Tightly wound tubes and handshakes

Today, tubes containing toothpaste are soft, malleable plastic, but it used to be in a collapsible metal tube. The kind that would ooze out when the cap was unscrewed.

My grandfather would use a piece of wire to extract every last bit from the metal tube. When the container was almost empty, he wound the bottom around a thin metal rod and then slowly rolled it up. The winding compressed the metal and squeezed out the remaining paste.

The end result was a tight roll of metal that looked like a mini-yoga mat or cigarette. Living through two World Wars and an economic depression taught him to waste nothing.

In our age of excess, people might think rolling a tube is a waste of time and roll their eyes. If something is running low, then just throw it away and order another one on Amazon.

Post COVID-19, 40 years from now, our grandchildren will shake their heads when we insist on washing hands, avoid shaking hands, keep our distance from a cough, or hide a secret stash of antibiotics under our bed.

I hope some hard-earned habits stick around this time.

curology-fm1JKDItlVM-unsplashPhoto by Curology on Unsplash


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