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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
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Toothbrush, or Torture Device?

In this household, my wife is in charge of our dental health.

I do take some responsibility, of course. I don’t just open wide in the morning to have my choppers scrubbed down, like some overstuffed captive animal. That might work for your average gator farm inhabitant or zoo hippo or hostess of The View, but it’s not going to fly in this house. And the missus has told me as much — in writing, I might add. You can’t blame a guy for trying.

So obviously, I brush my own teeth. But the equipment I use is largely up to her. She decides what type of toothbrush is best, which toothpaste tastes good and is good for us, and how stout the bristles need to be to keep our whites their pearliest. She makes damned good decisions, too.

And I’m not just saying that because I’d have to fend for my own dental supplies if I complain. I really mean it, as far as anyone could prove in a court of law.

“If someone ever offered to take me out in the alley for an ‘oral B’, I’d be very frightened. Obviously intrigued, and strangely excited, yes. But very frightened.”

Still. I have to admit, her latest choice is making me just a tad nervous. My gums are quivering at the very thought. I’ll explain.

Long ago, my better half moved us over to electric toothbrushes, and there was much rejoicing. She likes them because apparently the electric models thoroughly cover the target areas, stimulate the surrounding tissue, and can reach places that regular appliances can’t.

(I try my best to forget that she’s talking about a long vibrating stick when she recites these reasons. Usually, I fail miserably and can’t look myself in the eye in the mirror while I’m brushing for at least a week. Not cool.)

Personally, I prefer the electric toothbrushes because all that scrubbing I used to do is taken care of automatically. What a burden it was to waggle that brush up-and-down and side-to-side, like some sort of cavity-conscious caveman. Thank heaven we finally found a way to harness electricity to work for us. It only took two hundred years after Ben Franklin’s kite flight to make it happen. What the hell were people doing all that time?

Our current brush of choice is the Oral-B Triumph. As sleek and impressive a piece of equipment as this is, I do have three minor quibbles with it:

  • I’m not entirely comfortable with the ‘Oral-B’ brand. What does it mean, anyway? If someone ever offered to take me out in the alley for an ‘oral B’, I’d be very frightened. Obviously intrigued, and strangely excited, yes. But very frightened.
  • ‘Triumph’ is going just a bit far, when we’re talking about dental health. You ‘triumph’ over adversity, or cancer, or an invading rebel army. If your chief ‘triumph’ of the day is over tooth germs, you might be setting the bar just a smidge too low.
  • Look at the damned thing. I’m telling you, it’s a vibrator. I can’t even look at it without hearing porno music. Boom-chicka-wakka.

As I say, these are relatively minor quibbles. With the right frame of mind — and possibly a quick swig of tequila — I can get past these issues and brush, brush, brush those toofers clean.

At least, I could. Until yesterday.

Yesterday, my wife decided the head on my toothbrush was a bit worn down, which it was. She decided I needed a new one, which I did. So she replaced it with… well, see for yourself:

Brushes from Hell
Brushes from Hell

I found one of these contraptions perched atop my precious electric toothbrush this morning. You’ll notice there are bristles in three colors — blue, aqua, and white. Those were standard on the last head, as well.

Then, you’ll notice the yellow bits. These flat prongs are what qualify the head as something called ‘Floss Action’. They’re meant to gently penetrate between your teeth to knock away any loose bits of food.

Unfortunately, the friendly sadists at Oral-B chose to make the prongs out of a rigid, unforgiving substance of some kind. I haven’t worked out quite what it is — galvanized rubber, perhaps, or stainless steel. Shards of yellow glass or even diamonds aren’t out of the question.

All I know is that unleashing this thing inside your tender piehole is like brushing with a bunch of epileptic bees. And while I’m sure it’s spectacular at knocking away those loose bits of food, I fear it’s also deadly proficient at removing other unseemly mouth residents. Like teeth, for instance. Or tonsils. And I haven’t been able to taste ‘salty’ since brushing this morning. I’m pretty sure that’s a bad sign.

Now all I have to do is figure out whether my wife is trying to get tough on plaque, or trying to off me with my own hygiene products. If she shows up with floss reinforcements and a gallon of Listerine, I’ll know she’s just upping the ante against cavities and the gum disease known as gingivitis.

But if my razors suddenly get bent and rusty, and my shampoo’s ‘tingle’ becomes ‘burn like lava’, then we’ll have to have a little talk. Assuming I still can talk, of course, with a mouth full of puncture wounds and glass stuck in my gums. And I thought that stuff only happened at the dentist.

Permalink  |  5 Comments

5 Responses to “Toothbrush, or Torture Device?”

  1. Monkey says:

    Epileptic bees. Haw!

    (Still stalking. Much love!)

  2. Monkey says:

    Epileptic bees. Haw!

    (Still stalking. Much love!)

  3. Monkey says:

    Frig. I either posted twice or not at all. Either way, I’m a dumbass.

    This dumbass’s for you, Charliepants. Frig. I either posted twice or not at all. Either way, I’m a dumbass.

    This dumbass’s for you, Charliepants.

  4. Dave says:

    She’s going for the mouth first so you can’t voice your fears. Next, she’ll go for the fingers. be on the lookout for new gloves or her asking you to fix the garbage disposal

  5. everytime you write you crack me up. you take the simplest thing and make it sooo damn funny! where? when? is your book deal? seriuosly, if each entry of this blog was a book I would buy it.

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