The New Toothbrush

Kevin Cleethorpes pen drawing

Arthur stealthily made his way through the front door, desperately trying to conceal the Boots bag containing his new purchase inside his duffel coat. This new toothbrush was his and he didn’t anyone else spoiling it for him.

“Wassa got in coat Arfur!” Arthur’s little brother Kevin, who was wearing only his underpants and a blindfold, which he’d pushed up onto the bridge of his nose to see who had just come through the front door, leapt out from the broom cupboard under the stairs where he had been playing a game of make-believe pretending to be the victim of a Colombian kidnapping gang.

“It’s a colostomy bag…” Arthur replied quickly, remembering the documentary he had watched on television last night about old people. Kevin's eyes widened in disgust and he clamped both his hands over his mouth as he let out a pitiful whimper and dived back into the safety of the broom cupboard.

Arthur scurried along the hall and into the bathroom (which was downstairs as was the style for many council houses built in the 1930’s) hoping that his mother wouldn’t have heard him come home. Locking the door he let out a long sigh of relief and quietly slid the package from under his coat, although this was rather unsuccessful as Boots insist on using those stupid crinkly carrier bags that make lots of noise. Finally he removed his new toothbrush from its box.

Being electric, the toothbrush would need charging. There was only one electrical socket in the bathroom and it currently had Arthur’s mum’s Epilady leg and armpit hair remover plugged into it. Arthur carefully unplugged this (it hadn’t been cleaned for a long time and was caked in old greasy under-am stubble which Arthur really didn’t want to touch) and plugged in the toothbrush charger.

Closing the toilet lid, Arthur sat down and thumbed through the manual. He was slightly dejected when he discovered it would take 60 minutes to charge so decided to pass the time by organising his mother’s bottles of shampoo, soap and other toiletries into alphabetical order round the edge of the bath.

The toothbrush stood silently in its charger. The only noise was the shuffling of plastic bottles and the muffled sounds of Kevin putting on a bad South American accent whilst playing “kidnap” in the cupboard under the stairs; “You gonna tell me where the drugs are or I will rape and butcher your family..”, “Please, no! I don’t know anything!”, “I’m gonna cut their pretty faces real bad…”

Alphabetical order turned out to be far too easy and only took 5 minutes to complete, so Arthur tried arranging them by colour (“Richard… Of… York… Gave… Battle… In…Vain…” he muttered repeatedly to himself) and after that too took relatively no time at all, he went for something more challenging and arranged them once more according to the toxicity of the ingredients.

Not knowing much about chemistry, this took a fair amount of time and Arthur was interupted on more than one occasion by Kevin banging on the bathroom door yelling "wanna go we wee!". Eventually, after tasting some Radox shower gel and deciding it probably didn't contain anything too toxic at all, Arthur was done and the requisite amount of time had passed: the tootbrush was now ready.

Applying a pea sized blob of Tesco value toothpaste to the end of his tongue, Arthur turned on the electric tootbrush. It buzzed gently in his hand and the sound reminded him of the noises he sometimes heard coming from his mothers bedroom late at night. Maybe his mother had an electric tootbush too. She must have liked brushing her teeth with it as she also tended to make loud, ecstatic moaning sounds whenever she used it.

Putting the tootbrush in his mouth, Arthur could feel its powerful pulses of energy rippling through his body. Never before had Arthur experienced so much cleaning power. After a few minutes of vibrating toothbrush ecstasy and a little bit of rinsing, Arthur stopped and admired his newly cleaned teeth in the mirror. For the first time in living memory, Arthur's teeth were white as opposed to the usual grimy yellow. He ran his tongue across them, felling how smooth and fresh they felt.

The electric tootbrush was a revelation. Never again would Arthur suffer from less than perfectly clean teeth. And if it could do this good a job at cleaning his teeth, maybe it could clean other things too. Maybe it could even change his whole life forever...

to be continued...

1. 1998 BC (before cheesebrush) 2. An unlikely hero