Archive for July, 2015


Why I Didn’t Get Up Early To Go And Ride With The Group This Past Sunday Morning And Other Excuses

I didn’t get up early last Sunday to go and ride with the guys, like I normally do. It’s a long story and the short version is that I won’t be replacing our electric toothbrush any time soon. Not after Saturday night.

It was like out of a bad Stephen King novel.  Our long-serving Phillips Sonic-Care electric tooth brush apparently got fed up and couldn’t take it any more, so it decided to scare the living crap out of its owners by coming to life around 1:30 am.

By itself.


I know this to be true because of the very loud buzzing sound that woke both my wife and I from a sound sleep at that ungodly hour. Mary Ann rolled over and pretended to not hear anything, leaving it to me to crawl out of bed and go forth to boldly investigate the source of the noise that was coming from the bathroom.  So, bleary-eyed, semi-conscious, and clad only in my underwear, I stumbled into the bathroom and turned on the light.  Yes, I was correct: the noise that we were hearing was the electric toothbrush, buzzing away merrily, lights flashing, that somehow came to life all by itself.  It had sort of toppled over on its charging stand, so I reasoned that this buzzing sound must have been a hitherto-unknown feature of the Phillips Sonic-Care that alerts the owner that his or her electric toothbrush is no longer charging.

Hey, it was 1:30 am.  You come up with a better rationalization for ignoring a developing problem at that time of night.

I shut it off and went back to bed.

The toothbrush came back to life fifteen minutes later, again buzzing angrily and generally making a racket.  Mary Ann rolled over and mumbled something indistinct about electricity, defective toothbrushes, and fire alarms.

I got up and shut it off again.

The toothbrush re-awakened for a third time around 2:15 am, and this time it would NOT shut off, choosing instead to cycle randomly (and noisily) between its 5 or so different state-of-the-art pre-programmed tooth and gum care routines as I desperately pressed the “off” switch.  Nothing.  If anything, pushing the “off” switch just seemed to piss it off and make it buzz louder.

My wife, who wisely stayed in bed the entire time, poked her head above the covers just long enough to say something to the effect that, regardless of the course of action I may eventually choose to deal with the electrical menace in the bathroom, my task would not be complete unless I could assure her with 100% certainty that whatever it was making that awful noise in the bathroom wasn’t going to catch fire and kill us all.  She then rolled over and pretended to go back to sleep, leaving it up to me to bravely save us all from a fiery death at the hands of a demonically-possessed electric toothbrush.

At this point I grabbed the toothbrush and tromped downstairs to the garage looking for a way to kill it.  My first impulse was to take the toothbrush apart and remove the battery.  Nope, the engineers who designed the Phillips Sonic-Care Electric Tooth Brush made absolutely sure that there is no easy way for an embattled consumer to rip out its malignant little electronic heart should their creation ever become sentient and decide to attack.  Bad move, Phillips.  My next impulse was to take a hammer and just smash it to bits.  I quickly realized, however, that with my luck I would hit the rechargeable lithium ion battery, rupture it, and create a genuine hazmat situation in my basement.  So I reluctantly concluded that the easiest and safest thing to do was to do nothing and just wait for the battery to run down and then go back to bed.


You have no idea just how long a fully-charged electric tooth brush can run.

You do a lot of thinking when you are pacing around your garage in your underwear while holding an electric toothbrush at 2:30 in the morning. I had plenty of time to ponder the fact that my life up to this point had left me tragically unprepared for this particular crisis.  Just leaving the damn thing in the middle of the garage floor and walking away wasn’t an option: I would have to explain to Mary Ann what I did with the toothbrush when I got back upstairs, and her reaction to my leaving a zombie toothbrush unattended in the garage where it would inevitably catch fire and incinerate the entire block was likely to be worse than the interminable buzzing.  I briefly thought about picking up a shovel and burying it in the back yard, but that would have been very hard to explain to the neighbors.  Or to Mary Ann for that matter.

At around the 45 minute mark of my Nocturnal Garage Interlude With Electric Toothbrush I had an idea.  I grabbed a big plastic bucket that was sitting by my workbench.  I opened the garage door and, still clad in just my underwear, I crept out onto our driveway.  It  was now 3am.  The toothbrush was still buzzing away at a furious rate. I grabbed the garden hose, filled the bucket with water, and then threw the toothbrush in.

Just my luck, the bucket actually amplified the buzzing sound. I hoped that none of the neighbors were sleeping with their windows open because, noise or no noise, I had run out of viable alternatives. It was the bucket or nothing.

I left the bucket and toothbrush in the middle of the driveway for the neighbors and the raccoons to deal with.  Skulking back into the garage, I lowered the door and went back to bed. But before I went back into the house I bent over and peered into the bucket. My gaze was met by a pair of flashing and blinking lights dancing in the darkness as the toothbrush jitterbugged around on the bottom of the bucket- a pair of hellish green demon eyes winking  back at me through the murky abyss.  Phillips Sonic-Care: the Official Electric Toothbrush of Hell.

I can report that there was no fire.

So, anyway, that’s why I didn’t get up early this past Sunday to go and ride with the guys.


%d bloggers like this: