Saturday, 25 August 2012

Golden Toothpicks

In a jewellers yesterday, peering at the various precious metal exhibits. It struck me that, for the man, there's a deal of cultural inertia, small-c conservatism, about what we want to buy in gold form: cufflinks, tiepins and so on, despite the fact that nowadays everybody's shirts come with button-cuffs and of the few people who wear ties very few wear pins.  But then my mind caroomed off on another angle. I happen to know (in a professional capacity) that one mark of status for the nineteenth-century gentleman was: a gold toothpick.  It hits the spot: small, so not too ostentatious; but an object one can flourish in people's faces so they know, as you pick your teeth, that you're well-to-do.  There's the added advantage that gold is a good material for picking your teeth with: not too hard or brittle, less splintery and (of course) more durable than a wooden toothpick; hypoallergenic, untarnishable and so on.  Why don't people sell such things nowadays?  I'd buy one.

Ah, but then I'm the only person I know who uses toothpicks--or, since I can't find them anywhere (and since I baulk at the insanely overpriced 'interdental brushes') I use cocktail sausage sticks.  I don't see how one gets the interdental spaces clean without them.  Maybe I'm an oddball.

1 comment:

Nicola Vincent-Abnett said...

I know for an absolute, incontrovertible fact that you're not the only person you know who uses a toothpick. We are two more of those people.

Rest assured I shall be looking out for something beautiful with which to begin your collection. It's entirely your fault. You're stuck with it, like other people get stuck with grotesque collections of tea pots, ceramic cats and carpet bowls. You have the advantage that your collection, however vast it grows can be tossed in a small drawer, and will be worth no less tomorrow than it is today. You can't say that for your Franklin Mint tat.