My toothbrush has been giving me crap because I’ve been using it to scrub my tongue. “Get a tongue scraper,” it tells me. “I don’t do tongues.”
As if it’s somehow an indignity for it to clean my tongue. It doesn’t want to assume a single task outside of its narrowly defined job description. I guess no one showed this toothbrush the “other duties as assigned” clause in its employment contract.
It’s an elitist toothbrush.
No way I’m investing in a tongue cleaner. Not when I have this toothbrush. It came with high recommendations, and my understanding was that it would do the works.
“You’ve got to check out this toothbrush,” my friend Murray told me. “He’s does everything: Teeth. Gums. He’s even got a flexible head so he can brush the hard-to-reach backs.”
“Does he do tongues?” I asked. You can see that I was doing my due diligence. I don’t just leap blindly into contracts without first figuring out what I’m getting into. I’m shrewd that way — especially when it comes to oral hygiene. And I wanted to make absolute certain this toothbrush did tongues. If there’s one thing I want out of life, it’s a clean tongue. (I’m a man of few wants.)
“I’m sure he does tongues,” Murray said. “The guy does everything.”
But come to find out, the toothbrush’s reputation was overblown. He only does teeth and gums, he tells me. He doesn’t know what my friend said, but he’s never done tongues.
Of course, he only tells me all this after I’ve paid for the appointment. (I guess I’m not the only one who’s shrewd when it comes to oral hygiene.)
“I’m not trained to do tongues!” the toothbrush says, shaking its flexible head. “That’s a whole different field, pal. What you need is a specialist. I’m telling you, you’ve got to talk to a tongue scraper.”
“But I’m paying you,” I tell him. “You’re the one everyone recommends for complete oral hygiene.”
“I’m just a general practitioner,” the toothbrush tells me. “And it’s not that I don’t want to. It’s that I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I’m not licensed to do tongues. If you want work done on your tongue, you’ve got to see a specialist.
“Here,” he says, handing me a note. “I’ve already written the referral.”
So now I’ve been neglecting my tongue, and lately it’s been developing this weird, cottage-cheese-like film. As if my love life isn’t bad enough as it is. I can’t even go on a date now, because the woman will flee when she sees my tongue. That means no more French kissing, let alone more adventurous activities.
I can’t afford a specialist, and the toothbrush’s only other suggestion is to try mouthwash.
I’ve tried the mouthwash, I tell him. The mouthwash isn’t working for me. My tongue needs to be scraped. Scraping’s the only thing that will get the crud off.
“Then talk to a tongue scraper,” the toothbrush says. “That’s what I’ve been telling you. You’ve got to talk to a tongue scraper. Do you still have my referral?”
So I fired the toothbrush. I had to. The guy’s not working out for me. Sure, he had the flexible head and the rubber-grip handle, and I loved the way his delicate bristles massaged my gums. They worked their magic fingers on my gingivitis, to the point where I no longer spit blood after flossing.
But if the guy can’t do the whole job, there’s no point keeping him. I can’t pay him and a tongue scraper and have enough money left over for hair gel. (Which has its own petty dramas for me to deal with, but I’ve come to expect eccentricity from my hair gel.)
Murray’s disappointed, and I am, too. But it’s the toothbrush that really suffered. His business completely dried up due to bad Yelp reviews (well, OK — one review, and it was me). My understanding is he works on toilet bowls, now.
But I think it benefited him, in the end. Now that he’s pulling regular hours with the rest of us blue-collared schmucks, he seems to have dropped the elitist, condescending swagger. He’s one of the boys now, drinking in the bar after work, reminiscing about his glory days polishing enamel. We’ve all had to downsize in these rough economic times. Besides, no one stays at the top forever. I guess a referral from the American Dental Association can only get you so far.
I’ve got a new toothbrush now, and this guy does the works: teeth, gums, tongue.
Yep, he does the tongue. He saves it for last and scrubs it till it’s a healthy pink. He only charges a little extra, and it’s worth it. My quality of life has improved dramatically. It’s easier to have intimate conversations (as well as engage in more adventurous activities) when your tongue isn’t coated in fungus.
But this toothbrush does have its quirks. I think most genius does, to some degree. He uses a single brand of toothpaste, and he’ll only work nights. (He likes to sleep late.) Which means I’m brushing just once a day now, before I go to bed. That means no kissing in the mornings (or any of the aforementioned adventurous activities).
But the way this guy works, it’s worth it. I’m telling you, you’ve got to check out this toothbrush.
Even Murray’s amazed.