Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It never fails.

You’re at Walgreens, stocking up on a few things: vitamins, photo albums, lotion, hand soap … and you’ll be damned if you can remember the fifth thing you told yourself you needed to buy.

You wander the aisles to try to trip your memory: Batteries? Nope. Hole puncher? Nope. Tampons? They’re out of the ones that that are lightly scented with Drakkar Noir. So nope.

As you stumble into the dental-hygiene aisle, you see that Walgreens now has its own store-brand version of Crest Whitestrips. For like $15 less. So you add a box of the things to your basket and head to the checkout because you’ve given up hope you’ll ever remember what the hell it was you actually needed.

You get home. You open the package. You discover that where Crest Whitestrips were dainty little slips of plastic that are almost invisible in your mouth, the Walgreens version is like a box of Drakkar Noir-scented tampons bulky mouth guards that football players wear.

You assume that when you blog about this, people will be impressed with your endless knowledge of sports trivia. ¿Quién es más macho?

You decide to try them out right then and there. And though they are as bulky as a cableknit sweater on a pie-eating contestant, they stay in place. And they’re wider than Crest Whitestrips, so your new, whiter teeth will extend farther back in your mouth. Assuming the damn things work.

The next morning you decide to multitask, so you wear your strips on the train as you commute to work.

Of course, you find yourself sitting next to a talker, who seems blissfully clueless that the protuberance under your nose is not a bad collagen injection or a mouthful of adult-onset braces. Because the discount whitestrips kind of make you drool, you decline to explain your predicament and just politely mumble yes-and-no answers to the talker’s endless questions. The talker doesn’t seem to notice.

You get off the train and race to work so you can take the damn things out of your mouth in the privacy of the bathroom.

You ride in the elevator with a coworker who really wants to hear about your weekend.

After you drool out a few words that sound like fluffleuaneluf, she finally asks you if there’s something wrong with your mouth.

You make it to the bathroom to remove the upholstered ottoman that seems to have taken residence in your head. But the bathroom is locked.

You head to the bathroom at the far end of the building and finally yank the things out over the sink, mere seconds before your toxic drool threatens to leave long, unsightly streaks of bleach down the front of your shirt.

As you rinse out the last bits of bleaching gel, you finally remember what it was you forgot to buy: Toothpaste.

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