelry-like quality, handcrafted in Italy. It will accommodate a family-sized tube of toothpaste. (Terrific!) And with its Perspex support base resting on four silicone feet, there will be no worries at all about it slipping and sliding about on your bathroom countertop. It will stay right where you put it. And it’s a work of fine art, an ideal acquisition for those who enjoy collecting finely crafted toothpaste-tube squeezing contraptions.
For everyone else, the case for this purchase is less clear. Take our publisher, Guy N. Texas, for instance. He does not collect toothpaste squeezers. He also happens to be blessed with fingers of such dexterity that they can squeeze a toothpaste tube to exhaustion without mechanical assistance of any kind. Even those who find that they need help squirting toothpaste onto their brushes will want to consider the economics: A large family-sized tube lasts the average clan three months (somewhat less than that if teenagers are in the house). Let’s call that 5 tubes per year, to be conservative. So assuming the device manages to free up an extra 39 1/2 cents worth of pastel goo out of each tube — a generous assumption — then the payback period for this $295.00 device is around 200 years. The good news, though, is that it’s so well made it will easily last that long. So buy one. And be sure to put it in your will, so your children won’t fight over it after you’re gone.