May 1999
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bloody 'ell.

Teeth Brushers of America, Now is the Time to Unite!

By Keith Fraundorf

Too long have we suffered in silence, endured the capitalistic plunder of corporate America, forcefully surrendering not only our souls, but, God forbid, YES, surrendering our mouths to the depravity, degradation and utter deterioration.

Yes, I'm talking to you... you toothbrush manufacturers of America... you who have made us slaves to this stick-like product we poke within our mouths several times daily; you, who with your ads of smiling teeth and sex allure, gode us into using this neanderthal utensil. You... you *#$%@ who force us to submit to your will. One can only liken it to rape.

And we would still be unaware, and we need to thank the Lord Almighty for that surburban Chicago man. What integrity, what charisma, what character it must have taken for him to recently file a lawsuit against several toothbrush makers and the American Dental Association. Ultraistic to be sure, the suit seeks damages on behalf of anyone who suffers from "toothbrush abrasion." For you lay readers, that's when your gums recede and your teeth sensitize, causing the experience of pain to be felt.

Of course, corporate America immediately responded to the suit, covering their proverbial backside while citing these factors as more probable causes of this problem: first off they try to place the responsibility square on the shoulders of the user, (how foolish for anyone to have to assume responsibility), and claim "improper brushing" as a cause; and should that scenario fail, their next line of attack is to blame other manufacturers for the injury by insisting the consumption of carbonated beverages and citrus fruit drinks is a primary source of abrasion.

Well, to get to the bottom of this, I assembled a team of leading scientists, psychologists and theologians. We spent the better part of yesterday morning analyzing, experimenting and dialoguing with and about various toothbrushes. Our conclusions follow:

Most brushes are eguipped with thumb grips. While the makers cite greater maneuverability as the benefit, we find the thumb grips to harbor countless bacteria within their recesses, exposing the user to needless contact. They should be eliminated.

Most bristles are polished and end-rounded to protect the enamel and gums. Our findings indicate that not enough care, bordering on malicious intent, is given to the bristles. Not only do they inflict pain when horizontally stroked across the upper roof gums, but the liquified paste has a tendency to impede from the confines of the mouth cavity while brushing. Several scientist succumbed to "toothpaste-in-the-eye" syndrome and had to rushed for medical treatment.

Most makers brag about the length of their handles, citing the ability to reach and gain easy access to back teeth. Our findings are grounds for grave concern. Not only from the physical side, where the length inflicted injury to the tonsils and the back of the throat area occurs, but our theologians felt it to be high moral misconduct to highlight the length of a handle as a buying inducement.

Another problem: the translucent qualities of most brushes, allowing the light to bounce through and then refract back and/or reflect on other surfaces. While only 17% of our focus group experienced this distraction, it was enough to cause the mind to quiver for that split second, and OUCH!!!, the brush jammed into the inner cheek wall.

We could go on citing the many more inherent dangers of today's toothbrush. But know that they are there... and that THEY ARE REAL!

We recommend a favorable finding for our surburban man, and for all people covered in this class action, (yes, and for once, those older people can't get a free ride on this one... long live dentures for you walking gray...)

As for me, I look forward to another day without brushing, and moreso, to greeting the next stranger... or even my boss... and please, for those civilized among you, don't even think about substituting mouthwash. Those dangers are well established. I should know. We studied them previously. So... Long live freedom! Long live tooth decay! and Long live our Illinois champion!

1999... the creative niche...

Editor's Note: Mr. Fraundorf is an investigative reporter and also finds himself to be a "humorist." If you think THIS is funny, why not check out his book, You Know You're a Catholic...A Self-Help Book for Gentiles and Other People?

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