you never buy a toothbrush until months after you actually need a new one. everytime you brush your teeth with that wilting plastic mess you think, “next time I’m at the store, i’ll get a new one.” of course, whenever you are actually at the store your thoughts are dominated by hot dog samples in the back, whether you still have garlic and if you want turkey or ham sandwiches this week, or if you have the strength to carry 11 lbs of kitty litter home.
so whenever the idea of a new toothbrush coincides with me actually in a store, this is a moment to pounce. and so there I was at the CVS last weekend, looking for Q-tips and amazed at the light bulb over my head that flashed “toothbrush!!” i jumped on this impulse buy one, and reached toward the collection of oral-b soft bristles in a dazzling array of rainbow colors. yet my hand is prevented from grabbing one. an invisible force field of sorts…wait, is this glass? let me move this glass – wah, this glass forms a glass case, which is locked. only one box of 4 toothbrushes for labeled at $1.99 are outside the case and they are of an unknown brand "COLGRATE."
i look around, like a squirrel who has heard a noise..to unlock this case i would need to go to the front counter, which now has two competing lines of about 8 very impatient people each, with two uncrafty mighty incompetent cashiers fumbling with the scanning devices. if i take a cashier away, i will likely be killed by this mob.
i go to the prescription counter where you have old ladies clamoring for insulin refills and a pharmacist who stares at you like an alien descended from space – like he always does when you say “i’m here to pick up a prescription” as he has just descended from his out of body experience to realize he’s a pharmacist at a CVS in adams morgan.
now, the blogosphere has reviewed a long list of stupid items that are locked to customers: like condoms which, in a city with spiraling HIV rates, should be simple, free of hassle for someone to buy. i understand that electric shavers and hair dryers are big ticket items that deserve to be in a case, as you don’t buy them everyday, you likely want to consult with someone and take your time, because it’s a big investment. but a toothbrush? Didn’t some kid die recently from poor health care? hmmmm.
so i went to safeway. and bought some more beer, US weekly, some yogurt, and like evey single friggin’ time, totally forgot to buy a friggin’ toothbrush.