In the US, we make (and sell) a bunch of ridiculous shit. Shit that you wouldn’t get away with in the UK. Shit like surprise-electric-toothbrushes.
So I’m at the grocery store buying some toiletries, and I’m in the toothbrush section. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but there are a lot of toothbrush options. Why, I don’t know. I don’t think my teeth are that picky so long as they are clean. I get a little overwhelmed by all the options (what shade of fuschia do I want? On a scale of 1-10, how hard should the bristles be? Do I want a rubber ball to massage my tonsils while I scrape the plaque from the exposed bones in my mouth? etc etc).
When I am toothbrush shopping, I have two qualifications: 1) Is it on sale? and 2) does it come in a multipack? (Yes, I am a member at Costco. An Executive Member). General non-suckiness as a utensil is also a plus. I usually go with the first option that meets my qualifications. And that’s probably how I came home with two unassuming ordinary regular-looking bic toothbrushes with a medium hardness and complementing rubber bristles. I ignored the font on the front that read “Pulsar” as some marketing gimmick that is only effective when preceded by the word “free”.
I was brushing my teeth one night a few months later (like any good sober person with a normal sense of hygiene) when suddenly my teeth start to vibrate. ‘Course, my first thought is, “Did I pick up the wrong appliance…?” But upon closer examination, I realized there were two small rubber buttons, one with a plus and one with a minus. It would seem that, like any good American, I failed to read the directions.
Course, now I can’t not use the vibration setting. Does it clean my teeth better? No. All it really does is fling spit around and make me feel like I live in the arctic. But the real American-ness of the product is its hidden genuis. Because let’s be honest, who actually needs an electric toothbrush (besides ladies too embarrassed to buy a vibrator)? But somebody had the brilliance to disguise this thing as a slightly-better-than-shit toothbrush-two-pack on sale at the Piggly Wiggly, delivered a product that serves as little more than a saliva sling-shot, but can sleep easy with the guaruntee of a return customer. Because once you’ve experienced the luxury of an electric toothbrush – even a surprise one – ain’t no goin back. It’s as if you’ve gained a social class overnight. Sure, we may all wipe our asses the same way, but I brush my teeth with an electric toothbrush. Take that, Donald Trump.