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The Tell-Tale Toothbrush

April 22: An Introduction
April 23: Philip Michaels
April 24: Gregg Wrenn
April 25: Ben Boychuk
April 26: Greg Knauss
April 27: Jason Snell
May 1: A Loyal Reader
I don't pay much attention to commercials. The crushing banality of the actual shows is a good truncheon blow to the old forebrain, so by the time the commercials roll around, I'm deep in my catatonic stupor and it's going to take something more than a perky little jingle and an few irritatingly spry never-will-bes to rouse me to a good seething hate.

It's going to take something like an ice pick to the eye.

It's going to take that ad for Colgate Total).

Damn that ad. Damn it. May it, its creator, his mother and his dog rot in whatever hell is reserved for not only the impossibly moronic, but for the impossibly moronic who somehow manage to stumble into broadcasting jobs, to inflict themselves on others.

It's a goddamned toothpaste. It cleans teeth. It is not anything to be so joyful about, especially when the fucking toothbrushing noise follows you around all day.

And yet: It's morning! And a fit, healthy, happy result of Nazi selective breeding rises from his bed to bound into the bathroom and brush his teeth. "Shhka, shhka, shhka," goes his toothbrush. "Grin, grin, grin)," goes Lot #3512.

But... But then he's at the office. And his toothbrush is still going "shhka, shhka, shhka," as if a gnome with sandpaper had taken up residence in his second bicuspid. And instead of screaming and clawing at his mouth, he's still smiling that studied, fearsome) grin you find on madmen and Sears catalog models.

"It works all day," says the voiceover -- you know, like a stalker, or bad gas.

And then he's at home, and there's still the toothbrush noise. "Shhka, shhka, shhka." If this ad had been written by Edgar Allen Poe, he'd be pulling up floorboards by now, but instead he's still smiling.

And, finally, he's in bed, his hard day of smiling concluded with just a bit of smiling, and probably a fifth of rubbing alcohol, consumed off camera. As he closes his eyes -- still smiling! -- and his smiling wife looks down at her husband lovingly, the sound -- the sound -- goes on and on and on.

"Shhka, shhka, shhka."


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