DANCES WITH WORDS: Upside down is right side up

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Nick Wolochatiuk

If you have been around as long as sliced bread, you know we are living in an era of dizzying change. We successfully transitioned from “Hello operator, please connect me to Kenwood 2212”, to rotary dialing, to touch tone key pad to voice-activated dialing. Telegrams, faxes and even hand-written letters have become passé. If you don’t blog, tweet or have a presence on Facebook you are a virtual-world nobody.

Are you ready for yet another phenomenal change? Since there is not yet a widely accepted name for this revolution in our ways, let me go on record as being the one who has baptized it with the name, ‘Topsi -Turvi’ (not to be confused with the idiom ‘topsy-turvy’).  

Here’s the critical economic situation that made Topsi-Turvi necessary. Every day we make use of at least one of the following items: chili, dish soap, hair conditioner, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, plum sauce, relish, salad dressing, salsa, sea food sauce and shampoo.

Since these products come in narrow-neck containers, we waste, on average, a minimum of 60 seconds while we wait for the viscous semi-liquids to reluctantly ooze out after we invert the bottles. We do some coaxing by attempting something akin to burping a baby, patting it on the bottom.

When we think the containers are ‘empty’, they’re not. A typical 500 ml container has about 10% of its contents lingering at the bottom, inaccessible, wasted.

And now, some precise numbers. Let’s suppose a time-saving of one minute per bottle. Let’s say we use two bottles of something per day, 365 days per year. I’m not including the periodic leap-year extra days in my computations, as dealing with them would be beyond my rather limited mathematical expertise.

Next, a calculation of number of years. Starting at the so-called ‘age of reason’(which can be age five on the average, but there are some 15-year olds and 45-year olds that still haven’t reached their age of reason). Let’s assume a life span of about 80 years, 75 years of them being within the age- of-reason range.

Based on all of the above assumptions, the following are my calculations of time wasted: 75 years of product consumption x 365 days per year x 2 products used per day x 2 minutes of burping the bottles per day. Yup, I have just proven you have wasted 109, 300 minutes of your 75-year life expectancy just burping bottles.

Then there’s the calculation of money wasted. Let’s say that 10% of the contents of each $4.00 container are not utilized. That means $0.40 per container is wasted. Calculations: 54,750 bottles used per lifetime x $0.40 value of wasted product per container. You’ve wasted $21,900.00!

Just think what you could have done with those 109,300 minutes and $21,860.00.

To avoid this enormous waste of precious time and money, I strongly suggest you use the Topsi-Turvi routine whenever you place your ketchup in your kitchen cupboard and on your dining room table. Let gravity work.

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