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Down the Hatchet

Keepin’ It Teal

By Akshay Patil

My new toothbrush is a technological marvel. Not only does it have a bendy top that maintains contact with my teeth, but it has three types of bristles -- on top of which, there is also a special kind that combines the technology of three other bristles in one. That’s four kinds of bristles for the price of three! I’m telling you, science is amazing.

Best of all, it does all of this without vibrating. I guess I’m just not into that whole vibrating-toothbrush thing -- I mean, not only is it kinky, but you have to change the batteries. I don’t like changing batteries, not to mention having electricity that close to toothpaste foam makes me nervous. I know they have cheap vibrators now-a-days, ones where you don’t even have to change the batteries, but ... it’s just not me.

Unfortunately, my new toothbrush is purple. I don’t like purple. I have friends who like purple, but I don’t. My previous toothbrush was blue, and I was perfectly happy with it. Green, red, black... these are all perfectly wonderful colors for a toothbrush in my possession, but the harsh, neon truth of the matter is that purple just doesn’t cut it.

The problem lies in the fact that I entrusted the new toothbrush-decision in my mother. Usually this isn’t a bad thing... over time she’s come to get a decent grasp of what it is that I like and don’t like. It would appear, however, that on this occasion the process failed miserably.

When I went home for spring break, she asked me if there was anything I needed back at college. After a great deal of thought, I determined that the one item I would soon be in need of was a toothbrush. My sister, on the other hand, requested seven boxes of cereal, a bag of lemon chicken, one loaf of pumpkin bread, a dining set, and a partridge in a pear tree. Naturally, my mom just threw my new toothbrush into massive-bag-holding-stuff-for-my-sister-but-older-brother-me-will-have-to-carry.

I didn’t think to ask for visual confirmation as to the satisfactory nature of the brush, and I guess that is where the system broke down.

I wasn’t expecting a bad brush. I mean, who gives their 21 year old son a purple toothbrush? Maybe if I liked Barney, it would make sense. I mean, Barney’s purple -- it would be a valid connection. Or maybe if I liked the purple tele-tubby... the one Reverend Jerry Falwell thinks is gay. But I don’t like Barney or Tinky Winky (nothing personal, I just don't like the teletubbies). I like penguins! Penguins aren’t purple! At least I don’t think so. If there are purple penguins, then I’ll have rethink some things, but as far as I know, my favorite flightless waterfowl has enough fashion sense to stay away from the purple tuxedos.

I even pushed off using the purple toothbrush for as long as possible. I stuck with ol’ blue to the point where the bristles really were on the verge of dropping off. It was then that I had to swallow my pride and leave the purple brush in my bathroom cubby.

Now whenever someone comes in when I’m brushing my teeth, I have to do my best to conceal the color identity of my cavity cleaner (not that I have cavities ... I swear. I floss daily! Well, almost daily. You know how sometimes you’re just so tired that you go “screw it, I’ll skip today?” Well, on those days I don’t floss, but otherwise I’m all about fighting plaque.)