Toothpaste, Inc

I’m pretty out of it this morning… even though I slept hard, I can’t quite get myself woken up. And so it came to pass I found myself standing in the bathroom with my toothbrush in my left hand, and my deoderant in my right, taking off the top.

Now the deoderant container doesn’t look like the toothpaste container. Fortunately, I caught myself in time.

There was a similar incident 10 years ago during which I was not so lucky.

Remember when most toothpaste came in actual tubes one had to squeeze? I haven’t used one of those since the early nineties, when Crest came out with those nice plastic containers with the neat and tidy little spout, no more rolling up and squeezing stuff out. Still, for the first 20ish years of my life, toothpaste came in a tube. That’s relevant here.

I had just arrived home from an endurance motorcycle competition – 5000 miles in 5 days – over the course of which I hadn’t gotten much sleep at all. I was road-weary, filthy and exhausted. Sitting on something that wasn’t my bike and wasn’t vibrating and moving and humming was odd. I hadn’t quite integrated back into the real world yet.

On day two of the five days, I started getting saddle sores – red, painful rashes on my tush and inner thighs. I’d bought the bike the day before I left for the rally and hadn’t had time to upgrade the seat. It was a horrible seat, not meant to be sat upon for more than an hour or two. Fourty hours in, each bump in the road was like getting whacked with a board covered with sandpaper on sensitive bits of my body. I had to do something.

I spent 10 precious moments of competition time in a drugs store, frantically searching for something to ease my pain. Aha! A + D Ointment for diaper rash! Perfect! I bought the uber-ultra-thick-super-powered stuff I slathered it on and off I went. It kinda worked, but I mostly just got used to the pain over the next several days.

Back home, I hauled all of my gear and luggage off the bike into my tiny little house. I hadn’t showered or brushed my teeth much in the last week, and I was stinky and dirty and sweaty and filthy and awful. My teeth were fuzzy. My boots smelled like something had crawled into them, pooped, and died. I didn’t have the strength for a shower – I wanted sleep. Sleep, and lots of it.

I dug through my bags until I found my toiletries case. I grabbed my toothbrush and my tube of toothpaste. I slathered a bunch of paste on my brush, because my teeth surely needed a huge cleaning, and wearily shoved it into my mouth.

Now, I don’t know if any of you have ever sucked on a giant slug of A + D Ointment, but if you haven’t, let me say this: I don’t recommend it. My mouth practically turned inside out. My tongue shrank. My gag reflex went bonkers.

Here’s the thing about diaper rash ointment, folks – it’s designed to stick. Stick around even in “damp”  environments. Additionally, I had gotten the OMG version. Getting a tablespoon of it off one’s tongue is a fricking nightmare. It was in between all my little papillae, in between my teeth, sticking to regions under my tongue, coating my teeth, oozing down the back of my throat. Rinsing did nothing.

I finally ended up taking a kitchen towel and swabbing the inside of my mouth out for what seemed like an hour. Even after that, and after brushing with real toothpaste and baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, I still had a thin film of that crap in there.

For days.

With my higher brain functions offline from exhaustion (and relief at having returned home alive and having finished well,) some primitve part of my brain harkened back to my childhood, when toothpaste came in tubes shaped just like the tube of A + D. The story still cracks me up to this day, and it was even funny whilst it was happening, but it also Sucked Out Loud.

Tragedy averted – this morning. Tomorrow, I may not be so lucky.

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4 responses to Toothpaste

  1. Great story… I have had those days. When you put the milk on the shelf and the cereal in the fridge:O)

    If you don’t read Laini Taylor’s blog already, you gotta check out this post.

    PS I am feeling you on the baby thing…from the little I’ve picked up. I am nearly 39, have a 17 year old and am currently suffering through my 4th miscarriage.:O(

  2. Lisa

    A baby!?! Like a miniature human baby? I see on Facebook where Jeane Steableton just gave birth last week….. She seems to have come thru it just fine. What, exactly, does Mike Neir think of this? 😀 I wanna read your baby post!

  3. Erin

    Jennifer – Thanks so much for the link! I loved the story on a number of levels. I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriages… I can’t imagine how awful that must be, especially the fourth time around. I just made the actual baby post public – a bit before I’d planned to. 🙂

  4. Erin

    Lisa – Yeah, an actual human baby. We’ll see. 😉

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