Brushing: Tool Of The Corporate Power Structure

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Memo to Colgate and Crest: YOU ARE DUMB.

I'm beginning to think that the Cavity Creeps are actually a brave, rag-tag group of rebels against your dental tyranny, and that the commercials I grew up with as a child were actually filthy totalitarian propaganda. And that maybe, just maybe, the polyglot multinational dental force described in those ads weren't heroes at all, but puppets of the oligarchy.

I have not taken leave of my senses and decided to come out against dental hygiene. I have, however, come to the conclusion that the toothpaste industry now disturbingly resembles a trip to Coldstone Creamery. Pick any ingredient you want, you name it, and we'll shove it into a tube for you to smear all over your word-hole. I came to this conclusion after the fine people at Colgate introduced "MaxFresh", which allows one to take freshness, apparently, to the MAX, by including micro-sized breath strips in with the toothpaste.

You know breath strips. Breath strips are the neutron bomb of oral care. They're thin gelatin strips imbued, as far as I can tell, with equal parts menthol and bleach. You pop one in your mouth, and it instantly cleanses it of all life. It's like The Day After, only instead of wandering around and pontificating, the tiny bacterial version of Jason Robards dies a horrible death, and his corpse is expelled from your body in your futile attempt to get the taste out of your mouth.

Oh, the breath strips may say "Icy Refreshing Cool Extreme Mint Arctic Frostbite Blast" on them, but the reality is more like Lysol, with the refreshing undercurrent of five million bacterial corpses. And now, there's a toothpaste loaded with the little fuckers.

My original thought was that some byproduct of the breath strip manufacturing process left a whole bunch of leftover, unusable breath-strip, and thus, some brilliant executive said, "Hey, load some into the paste vats and get a team on a new logo. Five thousand fucking varieties of toothpaste isn't enough", but in trying to remember which company was actually shoving the breath strips into the toothpaste, I came across an article explaining how the breath strip manufacturers were ramping up production. So apparently, they're pouring extra resources into this idea.

Here's a helpful tip from me, the writer, to you, my loyal readers. Never, EVER visit the Crest website. To do so is to peer into madness. A twisting maelstrom of options, none of which make sense, all in the blinding gradations between medium blue and white that are the chromatic stock-in-trade of the oral care industry. Should you visit Smiles Central or Sparkle City? Or peer into the distant future of Crest HealthySmiles 2010?

That's depressing, by the way. 2010 used to be the year that we flew to Jupiter, made contact with the monolith, and learned that all those worlds were ours except Europa, and that we should not attempt any landings there. Now, all we know about 2010 is that there'll probably be a Bush or a Clinton in the White House, and that Crest has some kind of long-range plan for our teeth. The future sucks.

If you manage to make it to the actual list of toothpastes provided by the Crest people, you find twenty three different kinds of toothpastes. And they don't even have a Neutron Bomb paste like Colgate does. At the risk of sounding like a pissed off old guy, only ONE of these is, as far as I can tell, toothpaste. I have to guess, because it's named "Cavity Protection". That used to be the primary purpose of toothpaste, back in the day. Preventing cavities. Now, toothpaste is a magical form of urban renewal in your mouth. These toothpastes will remove any historic old brownstones you may have lingering in your gob, and replace them with Starbucks and condos.

Fourteen of the 23 pastes involve whitening, which is to your mouth what Rudy Giuliani was to Times Square. You can choose between Dual Action Whitening, Vivid White, and Extra Whitening, plus three different flavors of Whitening Expressions. such as "Extreme Herbal Mint", which I can only assume makes your mouth smell like potpourri... ON A SNOWBOARD! WOOOOOOO!

So, yeah, I may join the Cavity Creeps. They're the kind of direct-action leftists I can support. Plus, they've called for a flash mob demonstration at the left rear molar at 2 this afternoon, and those are always a blast. DOWN WITH THE MAX FRESH OPPRESSORS!