Toothpaste Rep Unstops Tube Over the Telephone

I COULDN'T take it anymore. I grabbed the tube of toothpaste, turned it over and found the toll-free number, the one that says if I have questions or remarks about the toothpaste, the tube, the spearmint flavor, flossing, brushing, even questions about the Contract With America, I can call 24 hours a day for help and advice.

Is this the crowning achievement of the 24-hour consumer society or not? Is there not an 800 number for every product known to man, including a turkey hot line at the United States Department of Health and Human Services for Thanksgiving meal planners?

I dialed Bright N' Grin, home of my crepuscular toothpaste made from bread heels, crushed watermelon seeds, pasteurized flood water, blow-dried seaweed, and little globs of spearmint oil.

``Hello, this is Gretchen, your toothpaste representative. How may I help you?''

``Gretchen, it's the mouth of the tube, where the stuff flows out. Your little plastic flip top doesn't work. What happens is the dreaded dried-toothpaste-build-up around the top. The flip top is useless. What can I do?''

``Sir, how many people use Bright N' Grin in your family unit?''

``Three, four, sometimes five.''

``Sir, to eliminate dried-toothpaste-build-up, instruct your household to grasp the tube firmly in one hand after brushing, but not too firmly, then press down sharply on the flip-top lock-top stop with the thumb of the other hand.''

``The flip-top lock-top stop?''

``Sir, over 80 percent of our customers call about dried-toothpaste-build-up and the answer is proper use of the flip-top lock-top stop.''

``But we are a family in a rush, bleary-eyed in the mornings, all thumbs so to speak.''

``Sir, unless your family can alter their morning habits, and use the flip-top lock-top stop properly, another solution is the knock-lock screw-top lock-down cap. Fool proof, I might add. These are available for 79 cents a piece with a rebate of 20 cents and return of the flip-top lock-top stop in a non-crush rush pack.''

``Maybe I could get one of those dispenser models where the toothpaste squirts out.''

``Sir, our customers report that dried-toothpaste-build-up is common to all kinds of toothpaste delivery systems. The key is proper maintenance.''

``Why doesn't somebody invent a toothbrush where the toothpaste is in the handle of the brush, and when you want to use it, you squeeze the toothpaste up through the bristles?''

``Sir, that's a wonderful idea. But I can see problems with dried-toothpaste-build-up.''

``Maybe a bristle anti-clog shut-off stop valve would do it.''

``Sir, that's another wonderful idea.''

``Maybe a handle with a tiny computer chip that releases just the right amount of toothpaste through the bristles each morning and night, a sort of zip-chip bristle missile.''

``Sir, you missed your calling.''

``I'll go on the Internet with it.''

``Sir, do you have any other questions?''

``Whatever happened to Voyager II?''

``Sir, I'm only a toothpaste representative.''

``Who invented the toothbrush?''

``Sir, I'll connect you to toothbrushes.''

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Toothpaste Rep Unstops Tube Over the Telephone
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today