Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Q-tips: You've got some, I've got some, it seems everyone does. I just happened to glance at the package this morning, and I noticed that its listed contents were "300 safety swabs."

Wait a moment. Why is this a safety swab, why would I need a safety swab, and what types of swabs are unsafe?

As far as I know, these are regular old q-tips. I did a brief search on this matter, and was quite surprised at the wealth of information that was out there. This is the wonder if the internet age: if I were to ponder just what a "safety swab" was fifteen years ago, I'd have to go down to the library, or perhaps call one of those 1-800 numbers that every product seems to come equipped with. Questions? Comments?

But now, from the safety of your own home computer, I can look up all the q-tips information I want. First of all, I found 3 reviews on epinons.com Johnson and Johnson's safety swabs, recommending them unanimously as safe to use for your baby, and an excellent alternative to regular cotton swabs. Yes, that's right, at least three people have bothered to go online and write a product review of q-tips.

However:

  • While reviewers were satisfied that the J&J Safety Swabs wouldn't hurt their infant, none of them actually reported having done so with the ordinary kind. No post of "holy shit, I just popped my kid's eardrums with these regular cotton swabs! You'd better use them safety swabs!" could be found.
  • The reviews concerned J&J's "Safety swab," which is a new product -- this would mean that Johnson and Johnson believe there is a niche market for safety swabs. They aren't the "real" Q-tips.
  • The real Q-tip is made by Chesebrough-Ponds USA Co., which is in turn owned by consumer-products giant Unilever.
  • All Q-tips swabs seem to be "safety swabs," as opposed to the specific ones from Johnson & Johnson.
  • They have a website specificically devoted to the product, www.qtips.com, where you can learn about the history of q-tips, craft info, and more!

  • Originally, the invention of q-tips spawned an entire company devoted to the little suckers, which were at that point called baby gays. Good call on the name change.
  • So, to sum up, this means that there is plenty of competition in the market for, and a wealth of information available regarding, miniature cotton balls on paper sticks.

Welcome to postmodernism, ladies and gentlemen.

2 Comments:

  • At 9:22 AM , Blogger  said...

    never stick anything smaller than your elbow into your ear canal.

     
  • At 11:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey...I just read this blog, and I think it's actually quite funny. Aside from that though, you are right, there really isnt necessarily anything that makes J&J's safer than Q-Tips, but business is business, and they didn't ever say that Q-tips WEREN'T safe...

     

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