The Brush Off

No this isn’t about being brushed off by someone you meet at a party or social event. That one person that has their nose turned up so far that if they were to get caught in a rain storm they would drown. (Go ahead get a visual, I’ll wait.) This is more about brushes. Tooth, hair, dog, cat, toilet, bottle, fingernail, vegetable, bar-b-que. You know brushes that we all have in common. Those unassuming more often than not, plastic bristled little wonders that become intricate parts of our daily lives. To little girls with long hair and moms with little time a brush can become a monster that pulls and tugs and causes a slurry of emotions that to this day surface…but I again am off on a tangent.

So just when do you tell if it is time to replace say, your toothbrush? I received a jokester e-mail recently that among other things told the story of how a toothbrush was examined on a daytime doctor show and it was found to have, will let’s just say some other bathroom particles on it. That is when I decided to buy a new toothbrush and keep it in an enclosed cabinet when not in use. So with “new toothbrush” on my list off I went to shop.

Okay, when did the toothbrush makers stop making stiff bristled brushes? In looking at a huge colorful mind numbing display of toothbrushes I saw only soft and medium bristled brushes. But I want to get in there and brush like there was no tomorrow. I didn’t want a brush that would lay over and give up like a kitten getting his belly scratched. I wanted a toothbrush that would brush and claw at the food particles and bacteria that apparently are hiding in my mouth daily. Don’t bother looking, they are no longer to be found. The teeth and mouths of today apparently are not made to stand up to a brush that is industrial strength. It really is too bad that toothbrushes are no longer stronger than “medium.” Just for the fact that we keep old toothbrushes to use for a myriad of other things when they have out lasted their tooth brushing usefulness. Like cleaning small figurines and gun parts and everything in between. Quite an in between there!

I settled for a brush that had medium bristles, but it looked tough. My new brush has three different lengths of bristles and four different colors. The handle, as the package reports, is ergonomically designed to aid in the cleaning of every corner the mouth. Noooo, what would aid in the cleaning of the mouth would be stiff bristles! By the way, my mouth does not have corners. But I bought it and now it sits in the bathroom, mocking me. I just know it will leave a layer of unseen stuff on my teeth that my old brush, in its prime, could attack and scratch off.

I have moved on. I have accepted my new toothbrush. However, just as I was exitingthe bathroom I spied my old toilet brush. I noticed the last time I used it there were plastic bristles floating in the bowl. So, again, apparently this brush also doesn’t last forever. Where the plastic bristles meet the steel wire on the brush rust occurs and the bristles begin to fall off and a new brush is called for. Yes I got a new one. No big story here. A toilet brush is a toilet brush right? Well unless you want to talk about the regular kind that looks like the regular toilet brush, or you want to discuss the new round ones, with bristles all the way around, or the ones that look like a dust mop on the end of a plastic wand. They have some sort of unique super-duper pooper scooper material that promises to reach and scrub making your life as easy as if the bowl never got used. Come on, it’s a toilet brush not a toilet swab! And on and on. I just bought the aqua marine green one with the handle economically designed to aid in the cleaning of every corner of the toilet. Wait; isn’t that the same line on the toothbrush package? Ewww!

So now I am set. New toothbrush, new toilet brush. Never get these two mixed up! On with life’s tasks. Like brushing your hair. When was the last time you cleaned your hair brush? Oh save yourself a trip to the hair care isle, just throw the thing in with your next load of clothes and you’ll be good to go. Wait, there is a question from the audience…. Do you wash your hair brush with the whites or darks? Ah come on, really?

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at