demonic toothbrush.
© 1995 Jamie Zawinski <>

I used to have an electric toothbrush (don't laugh, it was a gift.) Anyway, the way these things work is, there's the big handle part with the motor, and the insert-in-the-mouth part snaps on to that, and a little spiky thing jiggles up and down and makes the bits go round and round inside the shaft of the insert-in-mouth part. The shaft has some holes in it, about an inch or two from the business-end, presumably for drainage or whatever.

Well, after using this thing for many months, I noticed some little creepy moldy bits clinging to those holes. ``Yuck,'' I thought, and picked at them a bit. These things must have grown up there since the last time I brushed my teeth, right? I'd better clean them off before using it.

But I found that it was the tip of the iceberg, and the whole shaft of the insert-in-the-mouth part was filled, packed with mold.

And I had been putting this thing in my mouth twice a day for weeks before I noticed.

After I stopped twitching (and, actually, I've gotten a couple of shivers just typing this) I decided to try and clean it instead of just ditching the whole thing. I assume it was pretty expensive. This, actually, was three days later, during which time I didn't brush my teeth at all. I just couldn't face the thought of putting a toothbrush of any kind in my mouth. So, to clean it, I filled the sink with half a gallon of undiluted bleach, and let the whole thing soak for a day and a half (until the bleach had leaked out on its own.) I thought there was some chance that it would leak into the motor and screw it up, but hey, that was ok. Because there was no way I was putting that festering hive back into my mouth without some serious napalming going on first.

Well, it worked. Clean as a whistle. And the sink had never looked cleaner either.

But then about two months later the motor stopped working, so I reverted to the old technology. Alas.

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