An Anti-Cautionary Tale

Well, we have a new president. Let’s not think about it.

It’s time I tell you the tale of the toothbrush.

Not long ago I finally retired my toothbrush. It was, in all fairness, already past it’s prime, but that week camping on the North Shore with the kid who forgot to pack her own dental hygiene appliances proved my toothbrush to be weak-in-the-knees and my kid to be a bristle-chewer.

And so upon returning home I wasted no time turning to the tooth-bin of the bathroom closet, the catch-all of a nine-man family’s toothbrush stockpiling habit and many dental visit’s worth of tiny paste tubes and floss canisters. One toothbrush remained. A purple Oral-B model. Looked like it would do just fine.

Unfortunately, I’d have been happier with a pumice stone on a stick. This one-grit monster was so stiff and cruel that I dug the packaging back out after three days of tortured gums. Extra Soft was indeed the rating given. Someone at the packaging facility was having a sinister snicker at my expense.

TB was scrawled in blood across my shopping list, and I hastened to the store.

As I stood gaping at the full aisle of toothbrushes at a certain big box store, I threw down some mental calculations to accurately compare bristle-for-bristle what I was about to invest in. I resisted the temptation to rip those little buggers right out of their plastic sheaths, and contented myself with the belief that the responsible practical packaging joker had probably been tossed to the curb outside Oral-B headquarters long ago.

Singles, twin packs, mega packs. All your major brands and impersonators. Straight-laced fading-stripe professionals and super-souped octi-roofline massaging fingerlet cleansing systems.  It seemed, at the time of my perusal, that a toothbrush was going to cost me about $2.50, no matter how I purchased. There were a few possible penny-shavers in the bulk packs, but for the most part, I was looking at a quarter-Hamilton to stop the bleed-out.

As I juggled a handful of candidates, my eyes fell past their numbers to the bottom row. Way down there along the floor there was a whole lineup of generic offerings. No-name contenders. Brightly-colored, compensating-for-something, just-plain toothbrushes. The six-pack amongst his budget-conscious neighbors cast its tendrils towards me, inticing me with his $1.00 price tag.

What on earth is the profit margin on a toothbrush? Apparently we’re talking about a pretty lucrative niche market here. These underdisplayed implements were a mere fifteenth of the cost of their Colgate counterparts.

I hemmed. And I hawed. And I marched straight through the check-out aisle with my 16 2/3 cent toothbrushes. How bad could they be, really?

The verdict:
I am currently holding in my hand the best toothbrush I’ve ever owned.

I’m sure if you’re familiar with the Ottinger relationship with Lady Luck, you’re waiting for the other sarcastic shoe to drop, but really, there isn’t one. This is my favorite toothbrush, hands down. It may have a spontaneous combustion feature hard-wired into its rubbery handle, but for now, we’re the happiest dentrific team you’ve ever seen.

I’d divulge the non-brand name, but fear that the market could be flooded and my underground company could go viral (and competitive) keeps my tongue in my mouth. If you’re looking for your next oral helpmate, just remember to look down.

If you need me, I’ll be at the sink,

As an aside, I’d be refusing to think about it no matter who won the election. Best to focus on my teeth.

Well, OK… you win… here it is:

The best toothbrush ever

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