Friday, December 03, 2004

Smorgasbord: Oral B Brush Ups

Stop me if you've heard this already: Oral B is now selling pseudo-toothbrushes in the form of little covers that fit over your finger to enable public and anytime toothbrushing.

Okay. Can we discuss this before anyone actually does this? Please? Is this what we need as a citizenry? Are we so busy that we can't actually conduct our ablutions in the privacy of our own home anymore? I've gotta sit on the Metro and watch someone "brush" their teeth on their way to work? What kind of primordial civilization are we creating here? What's next? People just pooping their pants on the train? Shaving your legs in the car on the way to work? Stop the madness!!!

My first encounter with Brush-Ups was in LA a few weeks ago. In the Crown Room bathroom there was a woman using one of them. I intentionally didn't pay too much attention because I have a notorious gag-reflex when watching other people brush their teeth. I don't know what it is. I can see nose picking, I can smell--and then laugh at--the worst brand of fart my brother [or others--you know who you are!] can deliver, I can clip someone's toenails, but dear lord help me if I see someone brushing their teeth. Seriously. At the first sight of the toothpaste coming out of someone's mouth, I just start gagging.

I learned about my gag reflex at Girl Scout camp in 1981 in New Hampshire. It was tres rustic: pit toilets, log cabins, and a huge trough with multiple spigots for us to all brush our teeth and wash up. The first night we all gathered round the trough to brush up for bed. And so it began. Gag-o-rama.

I think there are a few elements of the gag that can be explained:

#1: The Froth. Seeing the toothpaste froth, a phenomenon I have never understood, is the primary gag inducer. Your teeth are INSIDE your mouth, so why is the toothpaste seeping OUT of your mouth? It's called a "dime-sized" amount of toothpaste on the brush for a reason, people!

#2: The Mirror Gaze. Seeing someone gazing at themselves while frothing and brushing is like a Creature Double Feature. Gag-o-Rama in stereo.

#3: The Tongue Brush and Gag: My senior year of college (where we had co-ed bathrooms), this one guy, Bill, would perpetrate not only #s 1 and 2, but also the dreaded and revolting #3. He would brush his tongue all the way back into his throat and then gag into the sink. And it wasn't just a quiet little mini-gag; it was a sound akin to Chewbacca when the Millennium Falcon was being attacked by TIE fighters; you know, that Ghhraaaaaahhhahhaaaagggghhhhhh noise that tells you there was some serious epiglottal contact.

#4: Even writing this. I've gotta stop. Bleeah.

Short Story Long: Brush you teeth, comb your hair, put on your makeup, shave your face, clip your nails and put lotion on your stanky feet at home. Please. Thank you. And to all a good night!


Evil Doctor said...

You left out people who floss in restaurants.

E said...

Thank you, Evil Doctor! That IS gross.

I also feel compelled to add a summertime infraction, which is sitting with someone in a meeting or at lunch while they pick at their toes and then eat or pick up their pen with their stanky fingers.