TOOTHPICK |ˈto͞oTHˌpik | a short pointed piece of wood or plastic used for removing bits of food lodged between the teeth. Toothpicks can be also used as substitute for smoking or snack substitutes for people who doesn't seem to know what a real snack is ...
// 2. driver's toothpick As part of the process of building his character, Ryan decided that Driver - as someone who has seen too many movies and starts acting as if he were part of one of them- would be chewing a toothpick like tough guys do in classic motion pictures. This detail doesn't appear in the book by James Sallis, the one the script is based on.
Ryan Gosling: -according to Rebecca Murray, About.com - "When I first read this script, I felt like, 'Well, this is a guy who’s just seen too many movies. He’s going around acting like he’s the hero of his own action movie.' I wanted to explore that idea because I’ve been wanting to play a superhero but all the good ones are taken. I thought, 'Well, I could create my own, potentially.'
On the right, Mr Gosling as Driver, a quiet hero. Toothpick in his mouth, he always ponders the situation. From the movie.
Gosling is -according to Susan Wloszczyna for USA Today- a movie star who sweats the detail. Even his toothpicks are unique.
Ryan Gosling on his toothpick: "It doesn't sound very tough, but it was the tea-tree oil kind. They make those nice organic kinds. After all, I had to chew on them all day."
// 3. carved tea tree oil toothpicks These are the ones that Driver chews during the movie. These kinds of picks are treated with Tea Tree Oil and other natural extracts to provide optimal oral hygiene. Tea Tree Oil's natural antiseptic properties help freshen breath and kill bacteria that causes plaque and tartar. Their long-lasting flavor can be an aid to those giving up smoking anddon't mind looking like that person who always has a toothpick in their mouth.
Tea Tree Oil Toothpicks are made from Birchwood trees.
On the picture below, Driver aka the embodiment of The Skeptic's Dilemma ... Tooth pick or Not tooth pick
// 4. mean badass and toothpicks, the way to success -according to StraightDope- Back in the 50's movies people smoked to calm their nerves and chewing on a toothpick is the opposite of that. It makes for the representation of a mean badass. The character is so cool and tough he doesn't need no damned cigarette to calm his nerves. He likes being on edge.
// 5. a bit of history -according to patientactivator.com- Toothpicks date back to 3,500 BC when the earliest known oral hygiene kit featuring a toothbrush was found at the Ningal Temple in Ur. In China, a curved pendant, made of cast bronze was worn around the neck and used as a toothpick. In 536 BC, the Chinese mandated a law that required the use of the toothpick because their armies suffered from bad breath.
In the Old Testament, it is written that "one may take a splinter from the wood lying near him to clean his teeth." Toothpicks probably had their heyday in the Middle Ages when keeping a toothpick in the mouth all day long was a common habit. In the 17th century, toothpicks were commonly used by the educated classes throughout Europe. In France, for example, toothpicks were served with desserts, usually poked into fruit to be handy following a meal. After they were used, they could be placed behind the ear for future use ...
handcrafted toothpicks -according to Slate magazine- Charles Forster was born in 1826 in Charlestown, Mass., into an old and aristocratic New England family. While working for his uncle's import/export business in Brazil, he noticed that the natives had beautiful teeth, which he attributed to their use of handcrafted toothpicks. At a time when virtually everything was becoming mass produced, Forster vowed to make a fortune producing wooden toothpicks so cheaply by machine that he could export them to South America.
a marketing genius and a crook -according to Slate magazine- He first targeted stationers, who dealt in small items. When he could not place his product in their stores, he hired personable young people to go to those same retailers and ask for wooden toothpicks. Naturally, the retailers had to turn away the potential customers. Shortly afterward, Forster would make return visits to the stores, where he easily sold his wares. To reinforce thewisdom of the shopkeeper's decision, Forster's shills soon came back to ask again for toothpicks, and this time the sales were made.
The boxes of toothpicks were then returned to Forster, who could resell them to the retailer, who now was prepared to talk them up to real customers.
To get toothpicks into restaurants, Forster hired Harvard men. After they had finished dining on Forster's dime at a local establishment, such as the Union Oyster House, they demanded wooden toothpicks. When they were told none were available, the students raised a ruckus and vowed never to eat there again. Naturally, when Forster came around some days hence, the restaurant manager purchased boxes of toothpicks to distribute to his customers. Once wooden toothpicks became readily available in restaurants, diners picked them up on their way out and used them for their intended purpose.
a trendy behaviour Chewing toothpicks in public soon became fashionable among well-to-do men, and after a while young women began taking up the practice. One Bostonian observed that at lunchtime "nearly every third woman met in the vicinity of Winter and West streets has a toothpick between her lips." This ostentatious primary and secondary toothpick usage in the 1870s served to further the general desire for toothpicks. It was a common observation of the time that many of the young men standing in front of a good hotel chewing toothpicks were suggesting they had eaten in its fine dining room, when in fact they could not afford to do so. In time, chewing a toothpick anywhere became a sign of contentment and insouciance.
Thus, the toothpick took on a life of its own, serving not only as a utilitarian object but also as a status symbol and even as an accessory.
// 6. hanging out with his toothpick Following his acting method, Ryan Gosling and his toothpick became inseparable by the time the actor was filming Drive, making it its own. It is unknown though if the actor keeps it in a special place in his house as he did with his other inanimate co-star Bianca ...
Some of the events Mr Gosling attended in the company of his toothpick were AMPAS 2nd Annual Governors Awards at the Grand Ballroom in November 13 201l [Part One] [Part Two], Oscar Awards Roundtable (where you can see Gosling revisiting the myth of tough guys wearing the toothpick behind his ear) and Blue Valentine screening in December 2nd 2010 to name but a few.
// 7. the toothpick brigade Other toothpick lovers, in real life and fiction, are Micky Rourke as Vanko in Iron Man 2, comic character Van Von Hunter, detective Harvey Bullock from Batman, Stephen King's "Beaver" from The Dreamcatcher ... And despite some people beliefs, Sylvester Stallone's Cobra chewed on an unlit match and not a toothpick.
// 8. polemic Some sources claim that Tea Tree Oil is poisonous thus Tea Tree Oil toothpicks are nocive for the human being. Apparently, despite the fact this oil can be indeed dangerous in large amounts, the small amount that is absorbed from the toohpicks will not poison the user, even thought it won't either keep their teeth healthy. Tea tree oil is toxic if you drink it straight. In comparison, you would need to eat a case of these toothpicks to get even close to a toxic amount ... but then again who would want to eat a case of these "so called" snacks?
L to R Ryan Gosling as Roy Chutney, a pioneer in terms of chewing a toothpick. The Slaughter Rule. Click both images to enter a beautiful world full of color, where you will enjoy a bigger and clearer version of the illustrations.
Updated November 2nd 2011 // 9. Ryan and tootpicks ... the origins Long before Drive, there was The Slaughter Rule and Roy Chutney, a high school senior in small Montana town who liked playing football, yodelling Hank Thompson, howling drunken at the moon and chewing a toothpick. Thanks Vivianne for suggesting this update!
A ditch and a toothpick: (Min 00:46:07) Roy, Gideon and Tracy Two Dogs are on Roy's truck, on their way home. Gideon tells the guys he's having a gig with his pal Floyd on Saturday night and invites them over to see the performance, suggesting Roy that Skyla -"the gal you was making eyes at the other night" will be there.
The scene takes place at Montana Lounge Bar, where Skyla happens to work at. Roy -toothpick in his mouth- asks for a ditch without even knowing what a ditch in Montana is and Skyla asks him for a dance. To enjoy this clip, and see Mr Gosling chewing a toothpick in all his splendour, visitor only have to click on the eye and wait for the distressed movie to download.