I Hate My Toothbrush
I never knew how or when it made its first irritating appearance into my bathroom cabinet, but I hope the imp who delivered it to my doorstep is now suffering in the deepest bowels of the lowest ring of hell with a face to face meeting with the same tool of annoyance. Each human soul has its breaking point and the passionate disgust I felt for my toothbrush had finally reached its final point of exasperation.
It may seem hard to the casual observer to imagine something as small as a toothbrush tearing at the fabric of what an individual’s soul is sewed out of, but it happened to me. This wasn’t just an ordinary toothbrush, mind you. This toothbrush was designed to anger and inject daily resentment into the person unlucky enough to inherit it. Any trait a bad toothbrush could have, this toothbrush embodied to the tenth degree. First of all, the bristles were entirely too soft. There should be a certain amount of resistance in the actual brush of the tool in order to inspire the mind into thinking that there is a cleaning process underway. Nobody wants to feel as though they are brushing their gums with a small sponge or a pinchful of human hair, but apparently the manufacturers of this brush had no intention of paying attention to this crucial aspect of the design process. Secondly, it was entirely too small. This is the kind of brush the Old Woman who Lived in a Shoe made her children use. Starting my day with this smurfish device left me devoid the masculinity that one requires to even urinate standing up. Finally, this toothbrush had no way of actually being handled. There were no grooves or ridges for a steady grip and I firmly believe that this toothbrush was made in a factory long before rubber handles were even considered a remote possibility. Every three days or so I would be forced to make the shameful crawl across my bathroom floor in order to retrieve this brush after fumbling away my initial attempt. How does someone even function in day to day life after such a porous start to the day.
On this fateful morning my life was at a crossroads. I stared blankly into the bathroom cabinet, eyeing my future and my past. Not another day was going to go by like this…I was breaking out of this prison. My first order of business was to call my job and relay to them the sobering news that I would not be there to surf the internet and send out snarky emails to the very small circle of friends I possessed. My boss was not happy as he explained to me that I still wasn’t off the hook for stealing Katie Rivers’ lunch from the company refrigerator. Trying to explain to him my current situation proved most difficult and the severity of my mental situation didn’t seem to register with him. If I were to follow through with this toothbrush breakup I was going to have to give up my employment. Easy decision.
With no work to report to and a pension for slugging down pints of whiskey whenever controversy popped up in my life, a liquor store run was clearly on the agenda. Plus, a little bit of a buzz could give me the courage to finally throw out, burn or smash to pieces the toothbrush that was now playing the lead role in the theatre of dark comedy my life had become. The next dozen hours were a hazy combination of Jameson slugs, slips in and out of consciousness and John Mayer playlists. Around midnight I opened up my front door and said goodbye to my dog. I was ecstatic as I watched him sprint into the park across the street. He had finally been released from the grips of the toothbrush dictatorship our household had become. As for the next day, I’m not really sure what happened but when I woke up the front of my car was wrapped around a fire hydrant and smoke was pouring out of my radiator. I thought it wise to find refuge from the upcoming police presence that was undoubtedly on the way thanks to the horde of horrified grade-schoolers that must have seen me plow onto the sidewalk. I’m sure the bleeding head wound did nothing to calm their fears.
I decided to hide out in the back of a neighborhood shopping mall. I had seen an old homeless man shoot a cat with a pellet gun there one time and figured that it probably lacked a proper police patrol. My wallet was still in my by now impounded car, so I had no money and for some reason I was wearing my old high school basketball jersey and a pair of suit pants. Things could have hit rock bottom here, but low and behold, in the pants I found my Staples company card. As fate would have it there was a Staples in the shopping center. It seemed as though my luck was finally turning around.
The woman at the checkout eyed was weary of me as I approached her with a dozen cans of keyboard cleaner. She rang each of them up individually for some odd reason and had the nerve to ask me if I really wanted the Staples “That was Easy” button. Explaining to her how I got where I was and why I needed it would have been like explaining the imagery in “Paradise Lost” to half deaf squirrel. Instead I mumbled something about an evil toothbrush, she rang me up and had security watch me leave the store. It only took me a little over twenty hours to inhale the entire contents of the Duster cans and to hit the Staples “That was Easy” button over 36,123 times according to my count. In a moment of clarity I spotted the blue Victorian house across the street and knew how to rectify the entire situation.
Living in the suburbs certainly has its advantages. For one, people rarely lock their second story windows, and if you are high on Nitrogen Dioxide scaling up gutters is not only easy but also fun. Once in the house, I bee-lined to the bathroom and found what I was looking for. It was marvelous. A sturdy, rubber handled, beautifully bristled Colgate masterpiece of a toothbrush. I picked it up and marveled at it for what I thought was only a few seconds but with half of my brain cells frozen it was more than likely closer to an hour. In any event, it was long enough for the family of four that was home to flee the house and call the police. If it weren’t for the sounds of blaring police sirens and police screaming through the front door, I could have stayed in that heavenly mental state of toothbrush bliss for eternity.
Whenever you are caught in a police standoff, it is very important to either have a weapon or a hostage…preferably both. Holding a toothbrush and a can of Lysol in a locked bathroom is no match for pepper spray and a flurry of police batons. The broken clavicle, shattered elbow and concussion came nowhere near hurting me as much as the pain of losing that toothbrush did. I sobbed all the way to jail and begged for the police to at least let me pick up my Staples button from the shopping mall parking lot. By the time I was out of central booking, shoved into my new humble jail based abode and introduced to my cell mate, I was starting to think that perhaps I took the entire toothbrush situation a bit too far.
Larry didn’t like me from the day he met me. I’m pretty sure he had either burned down a children’s hospital or punted a litter of puppies off of a tall office building, because looking into his eyes it was apparent that he had no soul. The real breaking point in our relationship occurred on Day 2, when I attempted to have a conversation about whether time travel was actually attainable. It was somewhere between my explanation of zero gravity and time dilation that I felt the surging pain in my abdomen. The prison guards arrived and were just in time to catch Larry’s fourteenth kick to my head. My mouth turned warm and according to my last count at least five of my teeth were lying in the puddle of blood beneath me. I couldn’t help but think about how this whole thing could have been avoided if Larry had knocked my teeth out a week ago. When I finally came to the prison paramedics were working on removing the object from the side of my stomach. My eyes began to flutter and my brain was starting to lose a little bit of function. Just when I thought that I could be taking my last painful breath, I turned down to see the head paramedic removing the prison made shank that more than likely pierced my liver and almost took my life.
It was a toothbrush…with a rubber handle.
You know how I know I’m adult. Look over there. That’s my microwave. Do you notice anything about it? It has the right time on it…isn’t that such an adult thing to do? When I was at your place I couldn’t help but notice that you still had those infantile, green, blinking lights that just read all zeros. That’s dangerous dude. See, I live by myself and if I were to fall down in my kitchen and suffered a spine injury, I wouldn’t be able to crawl to my cell phone, my TV or even read the clock that I have in the living room. And what if I wasn’t wearing my watch? That’s right, I would be able to look at the microwave and know how long I’ve been lying there in a puddle of my own blood and broken bones. If no help came I would know exactly when I would have to start eating my own hands. You, on the other hand, would be stuck just guessing about how long you’ve been lying there, looking at those stupid zeros and you would probably would start eating your hands too soon. Then not only would you be would be paralyzed, you would have no hands too. I would have a much better wheelchair than you because I could still use my hands…I’d look like much more of an adult after getting out of the hospital.
Hey, come over here and look at my closet. I have all of my clothes separated by shirts, pants and jackets. Oh, and look down towards the ground. That’s called a shoe rack and it helps organize all of my very professional looking shoes. When I was still a kid I would sometimes have to look all over my room looking for a missing shoe. At my last job I once showed up with two different shoes on…isn’t that just ridiculous. I give PowerPoint presentations now in board rooms, there’s no way I can do that now. Do you give presentations at your non-executive job? Probably not. You’re lucky though, it must be nice to not worry about where your shoes are all the time. Really, it’s not all bad being an adult. Just the other day a guy on the subway in New York City, or as its otherwise known, “The Big Apple”, said to me “Hey, nice shoes.” I looked down and there was gum all over them. But the great thing was that I came home and knew exactly where another pair was for work the next day. I had to give a really big presentation so I really needed nice, matching shoes on.
Oh, you notice some of my wall pieces, huh? Yea, I think they add a lot of character to the place. I got most of them at Pier One. There was a time in my life when I went to Ikea, but now I don’t go to places like that. What kind of a place sells furniture and food…how tacky is that? Do you still have that dresser from Ikea, with the broken drawer? In a few years I might be able to give you my dresser because I read in a magazine the other day that you should really change your furniture up every 2 or 3 years because it helps your positive psyche. Don’t worry, it’s really complicated, man. Speaking of, I’ve been reading a lot of New Wave literature about soy based foods, positive thinking and contraction isometric exercising. Do you still work out with dumbbells? Dude, you can really hurt yourself like that, it’s all in that magazine on that accent table. Oh, I’m sorry, the end table over there. I didn’t want you to think that I was talking about a table that talked with an accent, because that’s what I thought at first a few years back before I really knew about furniture like I do now.
You should join my co-ed kickball team sometime, it’s a blast! It’s a really good way to just get together and blow off some steam after work. With all the pressures of life these days it’s nice to reach back to my childhood and get some clean R&R afterhours. Sometimes we even head out to the local bar afterwards and indulge in some half price appetizers and imported beers. Those domestics are so low brow and they give me the worst chest pains the next day…that’s when you know you’re getting old right? Haha, hilarious.
Remember when we were kids and you wanted to be a big time movie writer? Are you still following that old pipe dream? That was probably the biggest part of growing up for me, well, other than cutting out caffeine. My girlfriend and I had a really long talk at the local bistro about life, it was great. I know she’s not the best looking girl, but she’s a really good cook and her credit score is flawless. It was tiring having a different girl every night and even though my girlfriend now doesn’t really like me touching her, at least we always have things to talk about. Anyways, so we were talking about how silly I was to think that at 28 I could still try and chase down these childhood dreams. At some point it’s important to realize that working a 9-5 and renting a one bedroom apartment isn’t really so bad.
Right? Oh, I almost forgot to show you my “Wipe Your Paws” doormat…
New Jersey Horoscopes (2007)
Aries (March 21st-Aprl 19th) : Don’t let the gel in your eyes effect the way you approach your tricep workouts this week. It’s been a long time but the girl at the nutrition shop will take notice of your new Capri pants.
Taurus (April 20th-May 20th) : Remember the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Make sure to lean back and flex your abs during your Myspace picture so those thousands words say, “Man, I am fuckin’ ripped” over and over again.
Gemini (May 21st – June 21st) : Just because someone tells a joke you don’t get doesn’t mean you can’t laugh at it. Besides you’ll get the last laugh anyway when everyone watches you lift the keg all by yourself later.
Cancer (June 22nd – July 22nd) :The new dance moves you’ve been working on all winter will be a hit this summer at DJai’s. Keep the coconut oil, 103.5 beats, and the pushups coming! Do not worry about career troubles. Working is for the boys, working “out” is for the men!
Leo (July 23rd – August 22nd) : You see the world through rose colored glasses….it might be because you are wearing pink sun glasses.
Virgo (August 23rd – September 22nd): Patience is a virtue. Remember that when waiting for that old woman to get off of the row machine. No worries, she’ll probably be dead by Memorial Day Weekend anyway.
Libra (September 23rd – October 22nd) : Problems with your significant other will intensify but stay calm. She is probably just upset that your eyebrows are plucked nicer than hers.
Scorpio (October 23rd – November 21st): Do not let a daunting task overwhelm you. Instead sit back and evaluate the problem with the help of a close one. After a short while it should be very clear what razor you should pick out to shave your chest with.
Sagittarius (November 22nd– December 21st): Rome wasn’t built in three days and neither were your delts. Stay on course and don’t let the little things (like your shrinking testicles) bother you.
Capricorn (December 22nd – January 19th) : Your opinion may not be heard, so don’t be afraid to be forceful. Don’t worry, the guy you are arguing with might know math but he probably doesn’t even know what Creatine is.
Aquarius (January 20th – February 18th): Very few people will understand your point of view. Perhaps you should finish your PowerBar before speaking.
Pisces (February 19th– March 20th): Trouble at your construction job will soon come to an end. Treat yourself with an extra shot of Deca-Durabolin and a Michelob Ultra Light
OLD PEOPLE (circa 2007)
I have always had an overwhelming desire to return back to my childhood years and wreak havoc on the world around me. When young we are given the opportunity to say and act spontaneously, without being held responsible for the long term. It is a once in a lifetime chance to throw rocks at windows, draw stick figures with mustard and mayonnaise on the fridge and inexplicably thrash out at loved ones when things don’t work exactly the way we want them. At first thought, it would seem as if capturing those lost years would be an impossible task. However, upon further review, there is hope for us who long to deteriorate back into our former-toddler selves.
There are very few days I become excited about when contemplating my future adult life. When looking ahead it is easy to fear the impending drawbacks and painful days. The day I pass my first kidney stone and the day I am fired from my middle management job for stealing other people’s lunches are anything but exciting dates to look forward to. If one were to grimly stare into a crystal ball and only bear witness to days like these he/she would likely be found drinking grain alcohol in the basement of an airplane hangar. On the other hand there are several things I very much look forward to. One of the days I most anticipate is the day I become so old that I am no longer responsible for my actions. On this day I can finally say good-bye to the conformity of being a normal citizen.
Now wait just a second and please hear me out. I know most of you look upon the elderly with sympathy and compassion. However, I envy the free-spirited ways of an angry old man with nothing to lose. Something about the half-delusional state of mind of a person over seventy brings me back to the days when I was young. Imagine giving a five-year old the right to drink a massive amount of alcohol and then arming him with a mastery of the English language. This is the kind of societal freedom an older person possesses.
Think back to the day you threw yourself into a raging tantrum so bad you crapped your pants and locked yourself in the bedroom for 7 hours all because Santa didn’t bring you the new Domino Rally Supreme set. Now, remember the Thanksgiving when your grandfather drank a handle of whiskey, ranted off about the dreadful state of our “colored” America, labeled your aunt a donkey whore and then passed out on the living room couch? Are we starting to see the similarities here? Don’t get me wrong, I think being senile is an awful thing but I can’t help but see a silver lining. Haven’t you ever become bored with knowing exactly what is going on all the time? Have you ever just wanted to walk into your room once and be surprised at how many cool things you have in there? Don’t you wish you could forget the ending of Sixth Sense and watch it all over again in absolute shock? Although it’s nice to know where my bathroom is after a salty taco dinner, I’m sure there are times it is more exciting to be senile than to be boringly sane.
I have often pictured myself as an old man and I am ready to take the reigns as the local lunatic. The key to being old and getting away with anything you want is to immediately establish yourself as a person who lacks credibility. If people believe you don’t really mean what you are saying, they are less likely to hold you responsible for it. Sit on your porch drinking hard alcohol out of a dirty bottle with an old, creepy animal (preferably a three-legged dog or a python) by your side as the local children get out of school. Then slowly begin disrobing down to your purple leotard while vulgarly mumbling to your invisible friend about how he owes you for last month’s rent. This will make everyone within a ten block radius immediately write you off as being out of your gourd. Once you have done this you are free to yell obscenities at the neighbors about the Red Sox game, urinate freely on the side of your house, or even just start a bonfire on the front lawn dressed like Abraham Lincoln. After one of these stunts you are officially free from being held against the same social constraints as sane human beings and you are free to do as you please. Ahhhh, I can’t wait.
Looking Up at the Jersey Club Scene (from 2006)
In about two weeks every tanning salon, gym, and beauty parlor will be mobbed with guys, girls, metro-sexuals, and juiceheads all ready to head down the shore. Djai’s, Temps and Abyss will soon be pumping out heavy music and playing host to thousands of people every summer weekend night. In no time the beaches, strips, clubs, and boardwalks will be meccas of tricked out cars, blaring techno music, public drunkenness and plenty of tits and ass. This is the Jersey Shore and for guidos around the tri-state its time to break out the hair gel and eyebrow wax. I for one am not excited.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the aforementioned things about the Jersey Shore. I love the club scene, Jersey girls, and walking the boardwalk. However, from my perspective the Shore scene sheds a much harsher reality than for most. Allow me to take you through a night of what it’s like to be (GASP!!) a male club-goer under 5’5”.
9:00 pm: Everyone is preparing to go out. I throw the black dress shirt I found at Kid’s Gap on and my size 29 black pants in an effort to blend in with my other friends. I look in the mirror and immediately realize that I look like a Lollipop kid wandered away from the “Wizard of Oz” production set and wound up in a Paul Van Dyk video.
10:00 pm: Everyone at the pre-game is pretty drunk and rowdy, including myself. As the guys around me start talking about banging chicks and beating people up I start to wonder how my night will end. More often than not my night ends in one of three ways:
1) at the receiving end of a vicious beating handed out by an angry meathead
2) embarrassed and passed out in a gutter or a couch somewhere with vomit all over myself and my size 7 shoes.
3) in a police station after #1 or #2 happens
These scenarios do not manage to make me excited.
11:30 pm: This is definitely one of the most embarrassing parts of my night. We are at the front of the line at the club and everyone is showing their ID’s. Immediately the bouncer gives me an incredulous stare like I just slapped his grandmother in the ass. Although my New Jersey government ID says that I am 23 I am told to “try my fake ID somewhere else.” I immediately pull out my bank card, credit card, high school ID, birth certificate, passport, library card, and 6th grade yearbook entry to verify my age. The bouncer laughs in my face because I have had the misfortune of looking like a 12 year old and begins to let me in. I’m pretty sure as walk through the door that one of the girls on line behind me makes a reference to Webster. Great times!!
12:00 am: I’m officially in the club and after looking around for my friends for a while I figure that I might as well get a drink. Normally I would hand one of my taller friends some money and have him reach over some people to get me a drink, but I don’t have any of them around right now. I do some weaving and a little maneuvering and eventually I am at the front of the bar. Damn this bar is tall….I hope nobody notices that I’m standing on my toes to see over. Immediately I am wishing that I brought air traffic control sticks to flag down a bartender.
12:30 am: I am still waiting to be served. Not only am I sober at this point but I am actually thirsty too. I say to the girl next to me with a smile, “What do you have to do to get a drink around here, huh?” She ignores me and walks away with her friend most definitely aggravated that someone like me would try to talk to someone as hot as her. I would have a better shot of scoring with women if I had leprosy than I do being 5’5”.
12:50 am: The busty female barmaid looks my way about twelve times but instead of asking me what I want she shoots me an annoyed look probably wondering how the hell I got in here. Eventually the male bartender comes over to me with a condescending smile and says, “What can I get you champ?” There is no way I am ordering a drink from this douchebag.
(the next person that calls me champ, chief, sport, big guy, killer, or anything like that is getting stabbed in the eye with the sharpest object I can find. Just because I am the same size as your nephew doesn’t mean you can talk to me like you talk to him)
1:00 am: Instead of buying a drink I decide to swipe the gin and tonic to the right of me. As I quickly walk away I hear, “Who the fuck stole my drink?!!” Then someone answers, “I think it was that midget-looking kid who we were laughing at on line before!”
I have a feeling I know where this night is headed.
1:15 am: I decide to post up near one of the speakers and take in some of the sights going on around me. Typical club, typical night, the same typical sights:
To the right of me: A group of sluttily dressed girls dancing with each other, laughing uncontrollably every few seconds and pretending to be way drunker than they really are.
Behind the fake drunk sluts: Three Lance Bass/Zoolander looking metros licking their glossy chops and lightly sipping on some overpriced drinks waiting to greasily slide in and take advantage of the group of girls in front of them. (An interesting side to this is that the girls really aren’t drunk and neither are the guys, but they will both act sloppy for the night. Question to those guys: What does it feel like to fake a hangover the next day? Do you take Tylenol or pretend to be sick?? Just wondering
Question to those girls: Do all of you get up in the morning and have an RU-487 party or just take turns in the bathroom individually?
To the left of me: A bald guy with his shirt off dancing as I imagine a Transformer on Ecstasy would. You know what I’m talking about. It’s kind of like he’s in the middle of a workout while playing in a marching band type deal.
Walking by me: The guy who forgot to wear deodorant. There is one in every club on every night. If you haven’t spotted and smelled him after a while, you guessed it….it’s you. This guy more often than not has either been in a comatose drunken state all day and forgot to put on deodorant or sprayed himself with Axe thinking that it works as a deodorant. It doesn’t and now he smells like Ben Wallace would after playing a triple overtime game, swimming a mile in the Hudson River, and then immediately showering in ice-cold diarrhea.
Time to leave this godawful spot.
1:50 am: I spot a nice place to sit and immediately the world is my oyster. Sitting down provides me with an opportunity to be almost face to face with people and forget about how unfortunately low to the ground my genetics force me to be. Girls still stay away from me like I have SARS but that might have something to do with the fact that I have mackin’ skills similar to that of Pat O’Brien.
2:40 am: After stepping out of the club I see a few of my friends with a couple of girls. One of the girls immediately refers to me as “adorable” which makes me want to tie staple her eyelids open so she can watch me drown a few hundred kittens in a bathtub to show her how “adorable” I can be (just kidding, I really love animals and kittens especially. Plus I would never staple anyone’s eyelid’s open. Let’s just say the comment gets me annoyed). I think it’s time to go home.
2:50 am: On my way back to my rental house I begin to think about what video game I’m going to play while I consume as much alcohol as it will take to pass out on the floor in the living room (there is a shortage of beds in the house). And then I see my ex-girlfriend with….the guy who forgot to wear deodorant! Damnit! I know she was a big fan of the Dutch Oven maneuver when we dated but being with that guy is downright repulsive. My first impulse is to leg whip the two of them from behind and run away laughing maniacally with my pants down around my ankles but being in prison wasn’t on the agenda. It’s time to cut my losses, put my head down in utter shame and head home. I can always cut the legs off of the voodoo doll I made of her after we broke up.
3:10 am: There is a note posted on the door as I reach the front porch of our house. It reads:
Dear Bruce, if you’re holding this letter you already know. The house has been boarded up. The doors. The windows. Everything. We’re at the Comfort Inn. Room 112. I love you.
3:15 Well there’s always tomorrow.
Note to the reader: Sorry about the shameless “Old School” quote but I couldn’t resist.