BRO-TISINAL JANUARY 29, 2014
When I was a kid, I could imagine no worse job than working in a toothpick factory. It seemed like the epitome of tedium, and I always chose it as my "bad" option in fortune-telling games like MASH. It never occurred to me that there could be artisanal toothpicks. Meet Daneson, purveyor of "small batch flavoured toothpicks":
We only use premium natural ingredients like essential oils and single malt scotch. These oils give our sticks a subtle aroma and an experience that is unique from batch to batch and that changes over time much like a fine wine.
So now you can dislodge the cud of $4 toast from your molars with "veneer quality A-Grade wood milled from northern white birch in America." For $35.99, you get four packs of Single Malt Noº16 toothpicks. Be warned, though: "If you're not a scotch drinker you will likely not pick up on the subtlety of Nº16 because it is literally soaked in premium single malt then kiln dried leaving behind flavors deep in the wood of the toothpick." If you’re not sophisticated enough to use single-malt scotch to wash your mouth, then you may be more interested in the $19.99 Salted Birch Noº8 toothpicks, which "are soaked and rolled in sea salt"; or Lemon Noº11 toothpicks, "made with essential oil from California lemons along with a smattering other herbs." Huckberry, which is like Gilt for dudes, notes a Daneson toothpick can "add a little flair to an otherwise boring facial expression."
This may be a new height in artisanal absurdity. And it's interesting how the movement appears to be developing a new, more masculine style: elks' heads, hatchets, quality woods. Like a lot of men's companies, Daneson has adopted an outdoors aesthetic, even as it markets itself to men in cities. Recently, instead of a pop-up shop, it built a "prospector tent base camp" … in downtown Toronto. This is the animating ethos of the bro-tisinal movement: ruggedness without roughing it. A man with a Daneson toothpick might appear to unknowing observers as appealingly old-fashioned; privately, though, he's still enjoying the fashionable flavors of his wealth and status. Daneson describes its toothpicks as "fulsome." It means it in the sense of “abundant,” but one of the word's alternative definitions might be better: "exceeding the bounds of good taste."