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  Why does Chapstick always unwind?
  Posted by: booztalkin on May-18-14 6:16 PM (EST)

Out paddling all day, you need some protection on those purdy lips, right?

I often drop Chapstick or similar products in my pocket. I've never understood why when I take the chapstick out of my pocket, it is extended all the way into the top of the stick tube. I can accept that moving around in my pocket might spin the little wheel that deploys the product, but why doesn't it ever retract inside the tube. It always screws outward.

Does this happen to your chapstick? Why is it unidirectional?

I apologize in advance for this post. It's kind of a stupid topic. Perhaps it is the exception to the rule that there are no stupid questions. But, like the character in Dirty Harry said, "Mistah, I gots ta know..."

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Messages in this Topic


  Kind of like;
  Posted by: Jackl on May-18-14 6:39 PM (EST)
"does your chewing gum loose it's flavor on a bed post over night" !

Jack L
  Of all my problems
  Posted by: pirateoverforty on May-18-14 9:58 PM (EST)
guess I can be thankful this isn't one of them.
  Maybe when
  Posted by: betmkaplan on May-18-14 10:13 PM (EST)
Maybe when you are south of the Equator, then it will retract instead of extend.
  Coriolus effect. Move to Australia.
  Posted by: ezwater on May-18-14 10:21 PM (EST)
  Curse of the Booztalkin' Mariner
  Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on May-19-14 7:48 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: May-19-14 7:51 AM EST --

Loose lips,
sink ships,
in twist of fate,
it t'wer Chapsticks,

this Flava-Craze,
it t'wer a doozy,
he cherry picked,
to slick as Suzy! (Eh Boozy?)

no pocket protector,
as balm extended,
now brace yourself,
greasy palms upended,

good thing booztalkin',
could play this roll,
saltier mariner,
wrecked by atoll,

of bell he rung,
with Chapstick's toss,
fateful mistake,
struck albatross,

so tie your tubes,
balm not in scoff,
else I wax on,
should you wax off.

(a Chip Off the Ole Block 'n Fishin' Tackle Production)

  Try a different pocket
  Posted by: Guideboatguy on May-19-14 12:33 PM (EST)
If your right pocket unwinds the Chapstick, maybe the left one will spin it the other way. Maybe if you keep switching it between pockets at the proper time interval, it will always be ready to use at any given moment.
  Good idea, but the problem is the hole
  Posted by: deuce on May-20-14 4:42 PM (EST)
will eventually become stripped due to the constant....... ah, screw it.
  can you buy chapstick in a tin?
  Posted by: slushpaddler on May-19-14 12:50 PM (EST)
Like you can with...Burt's Beeswax?

  Better option
  Posted by: WaterBird on May-19-14 1:08 PM (EST)
Bag Balm: Buy it in a large can and put it in a small container. Best price is as Target.

Chaptstick etc are addictive.
  Mine usually melts when left in the car
  Posted by: Yanoer on May-19-14 1:36 PM (EST)
in my PFD pocket.
  It lacks an off-side roll
  Posted by: pikabike on May-19-14 2:41 PM (EST)
You'll have to teach it the non-screw roll.
  Easy fix
  Posted by: taj on May-19-14 7:00 PM (EST)
When you open a tube get out the cordless drill and make a hole through the side of the tube. If you really want it centered you will need a drill press. Get a "hairpin" (the machinery type) and stick it through the tube. It will hold the chapstick from advancing or retreating unless it gets too warm. When you need to advance it remove the pin and reinsert it at the proper height. On hot days keep an ice cube in your pocket next to the tube.
  Hee hee, a cotter pin for Chapstick
  Posted by: pikabike on May-20-14 1:24 PM (EST)
Tim, you win the award for most bizarre application of a common mechanical fix!

I hope you're getting some good fishin' in these days.
  Its what I do...
  Posted by: taj on May-21-14 10:06 AM (EST)
fix it all.

I've made it out fishing a couple times, but have had to defer to playing music a lot lately. No complaint as I love both. Looking forward to getting the canoe out next week when I finish my On-call duty for work. Hope you've been well in all of your adventures. So much to do and so little time beats boring.
  It's a Yank gone Brit el Kinda Thing!
  Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on May-21-14 7:52 AM (EST)
-- Last Updated: May-21-14 8:08 AM EST --

So this be the terror takin' turn down the Thames!
Critical convolution twists plot paddled in, by James!
Now the Miles that you have covered will not balm without a mess.
Don't give up on it, ole chap! Stick ghost-of-chance with governess.

It is kind of a horror story, ain't it?

  is lip balm a NE natural resource?
  Posted by: slushpaddler on May-21-14 8:33 AM (EST)
Is there a lipbalm mine somewhere in MA, or a herd of lipbalm cattle in VT? Maybe a tax incentive for lip balm manufacturers in NH?

I've noticed a bevy of lip balm makers in NE. What gives? Was it once made from whal oil?
  Thought this was explained by
  Posted by: poleswithsoul on May-21-14 6:24 PM (EST)
Murphy's Law
  Anyone like "Blast from the Past"?
  Posted by: pat2 on May-21-14 6:51 PM (EST)
A duck walks into a drugstore and asks for chapstick. "Certainly" the clerk replys, "how would you like to pay for that". The duck replys "put it on my bill".
  Sayyyy! Y'er a...
  Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on May-22-14 8:00 AM (EST)
...regular Aquilla the Pun, ain't ya? Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

"Put it on the bill,' well that plan has a quack.
You'll make some change in his condition - just get down and hear lips smack.
As he preens with balmy weather an oily mess mixed-up with wax.
And if you stick as this rainmaker that's just more water off duck's back.

Now, applying chapstick to one of those California Landlords!!!? As was often said in the past, you're gonna need a bigger boat. And perhaps a, "Wax on, wax off," delivery of far greater speed and dexterity than any technique Mr. Miyagi ever taught.
  seriously, I have the same problem.
  Posted by: string on May-22-14 9:03 AM (EST)
I like the cotter pin idea but it will snag on the mesh PFD pocket and you will never get it out.
  Exception's to the Rule
  Posted by: booztalkin on May-22-14 12:21 PM (EST)
Well, the replies of all you good-hearted p-netters have made this thread an exception. Usually, questions here yield useful responses. Not so much on this one.

But another way to look at it is that the responses produced more than one smile, which is a useful thing, if not useful info.

Thanks for the grins, which thanks to my chapstick, is not a grin through dry, cracked lips!

But I still want to know why it always unwinds.

  OK, OKAAAAAAYAH! So it's...
  Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on May-22-14 5:14 PM (EST)
...practical solutions ya want. (Well, I could see where poetic poppycock and revisiting droll Henry James might not bring joyous insight to your twisted conundrums and peptic ulcers.)

Remember those little metal cylinder match cases with the rubber gasketed, thread-on swing-lids? (As if this situation wasn't twisted enough!) Perhaps if you were to nestle your chapstick tube down betwixt a few Diamond Brand Self-Strikes you might achieve non-rotational torque. Hell, if that infernal gopher-game-minded salve is still intent on its hats off and AWOL extrusions (that's, "A Wax On Leave," and no, that doesn't mean you haven't the proper airborne command center in place for directing drone strikes against terrorist jet skiers), at least your match heads might receive an additional barrier from moisture's strike to your strikes.

If that ain't to your liking...well...

Does...your...chapstick lose its flavor,
stuck to your gunnels overnight?
If your mother says don't...

You know how it goes.
  It unwinds because....
  Posted by: taj on May-23-14 10:10 AM (EST)
it can.

As a horn player I go through a lot of ChapStick. Some tubes are not as tight as others for whatever reason. I've had them unwind both ways in my pocket, so, I don't carry in my pocket anymore. I have a small Nite Ize belt pouch that I carry my Leatherman, Surefire light, and some other small tools in. It also is home to my ChapStick. No more problems unwinding. Yes, I even carry the pouch on gigs. The band sees me as "Tim the Tool Man." This is a public service on my part as someone occasionally asks to borrow a tool to fix a music stand, a valve on a horn, and various other tasks. I'm afraid I've become attached - nay - dependant on having knife, tools, and ChapStick available at all times. BTW, the ChapStick is useful as a lubricant and for softening up split fingers, too.
  it unwinds due to
  Posted by: leighrobin on May-26-14 9:36 PM (EST)
chapstick marketing strategy. they feel it is in their best interest that the consumer uses the product only once. This way they can get .95 cents more from you sooner. Northrup Grumman had engineers on this in the 1970s. Someday they will release the top secret memos regarding this.
  seriously though
  Posted by: leighrobin on May-28-14 6:18 AM (EST)
it has to be heat expansion. I use CarMax or Vaseline in a tube with a different type of closure. when I use it, it gushes out initially. therefore- heat expansion.
  wondered myself
  Posted by: CEWilson on May-28-14 8:13 AM (EST)
It probably has to do with the screw threads or the threaded "nut" in the gook cup they run through. Natch, they are molded. Natch it's harder to mold upen angles than straight 90 dg sides. The engineers probably open the threads on the up and out side more than the close side because no-one wants the cup screwed all the way down.

I've been meaning to save a few used up samples and inspect threads for decades, but never seem to get that done. Further, I am currently working on a realized universal theory of throw rug creep, so quite occupied at this time.

  all you are not devoting your efforts
  Posted by: kayamedic on May-28-14 9:07 AM (EST)
to the best research.

I've tagged bits of flotsam in the car and tracked them all to the same the crack between the seat and the console.. Out of reach by anything including the vacuum.

  A Paddler Waxes Philosophic
  Posted by: canoeswithduckheads on May-28-14 12:15 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: May-29-14 8:56 AM EST --

When you think of tossin' those orange peels out,
you take your stand on old coffee grounds,
in rudder-skeg confusion of the misdeployed direction,
you're "whether" cocks an eye of confound,

in the balmy seize of the waxy clapotis,
you'll chip away in twisted progress,
through pursed chapped lips there slides these extrusions,
that stick inside the Paddling Net mess.

  This is a question for ...
  Posted by: HotelRoyale on May-28-14 1:20 PM (EST)
Cecil Adams, the world's smartest person and overall grand poobah at "The Straight Dope". Cecil tackles the tough questions and this would seem to be one of them.

The Straight Dope has been asked about the addictive properties of Chap Stick and other lip balms but not about this phenomenon. Even if he doesn't have the answer, he will certainly provide an entertaining response.


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