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Getting It All Out

     A shiny new tube of toothpaste is sitting on the sink, but me—I'm squeezing the old crinkled-up tube for all it's worth. There's perfectly good toothpaste in there, if I can just get it out. It works best if you start squeezing from the bottom and work your way up. If that doesn't work you have to lay your finger flat across the tube and press firmly as your finger moves up to the top of the tube.

     When your finger gets near the top, there's a technique for squeezing under the neck of the tube. Only for skilled professionals: you have to position your thumbs strategically—one on each side—to get the paste to spurt out. Aargh! Too much!

     After brushing my teeth, I put the extra toothpaste back in the tube and reach for the almost-empty bottle of lotion standing upside-down, balanced between the faucet and the wall. The top isn't flat enough to stand upside-down without falling. Oh—I was kidding about getting the toothpaste back in the tube, but if you have any ideas. . .

     What a morning! My lotion and toothpaste don't usually run out on the same day. But I'm in charge here so I pick up the upside-down lotion bottle, take the lid off and catch the two drops that slip out. Big deal. It's time to shake now. The bottle; not me. If you're violent enough and have a lot of patience, you can get most of the lotion to leave the bottle and plop into your hand and spurt all over the bathmat at your feet.

     After you clean up the mess, there's still lotion in the bottle. It's stuck in the neck. Can't leave that. If your index finger fits inside the neck, use that. If not, use your pinkie. A few swooshes of your finger around the inside of the neck gets the rest of the lotion out and now you have enough to slather onto all the places you need to slather it onto.

     It isn't the money. It isn't to slow down global warming. It's the principle—the Get It All Out principle. So when you're down to the last of the peanut butter or syrup or mayo, stop! Before you toss it, Get It All Out. For peanut butter or mayonnaise, take a knife and circle it around the inside of the jar, pressing firmly and tipping the knife now and then to get that stuff at the bottom. Ever notice they make the bottom of the jar slightly rounded up so you can't get the peanut butter or mayo between the top of the curve and the bottom of the jar?

     For syrup, hold the bottle upside-down for twenty minutes.  Syrup is slower than molasses when it's making its way south toward your pancakes, which need to be kept warm somehow during this whole process, else they won't be hotcakes any more.

     If you're looking for satisfaction, this is the best. You outsmart the manufacturers who think you'll buy more of their product because you're can't get it all out of the container; you save money by using every last ounce of what you paid for and best of all—you'll be taking your trash out at the end of the week with no regrets. Waste Management, I believe it's called.

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