I know when I need to buy a new toothbrush: When bristles are a distant memory and the minster for Pearly-Whites drops around because "he’s concerned about me". People have always told me I don’t talk about toothbrushes enough. I do find it a deeply personal area, but I shall somewhat attempt to redress the balance now. I can’t help but be baffled by toothbrushes. I do actively try to avoid bafflement, but bafflement comes so naturally to me, I always seem to be swimming against its tide. Drown.
I’m not even talking about electric toothbrushes, I’m talking about the calorie-burning manual variety. I shiver at the thought of getting involved with the electric ones. All that shaking and holding thick handles, it‘s not right. We should fear them.
And there I stand in Tesco Extra, a rack full teeth cleaning technology towering above me, asking me to give them a new home. I can only be confused, in fact sad, that things aren’t just a little bit simpler. Do I want to ’cross -stroke’, am I interested in ‘gum massaging’ (I’m not and I visited gummassage.com by accident and in fact I thought the pictures were quite tasteful), or do I want ‘ultra clean teeth that only come from Ultra technology’.
I look around desperately, and spot a shop-assistant; a young ginger with a superfluous Berol. “Can you talk me through some of these toothbrushes” I ask her, my hand raising slowly to my chin in eager anticipation of toothbrush sales-patter. She smiles nervously and carries on reorganising angry cans of deodorant into gangs.
A man in his fifties comes along and grabs at a brush, almost recklessly throwing it into a trolley full vegetables that almost certainly don’t exist. Such confidence, I presume, can only come with age and experience. Maybe in twenty years that’ll be me. I’ll coolly push my trolley full of organic cock along the toiletry aisle, wink at a passing Tescobabe before, with hardly even a passing-glance, scooping up a bad boy and looping that teeth-cleaner over my back into my trolley, letting it rest neatly next to an oberjober.
For now that’s just a pipe-dream, it’s a twenty-four hour supermarket, but I’ve been there so long they want to close because the twenty-four hours are up. I grab at a yellow one and slip it carefully under a bag of carrots. I look for the check-out person who appears never to have cleaned their teeth. I’ve done it.