Power Tools

Perhaps I don’t really have the gist of blogging, yet. Maybe I need to embrace the personal expressiveness it allows.To open up a bit and share some details about my personal thoughts and activities. Well, it’s worth a shot!

There is a new appliance in our household. A long, phallic piece of vibrating plastic that brings me great pleasure in the bathroom – how did I ever live without one!?

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The Sonicare Elite 7300 is an unadulterated (until now!), state of the art mouth vibrator. I had some vague memory of owning like, the 1983 model of this toothbrush back when I was a young one, so I was pretty skeptical when this bad boy appeared on the bathroom counter yesterday. There’s no way a piece of carefully researched electrified technology could brush teeth better than me. I have perfect form:

  1. Approach the mirror in drunken (evening) or hungover (morning) haze.

  2. For optimal results, support the body’s weight with one arm rigid, turned towards the mirror, planted as a pedestal on the edge of the count.

  3. With the free arm, grind methodically into battered gums. At first sign of blood or pain, reduce pressure moderately, or just stop brushing.

All the same, when the purchaser of this device emerged from a maiden voyage with the thing, and declared that it was “like having your teeth professionally cleaned!”, it was too alluring for me not to try. I checked into the bathroom for a little one-on-one.

Using the Sonicare Elite for the first time is sort of like I imagine bungee jumping might be. You just sort of take a big breath, strap yourself in, and hold on for the ride. The “sonic” in the Sonicare is (I think) supposed to be these inaudible sound waves that go through your teeth and blast plaque cells or something. But for marketing purposes or just because the thing is so intense, a pitched whine emerges from the gizmo whenever it is turned on. It sort of says to me, “stand still, don’t make a move and nobody gets hurt.” It’s a tentative journey, to be sure. I pick up the device and, thinking things through, I turn to lock the bathroom door.

There are three levels of bathroom privacy. At the first level, the door remains wide open as you pop in for a glance in the mirror or to grab an aspirin. The second level is door closed but unlocked. This is appropriate for things like washing your face, shaving, etc. Here, the door basically says “I’m going to be in here for a while, and you’d probably rather not watch me squint for the towel as soap suds stream into my eyes.” This is the conventional classification for tooth brushing – but no longer!

Using the Sonicare Elite is, like nudity, drug use, and defecation, an act of total and complete personal humiliation. Securing the door guarantees against the embarrassment of somebody walking in to find you slack jawed, head hanging over the sink, eyes searching for security in the mirror reflection of the ridiculous spectacle. Everything about the machine is foreign to me. I foolishly attempt to treat it like a regular toothbrush and it rebuffs me. I place a small dollop of toothpaste on the small head of the brush, and start up the “engine.” Before I can blink the toothpaste has flown off the brush and landed against the mirror. Am I even supposed to use toothpaste with this? I’m a wee babe, lost in the woods. Against manufacturer advice, I decide to load it up with toothpaste, stick it in my mouth, and ignite it “in the safety of my own mouth.” I prepare by widening my mouth as much as possible, to give it room to move about. This may be the first time I’ve ever attempted to increase the gap between my cheeks and my teeth. Try it! It’s still not wide enough, but I position the Elite in a relatively conservative position and flip the switch.

Ah! It’s alive! It’s vibrating not only my teeth, but my gums, my jaw, my skull, my whole body? I look at the mirror and realize that my body and skull in fact appear completely still. Frozen in place no doubt by the fear of what might happen if I make a wrong move. Every 30 seconds the machine beeps to tell you “it’s safe to move about the cabin.” Actually, it just means now would be a good time to move on to another part of your mouth, but I liked to think of it as permission to disengage for at least a brief moment. My manipulations of the device are ridiculous and, like an amateur rodeo athlete, I let the beast run wild around the mouth as I try to aim it towards its next intended direction. As I start to gain control, I realize that different parts of my mouth have different reactions. I can’t help but laugh out loud as it tickles the inside of my gums. Sort of like the uncomfortable feeling sucking on a hard candy can give you. The outside of my front teeth is like paradise. Oooh yeah, that’s nice. Keep it right there. BEEP! Time to move along.

I realize to my satisfaction that although I have sensitive gums and there is a wild animal loose in my mouth, nothing really hurts. It’s just intense. Super Intense! Drool is flowing steadily out of my mouth as I stand there cock-headed, allowing the machine to finish taking advantage of me. I feel very smart for having had so much water earlier in the day. I’ll have to incorporate that into my new Sonicare lifestyle. I look like Alex from A Clockwork Orange, yet I’m thinking to myself that I’ll never brush my teeth any other way again. What kind of sick, perverted bastard am I!?

I finally finish after mistakingly doubling the recommended brushing time (4 minutes instead of 2). The Agony. The Ecstasy. The Defeat. The Victory. I feel sort of proud of myself for having survived. I wipe the drool from my chin and take a deep breath. I kind of can’t wait to do it again. (I felt the same way after I first shaved with a Mach3 Razor). Convinced that my new Sonicare lifestyle has really taken off, I resign to taking in a little bit of the product marketing. I pick up the box, still resting near the bathroom counter. So – what is this thing doing for me? Clean teeth, yeah I’m for that. Fights gingivitis. Yes, thanks. Rechargeable. Aha, what’s this? “Easy-Start®”???

“Easy-Start gently increases power for first 14 uses, to ease into the Sonicare experience.”

My extensive description above is all part of my being gently eased into the Sonicare experience? I have no idea what to expect on my next brushing. Do regular vibrators work like that, too?

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