Space age hygiene

Yesterday I started using a new toothbrush, having noticed recently that the clever little blue bristles in my old one had started fading away. I’d been pretty impressed by this application of twelfth century dying techniques in the modern era, but as it turns out such innovation is really just the beginning of where our toothbrushes are going.

My new one is definitely Space Age: bristles in three different directions, as many colours (I’m hoping it’s still the blue whose fading will tell me to buy a new one), and sleek, curved and sensual, like a sex toy for your mouth. Erm … like a sex toy. I think back to the toothbrushes I had when I was a child, and feel sorry for their simplicity, their boring tightly-packed bristles, their sheer prosaic utility. If right now even our most humdrum hygiene equipment is becoming exciting to look at, who knows what the future holds? Shaving mirrors with built in stock tickers, soap dispensers connected to the Internet so they can order refills automatically, perhaps even aerosol deodorant that doesn’t freeze your skin – truly the world of Fast Moving Consumer Goods has never been more interesting.

However it’s not just the toothbrush itself that has become advanced. The packaging too has progressed from the simple bits of cardboard I am used to. It’s possible that there is cardboard in there somewhere, under the layers of plastic, glue, and something unidentifiable that looks cool and shiny, but is almost impossible to get into. Perhaps the real future, thanks to a conspiracy at OralB, is that only those who already have very strong teeth will be able to use toothbrushes.

I said that yesterday I started using a new toothbrush; this is a lie. By the time I’d fought my way through its container, it was gone twelve, and I’d almost resorted to a hacksaw.

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